WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Deacs (2-0) look to continue their momentum and get halfway to bowl eligibility when they host Delaware (2-0) at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at BB&T Field.
Wake and Delaware have played just one time, with the Deacs coming out on top with a 7-0 victory in 1932. This meeting at least figures to be more high-scoring.
Wake Forest center Josh Harris said by mid-second quarter, the Deacs seemed to turn the corner against Duke offensively.
“We realized we could go. We realized we could play with these guys and win this game,” Harris said. “That momentum going forward just helped us a lot. We want to put the game on our back and take control of it.”
This is Hall of Fame Weekend for Wake Forest, as they induct five new members into the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame.
Punter Ryan Plackemeier, baseball player Jamie D’Antona, Provost Emeritus Dr. Ed Wilson, soccer player Michael Parkhurst and running back Chris Barclay will be honored.
The Demon Deacon defense has allowed just 17 points all season, which is good for ninth place in total scoring defense in the NCAA right now — they’re tied with Michigan and trailing eighth-place Alabama by just a point. The Deacs have been able to do this while missing several key players at times during the first two contests.
“When we finally get our 11 guys, it’s going to be quite a sight,” Wake defensive lineman Josh Banks said. “Recently, though, the second man up has been doing a great job. A lot of these guys have been stepping up and it’s been looking good.”
The ties between the two coaching staffs are numerous. Most notably, Delaware head coach Dave Brock and Wake defensive line coach Dave Cohen were together on the Rutgers staff in 2012.
Brock also worked with Wake offensive coordinator Warren Ruggiero at Kansas State in 2008 and at Hofstra from 2000-02.
Ruggiero is a Delaware graduate, and Cohen was on their staff for five seasons.
The Deacs have created four turnovers so far this season, after finishing last season with just 12. In fact, the Deacs didn’t create a turnover last year until their sixth game of the season (a 3-0 win at Boston College).
“It felt great. We’ve been practicing it all camp, and (defensive coordinator) coach (Mike) Elko harps on it,” Banks said. “I feel like it’s about time for us to do it. We still see times on film where we let it slip. There was a screen play, where I went for the hit instead of a strip. There’s still times we could have forced more turnovers.”
Wake rushed 49 times for 239 yards against Duke Saturday. Both those are high-water marks during the Clawson era. The last time Wake had more rushing yards was 296 against Army in 2012. It was also the biggest output against an ACC foe since rushing for 254 against Virginia Tech in 2010.
The Deacs celebration after the Duke victory was loud and boisterous.
“We have a pretty nice schedule. That’s just a small feeling,” Banks said. “Hopefully there are bigger ones to come.”
Cade Carney became the first freshman running back to rush from three touchdowns in a game since Chris Barclay (who is being inducted in the Wake Hall of Fame this weekend) in 2002.
“That’s a strong cat, man. He’s only a freshman, but he packs a punch and his speed is sneaky too,” Banks said about Carney. “I like him. He’s a Carolina kid like me. He’s blue collar. I like Cade. He runs the ball hard.”