WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.— News and notes as the Deacs look to move to 4-0 with a win over the Hoosiers.
The Deacs are looking to move 4-0 for just the fifth time in program history (1944, 1947, 1987, 2006). Wake has never moved to 4-0 win a home victory.
The Hoosiers a strong, deep and talented on the defensive line according to Wake offensive lineman Ryan Anderson.
“They have some big boys, and they rotate to they stay fresh,” he said. “The big guys are usually the ones who get gassed. They’re all big guys on the interior.”
The only meeting between these two programs took place at BB&T Field last season, with the Hoosiers topping the Deacs 31-24, as a Kendall Hinton-fueled last rally fell just short.
Indiana coach Kevin Wilson was rewarded with a six-year contract extension that nearly doubled his salary after leading the Hoosiers to a bowl game last season. Indiana lost to Duke in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl to finish the season 6-7.
The Hoosiers have just one winning season in the last two decades, finishing 7-6 in 2007.
The Wake Forest offensive line has shown significant improvement in the last two games, opening holes for nearly 550 yards in combined rushing. Wake redshirt junior linebacker Grant Dawson said the improvement has been obvious to him for months.
“Since the end of spring ball, and definitely in fall camp. Since I’ve been here, the majority of scrimmage have been dominated by the defense,” Dawson said. “We had scrimmages in fall camp when the offense got the best of us. It shows how much they have improved. I’m happy for them to see their hard work pay off.”
Both Wake Forest and Indiana coaching staffs will wear patches to support Coach to Cure MD week in college football. This marks the ninth year that coaches participated in the program to raise awareness of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
The Deacs have a defense ranked in the top ten in several categories, despite having to replace several injured players in the rotation. Missing time so far for Wake has been Elontae Bateman, Josh Banks, Amari Henderson, Demetrius Kemp, Shelldon Lewinson, Willie Yarbary and Jaboree Williams.
“We’ve had a lot of people nicked up,” Dawson said. “The next man up has done a phenomenal job so far. But it is exciting to know we’re not fully healthy yet. I’m excited to see when we do get everyone to see how much we’ve improved. I think we’ll get better throughout the season.”
The next win for Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson will be his 100th as a head coach. Clawson had 29 victories at Fordham, 29 at Richmond, 32 at Richmond and nine so far at Wake.
Grant Dawson used the word “excited” four times in response to a question during this week’s media luncheon availability. That prompted the Winston-Salem Journal’s Scott Hamilton to ask when the last time he had this level of excitement about football.
“I have not been this excited playing football since I’ve been here — probably since Reagan High School,” Dawson said. “Our camaraderie as a team — everyone wants to get better every day. Every practice the energy level is higher than I’ve ever seen. It makes me look forward to go to practice every day.”