The Deacs (5-2, 2-2) are favored by just a touchdown Saturday at home against Army (4-3) and there are good reasons for that.
The Black Knights have played Wake tough the last two years, coming away with just a pair of hard-fought three-point losses in both contests.
Army won their first three games of the year, including an impressive opening-night 28-13 triumph over Temple.
The Black Knights are No. 7 in the nation in rushing defense and No. 3 in the land in total defense. The Deacs have barely escaped with victories over Army the last two seasons, and this will be the toughest Black Knight team they will have faced in Clawson’s tenure.
Here’s five players to watch.
Andy Davidson - Sophomore running back - 6-foot-2, 220 pounds - #40
Davidson is the top Army offensive weapon, and the number one target for carries out of the triple option. He leads the Black Knights with 617 yards and seven touchdowns on 113 carries this season, while averaging 5.4 yards per carry.
Davidson already has four 100-yard rushing games this season, after being converted from a linebacker as a freshman. He played both positions in high school, and holds the his school’s record for most rushing yards in a season.
Last year vs. Wake: No stats
Ahmad Bradshaw - Junior quarterback - 5-foot-11, 198 pounds - #17
In his second year leading the Army offense, Bradshaw is the second leading rushing for the Black Knights. He’s gained 494 yards and scored four touchdowns on the ground in 104 rushing attempts for a 4.8 yard per carry average.
Bradshaw is 22-for-54 passing on the season for 329 yards and one score. He’s thrown five interceptions so far this season, but all five came in wet field conditions — four of them last week against North Texas.
He was a team captain on a championship high school football team, but also played high school basketball and competed on the wrestling team.
Last year vs. Wake: 2-for-3 passing for 54 yards. 61 yards and a touchdown on 21 rushes.
Darnell Woolfork - Sophomore running back - 5-foot-9, 225 pounds #33
Army has NINE players on their roster with more than 100 yards rushing on the season, and have the No. 2 rushing offense in the country, averaging 357.6 yards per game. To put this into perspective, the Deacs have four players with more than 100 yards on the season, and average 161 yards per game on the ground.
Woolfork has the third-most rushing attempts on the season (48) for the Black Knights, and has rushed for 202 yards and five touchdowns.
Last year vs. Wake: Played, but compiled no stats.
Linebacker trio of Alex Aukerman, Kenneth Brinson and Andrew King
Alex Aukerman - Junior Linebacker - 6-foot-1, 228 pounds - #21
Kenneth Brinson - Sophomore Linebacker - 6-foot-2, 225 pounds - #56
Andrew King - Senior Linebacker - 6-foot-0, 246 pounds - #11
Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson spoke about the unique defensive look presented by Army during his press conference Tuesday, and these results kind of speak for themself. This trio of Black Knight linebackers account for 13 sacks, 116 tackles, 22.5 TFLs, two interceptions and two forced fumbles so far this season. They are disruptive.
Last year vs. Wake: Combined for 13 tackles and 2.5 TFLs.