2004 Demon Deacons Football Season Preview

<b>Head Coach:</b> <A HREF=[PlayerNode:638098]>Jim Grobe</A> (4th Year, 18-18)<br><br><b>Last Season's Record:</b> 5-7 (3-5 in ACC)<br><br><b>Last Bowl Appearance:</b> 2002 Seattle Bowl (38-17 victory over Oregon) <br><br><b>Key matchup(s):</b> Sept. 4 @<A HREF=http://clemson.TheInsiders.com>Clemson</A>, Sept. 11 @East Carolina, Nov. 13 <A HREF=http://northcarolina.TheInsiders.com>North Carolina</A>, Nov. 27 @<A HREF=http://maryland.TheInsiders.com>Maryland</A>.

Star Power: RB Chris Barclay, LB Brad White, QB Cory Randolph, LB Jon Abbate, P Ryan Plackemeier, WR Willie Idlette, WR Jason Anderson.

Notable Additions: LB Stanley Arnoux, DE Anthony Davis, DE Jeremy Thompson, WR/S Chip Vaughn, WR Alphonso Smith, LB Eric Berry.

Notable Subtractions: OL Mark Moroz, OL Tyson Clabo, OL Craig Jones, LB Kellen Brantley, FS Quintin Williams

Notable Returnees: QB Cory Randolph, TB Chris Barclay, WR Willie Idlette, WR Jason Anderson, OL Steve Vallos, OL Blake Lingruen, LB Jon Abbate, LB Brad White, DE Jyles Tucker, CB Caron Bracy, CB Eric King, CB Marcus McGruder, SS Warren Braxton, DT Goryal Scales, DE Jerome Nichols, QB Ben Mauk.

09/11/04@East Carolina
09/18/04North Carolina A&T
09/25/04Boston College
10/02/04@North Carolina State
10/09/04Virginia Tech
10/23/04Florida State
11/13/04North Carolina
11/20/04@Miami (Fla.)
Offensive Overview: Tailback Chris Barclay, the second leading rusher in the ACC is 2003, returns to lead the Demon Deacon rushing attack in 2004. In 2003, Jim Grobe's Demon Deacons continued to be among the top rushing teams and expect more of the same this season. With Barclay back in the backfield, quarterback Cory Randolph returning behind center, and wide receivers Jason Anderson and Willie Idlette returning, Wake Forest is solid at the skill positions. If the Demon Deacon offensive line can hold up after the loss of 1st-team All-ACC lineman Tyson Clabo, 2nd-team offensive lineman Mark Moroz, and guard Craig Jones, Wake's offense will be a force in 2004.

Defensive Overview: Wake Forest will introduce a new scheme in 2004. After running the 3-3-5 in prior years, Coach Grobe and his staff will utilize the four-three this season. The new scheme will take some adjusting but should help make things easier on the players as well. Eight starters return this season including cornerback Eric King, a potential All-ACC performer. Linebackers Brad White and Jon Abbate are also expected to have big years for the Deacs.

Special Teams Overview: Returning kicks in 2004 is speedster Willie Idlette, one of the ACC's most electric athletes. Punter Ryan Plackemeier led the ACC in punting with 45.6 yards-per-punt in 2004 and returns this season.

The Deacons will have a good season if... the offensive line can gel and replace three starters from the line a year ago. Look for a great offensive year if this happens as Wake Forest's top skill players are all back. If the defense can stay healthy and adjust to the new scheme successfully, Wake Forest could have a very good season defensively in 2004 as well. The non-conference slate has three winnable games for the Demon Deacons -- East Carolina, Boston College, and North Carolina A&T, but the ACC schedule is tougher, however, with Miami and Virginia Tech added to the schedule in addition to ACC foe Florida State.

TheInsiders.com 2004 College Football Preview
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