Week 4 - Army at Wake Forest

Posted Sep 19, 2012

Week 4 CFN Fearless Prediction – Army at Wake Forest

Army (0-2) at Wake Forest (2-1) Sept. 22, 12:30, ACC Network

Here's The Deal: No, Wake Forest wasn't expected to beat No. 4 Florida State in Tallahassee last weekend. But it also wasn't supposed to get obliterated, 52-0, as if it was the 1990's all over again. The Demon Deacons need to quickly regain their focus, because last weekend's rout changes little about this program's direction in 2012. It defeated North Carolina just a week earlier, and will still have a shot at competing for bowl eligibility at the end of the regular season. Army is off to a very humbling start for head coach Rich Ellerson. The Black Knights have dropped both of their games, failing to compete in the opener with San Diego State, and losing a heartbreaker last Saturday to Northern Illinois. They took a lead in the fourth quarter, but had no answers for versatile Huskies QB Jordan Lynch.

Why Army Might Win: Run, run … and then pound it a little more. The nation's second-ranked ground assault makes its offensive philosophy no secret. Operating out of the triple-formation, the Black Knights will relentlessly pummel opposing defenses with a flurry of north-south runs form QB Trent Steelman and running backs Raymond Maples, Larry Dixon and Terry Baggett. Army's depth out of the backfield will present problems for a Wake Forest defense that's clearly missing injured Nikita Whitlock on the interior. Without their plugger a week ago, the Deacons were obliterated for 385 yards and four rushing touchdowns.

Why Wake Forest Might Win: Army wants to play keep-away for a number of reasons; keeping its defense on the sidelines is one of them. The cadets don't look as if they'll be stopping anyone this season. They've given up at least 41 points in each of the first two games, looking particularly lost versus Lynch on Saturday. After getting blanked in Tallahassee, the Demon Deacons will seek—and get—a spark from QB Tanner Price, who'll have all day to locate favorite receiver Michael Campanaro. Wake might even enjoy a productive day from RB Josh Harris, whose talent has been muted by an ineffective collection of blockers.

What To Watch Out For: The Deacons linebackers are going to be very busy on Saturday afternoon, especially without Whitlock around to clog up running lanes. Justin Jackson, Mike Olson and Riley Haynes are quality athletes who won't have to worry about the right arm of Steelman. Instead, they'll be focused on following the flow of the play, keeping their assignments and shedding blocks in pursuit of the ball. If the Wake linebackers aren't disciplined, Army will run downhill on them for four quarters.

What Will Happen: Wake Forest under Jim Grobe has been a resilient bunch. By kickoff, last week's disaster at Florida State will be a distant memory. The offense, with Price at the controls, will enjoy its best game of the month, besting the Army defense on the ground and through the air. The Black Knights will again move the ball, but that inability to make defensive stops will be their downfall for a third consecutive game.

CFN Prediction: Wake Forest 36 … Army 24
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Wake Forest -7.5 O/U: 53.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Ray Lewis: A Football Life, 1 – Frankenweenie): 1.5