| Depth Chart |
Certainly experience isn't going to be an issue with a whopping 19
returning starters and 48 returning lettermen with quality, reliable
depth just about everywhere but on the offensive line. So can the
Demon Deacons impose their will on the rest of the ACC and come up
with wins over the big boys?
This is always going to be a team that has to catch the
top teams napping, and it's usually able to come up with a few good
wins a year like the ones over Clemson and NC State last season and
Boston College in 2004. The key will be to not slip in the tight
games against the mediocre teams. Experienced squads like this one
can usually overcome the little things to come through clutch.
Head coach: Jim Grobe
6th year: 26-32
12th year overall: 59-65-1
Off. 20, Def. 26, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 10
Best Wake Players
1. LB Jon Abbate, Jr.
2. FS Josh Gattis, Sr.
3. OT Steve Vallos, Sr.
4. RB Micah Andrews, Jr.
5. DE Matt Robinson, Jr. INJ.
6. LB Aaron Curry, Soph.
7. CB Alphonso Smith, Soph.
8. FS Patrick Ghee, Sr.
PK Sam Swank, Soph.
OT Arby Jones, Sr.
at Ole Miss
at NC State
at North Carolina
at Florida State
2005 Results: 4-7
Preview 2005 predicted wins
at Nebraska L 31-3
Maryland L 22-12
at Florida State L 41-24
Boston Coll L 35-30
State W 27-19
at Georgia Tech L 30-17
Miami L 47-17
Being competitive hasn't
been an issue in the five years under Jim Grobe with 32 of the 58 games
played decided by a touchdown or less. To get to a bowl game and take
another positive step forward, Wake Forest has to
advantage of every opportunity and needs big seasons out of some key
The running game should be fine with veteran Micah Andrews running
behind an experienced and talented line, but there's a huge, gaping
question mark at quarterback with Ben Mauk needing to pay far better
than last year when he was an ineffective starter over the first four
games. The pass defense was abysmal, but a veteran group
returns with improvement on the corners. The linebacking corps is a
rock, but the defensive line is a concern with the top players all
nursing injuries. In other words, Wake Forest might be really close to
putting it all together if all the breaks fall the right way.
Can the Demon Deacons win the Atlantic Division? No, but
they'll ruin someone's ACC dream and should get back to a bowl game for
the first time since 2002. That might not seem like much, but that would
be impressive for a program that's ready for all the hard work to
finally start paying off.
Schedule: Can Wake Forest really go 5-0 going into the Clemson game?
It had better if it wants to go bowling. Syracuse, Duke, at UConn, at
Ole Miss and Liberty is the easy part of the schedule. Things get a bit
rough after with four road games in the final six including battles at
Florida State and Maryland. The Groves Stadium home field advantage
isn't good enough to make Boston College and Virginia Tech quake, but
it's nice to have those two big games at home.
Offensive Player: Senior OT Steve Vallos. The team's most reliable
and versatile lineman over the last few years, Vallos is the All-ACC
blocker at right tackle who makes the offense go. He's an athletic
290-pounder who'll get a long look from the NFL throughout the season.
Defensive Player: Junior LB Jon Abbate. He didn't put up the huge
numbers he did as a freshman, but he still led the team in tackles from
his spot in the middle. He's an active all-around defender who's rock
solid against the run and great at getting into the backfield.
to a successful season: Junior QB Ben Mauk. There's no Cory Randolph
to bail things out this time around. Mauk wasn't awful after starting
the first four games of last year, but the team needed a spark after
starting 1-3. He doesn't have to be an All-American, but he does have to
be accurate and consistent. Most importantly, he can't make mistakes and
hurt the team with interceptions.
will be a success if ... Wake Forest gets to a bowl game. It's hardly a lock with the
nasty ACC games to deal with and six reasonably tough road games, but a
hot start is likely and there are sure to be at least one or two upsets
to make a seven win season very possible.
Oct. 7 vs. Clemson. The Tigers got tagged with a 31-27 loss last
year and won't take Wake Forest lightly again. However, a win could mean
an impressive 6-0 start for the Demon Deacons after starting the season
with five non-bowl teams from last year. With road trips ahead over the
following two weeks against NC State and North Carolina, Wake needs to
beat Clemson again.
- Touchdown passes:
Opponents 22 - Wake Forest 7
- Average yards per punt: Wake Forest 43.7 - Opponents 36.2
- Wake Forest opponents
hit 15 of 15 field goal attempts.
The Last Time Wake Forest…
…played in a bowl game…2002 (Seattle Bowl vs. Oregon)
…missed a bowl game…2005
…pitched a shutout…2002 (North Carolina)
…was shutout…1998 (Air Force)
…scored 50 points…1991 (Navy)
…won a conference title…1970 (ACC)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…Never
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2005 (Chris Barclay)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…1989 (Ricky Proehl)
…had a first-round draft choice…2003 (DE Calvin Pace)