College Football Preview: The 2015 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Wake Forest Demon Deacons Preview
2014 Record: 3-9 (105th of 128)
Odds to Win National Championship: +250000 See the Latest Odds
Overview: The Wake Forest Demon Deacons hope to take another step forward after a 3-9 season under the first year of Dave Clawson. Usually a 25 percent winning percentage would be considered a failure, but Wake Forest is a program that’s been to seven bowl games since 1990 and hasn’t had a winning season since 2008. Wake Forest will take what it can get right now.
Offense: Wake Forest had one of the worst offenses in the country last season, and a lot of it was due to an offensive line that allowed 48 sacks. The good news is that three of those young starters return along the OL and quarterback John Wolford picked up valuable experience. Wolford completed just 58.3 percent of his passes but had three touchdowns and one pick in his final three games. Dezmond Wortham and Isaiah Robinson return as the Demon Deacons leading rushers, and they also have a highly recruited player in Rocky Reid who could see some big playing time. Cam Serigne led Wake Forest with 54 catches as a freshman and freshman Tabari Hines could be a hit early. Wake Forest is once again very young but should be improved due to a more experienced offensive line.
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Defense: Wake Forest actually had a solid defense last season that finished 41st in the country. The strength of this unit will be at the linebacker position with Brandon Chubb, Marquel Lee and Hunter Williams leading the way. That linebacking core can go toe-to-toe with any team in the ACC. Josh Banks and Wendell Dunn combined for 15 tackles for loss along the defensive line, while Tylor Harris is due for a breakout season his senior year. The questions on the defense are in the secondary after losing some of its top players. Ryan Janvion will have to be the leader of this group and Thomas Brown has a chance to really shine in an expanded role. Still, losing Kevin Johnson and others does hurt. Overall, Wake Forest’s defense is good enough to keep this team in games.
Special Teams: Alexander Kinal returns at punter after averaging 43.6 yards on 81 attempts. Mike Weaver returns at kicker after making 78.9 percent of 19 attempts.
Overall: Wake Forest doesn’t have any real expectations for such a young team and a coach that is pushing the right buttons but will need patience. Going from a three-win season to four or five victories should make Demon Deacons’ fans extremely happy. This team is just way too inexperienced on the offensive side of the ball to be taken seriously this season in an improved ACC.