Coach Jim Grobe enters year 12 in Winston-Salem, and he is trying to get his program moving back in the right direction. Wake Forest went to a bowl game for the first time since 2008 last year but still finished with a losing record. Here are the best and worst case scenarios for the Demon Deacons:
Best case: Wake Forest takes advantage of an easy first half schedule that features a trip to Tallahassee to take on Florida State. After beating the Seminoles last year, Florida State is ready, but Wake Forest still starts the season 5-1. The offensive line keeps quarterback Tanner Price on his feet, and the defense led by nose guard Nikita Whitlock takes a step forward. The Demon Deacons finish the regular season 8-4, winning three of their final six in a tough stretch that features five opponents that made a bowl in 2011.
Worst case: The season-ending ACL injury to offensive tackle Steven Chase is too much for the offensive line to overcome, and Price, who was sacked 35 times in 2011, is constantly facing pressure. Defensively, Wake Forest still can't put pressure on the quarterback. The Demon Deacons lose two of their first three games and drop five of their final six. Wake Forest finishes the season 4-8, the program's fourth consecutive season with a losing record.
Last year's best case: Wake Forest was just three points away from playing for the ACC championship, but the Demon Deacons lost a heartbreaker at Clemson 31-28 in November. The Demon Deacons beat Flroida State at home and started the season 4-1.
Last year's worst case: In the team's final six games, Wake Forest won just one game. That win came at home against Maryland, which finished the season 2-10. In that stretch, the Demon Deacons lost by 25 at North Carolina and by 34 at home to Vanderbilt.
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