Posted on: March 6, 2012 2:22 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Wake Forest.
Spring Practice Starts: TBD (March 1 and March 3 practices were delayed, March 6 is the next scheduled practice)
Spring Game: April 14
Three Things To Look For:
1. Tanner Price finding new favorite target. One of the things that made Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price so successful in 2011 was his ability to distribute the ball from the spread and allow the skill position players to make plays in the open field. No player did so more prolifically than wide receiver Chris Givens, who led the ACC with 1,330 yards and totaled nine touchdowns before deciding to leave a year early for the NFL. The Demon Deacons return junior wideout Michael Campanaro - who racked up 833 receiving yards of his own - but will be looking for another player to step up as that second option in the spread attack. Head coach Jim Grobe has already singled out Terence Davis, a redshirt senior who has battled through injury during his first season's at Wake Forest, as one player expected to step up this season.
2. Replacing four starters on the offensive line. Wake Forest's biggest offensive concern heading into the year lies along the offensive line. The Demon Deacons aren't just replacing four starters, but three redshirt seniors and All-ACC second team guard Joe Looney. Center Garrick Williams is the only returning starter, and the coaches will be looking for some players to step up this spring. Grobe believes this is a talented and athletic group, but nearly every other position will be up for grabs this spring. Redshirt junior Steven Chase is one player to keep an eye on this spring. The 6-foot-7, 305 pound left tackle will be an important piece in establishing the line and pass protecting for Tanner Price.
3. Breaking in new faces on the coaching staff. Head coach Jim Grobe is one of the most tenured coaches in the ACC at his current post, and staff shakeups have not been normal since his arrival in Winston-Salem over a decade ago. The Demon Deacons entire 2012 with a pair of new hires, and some slight rearranging of the duties on the coaching staff. Jonathan Himebauch, of the CFL's Toronto Argonauts, will coach the offensive line, allowing Steed Lebotzke to focus on his responsibilities as offensive coordinator. Derrick Jackson has also been brought on to assist with the outside linebackers, which should take some weight off of defensive coordinator Brian Knorr. Grobe feels confident these additions will be improvements, but spring practice will be crucial as the entire staff adjusts to the new responsibilities. Steve Russ recently left Wake Forest to return to his alma mater Air Force, and the defensive back duties will reportedly be taken by soon-to-be hired Tim Duffie from Colorado State.
Catch up on the rest of the ACC and BCS conferences at the Spring Practice Home
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Tags: Chip Patterson, Chris Givens, Derrick Johnson, Garrick Williams, Jim Grobe, Joe Looney, Jonathan Himebauch, Josh Harris, Michael Campanaro, Spring Practice Dates, Spring Practice Preview, Spring Practice Previews, Spring Practice Primer, Spring Practice Primers, Spring Practice Schedule, Steed Lebotzke, Steven Chase, Tanner Price, Terence Davis, Wake Forest, Wake Forest Spring Practice Preview, Wake Forest Spring Preview
Posted on: October 8, 2011 4:24 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
WAKE FOREST WON. Even with an off-week to get healthy and prepare, the Seminoles were caught off guard on their road trip to Winston-Salem to face Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons rattled redshirt freshman quarterback Clint Trickett, who was making his second career start, and built a lead that could not be overcome even with the return of EJ Manuel. Trickett threw two interceptions and fumbled once before being replaced by Manuel, who saw his first action since injuring his shoulder against Oklahoma. Tanner Price picked apart the Florida State back seven, completing 21 of 35 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns. Most importantly, he threw no interceptions. Josh Harris also ran for 136 yards on 13 carries, with a highlight reel 57-yard scamper to set up Wake Forest's final touchdown.
HOW WAKE FOREST WON: Wake Forest's defense was relentless all afternoon. Whether the Florida State attack was led by Clint Trickett or EJ Manuel, the Demon Deacons were swarming to the ball and getting their hands in the air to force turnovers. Half of the four interceptions were a result of batted balls, and the awareness of the defense led to the momentum-swinging takeaways. Both teams were competitive statistically, but the turnover margin was the difference in this game and the reason Wake Forest found themselves victorious for the fourth game in a row.
WHEN WAKE FOREST WON: Florida State continued to push for four quarters, right up to the final touchdown with less than a minute remaining. But EJ Manuel's interception with 6:21 remaining as the Seminoles were driving down 11 brought FSU's turnover count for the game to "one too many to win."
WHAT WAKE FOREST WON: Belief that they can contend for an ACC title. The first two conference victories were against arguably inferior opponents, and did little to legitimize the Demon Deacons as contenders. But with three victories over Atlantic Division opponents and Florida State in the rearview, Wake Forest has put themselves in a position to contend with Clemson for a berth to the ACC Championship Game.
WHAT FLORIDA STATE LOST: Their third straight game. Their status as ACC title contenders. Possibly some self confidence. Saturday's meeting with Wake Forest was supposed to get the Seminoles back on track after dropping two straight. EJ Manuel appears ready to play again, but his return comes as the window of opportunity is closing. The Seminoles will now need to run the table and get some help if they want to return to the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte.
THAT WAS CRAZY: Wake Forest's first touchdown came on a 30-yard pass from wide receiver Michael Campanaro to Terence Davis. The trick play is just one of several options the Demon Deacons' offense presents when they run sweeps, reverses, and options. Campanaro has been productive when given the opportunity to throw, completing 3/3 passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns. His inflated passing efficiency is 616.8.
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