What You Need To Know About The Wake Forest Defense
– Even with all of the positives to last year’s defense, and even with an aggressive front that got into the backfield, the secondary was a disaster. The Demon Deacons were dead last in the ACC in pass defense – allowing 272 yards per game – but four of the five starters are back. Essang Bassey is a good corner, but top safety Jessie Bates is gone early to the NFL.
– Get into the backfield, keep getting into the backfield, and don’t stop getting into the backfield. The Demon Deacon D wasn’t anything amazing, and it won’t be again, but at least getting behind the line won’t be a problem.
Duke Ejiofor and the top three playmakers are done, but after cranking up 106 tackles for loss and 28 sacks, the system works. Defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel will keep bringing the house.
– The ends are a slight concern with Ejiofor the star of last year’s show, but the defensive tackle situation is terrific. Losing linebackers Grant Dawson and Jaboree Williams hurts – they were second and third on the team in tackles, respectively – but there’s talent to get interested in.
Justin Strnad emerged as a possible star this spring after coming up with 51 tackles, and there are plenty of other options in the 4-2-5 alignment.
Biggest Key To The Wake Forest Defense
The secondary has to stop getting bombed on. The pass D was awful, and it could’ve been a whole lot worse, but games against Boston College and Georgia Tech kept the numbers a wee bit lower. Everyone else – especially over the second half of the season – fired away at will.
The Demon Deacons allowing 327 yards or more in each of their last six games. The picks were there – with eight in those games – but regular stops weren’t.