Wake Forest Demon Deacons College Football Preview 2021: Keys To The Season
Wake Forest Demon Deacons Biggest Key: Offense
Get a wee bit more out of the ground attack. It’ll be tempting to keep on winging it around with Sam Hartman throwing to a terrific receiving corps, but when the offense wants to run it has to work.
The Demon Deacons were able to get yards here and there – they ran for over 200 yards against Virginia Tech and Campbell – but they averaged fewer than four yards per carry.
11-1 over the last 12 times the offense ran for 180 yards or more, good things happen for this attack when all the parts are working. But Wake Forest can win when the running yards aren’t quite coming in bulk – just rip off a few more big-littered here and there.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons Biggest Key: Defense
The pass rush has to be cranked up. The 2011 Demon Deacon defense came up with just 11 sacks and less than one per game. The D managed 20 or more in each of the next eight seasons, and last year the pass rush all fizzled.
Even with a terrific end in Boogie Basham and a few good playmakers behind the line – generating tackles for loss weren’t a problem – there just wasn’t enough pressure on passers.
There were a few sacks here and there – the defense steadily came up with about two a game – but the inability generate hits on the quarterback didn’t help a secondary that allowed 252 yards per game and struggled on third downs.
Average well over two per game again, and several other pieces will fall into place. And that’s why …
Wake Forest Demon Deacons Key Player To A Successful Season
DE Jacorey Johns, Soph.
The Demon Deacons don’t have another Basham on the end, but the 6-4, 251-pound Johns has just enough experience and potential to be the team’s top sack guy.
The pass rush will be there in the interior but if Johns can generate pressure on the outside, that takes the pressure off of everyone else. He came up with two sacks last season with 43 tackles and 6.5 tackles for loss after generating three sacks as a freshman.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons Key Game To The 2021 Season
Florida State, Sept. 18
Seven in a row. FSU has owned the series overall and won those seven straight after losing a few in a row, Wake Forest got the win in 2019 and the two didn’t play last year, and now it’s the ACC opener for both.
Assuming the Demon Deacons beat Old Dominion and Norfolk State to start the season, a 3-0 start would take a whole lot of pressure off with enough winnable games to follow to expect a sixth straight bowl season.
2020 Wake Forest Demon Deacons Fun Stats
– Opponent 1st Quarter Scoring: 48 – 2nd Quarter Scoring: 103
– Fumbles: Opponents 12 (lost 4) – Wake Forest 7 (lost 2)
– Time of Possession: Opponents 32:08 – Wake Forest 27:52