Back ACC Season Preview: Wake Forest

Back To ACC

ACC Season Preview: Wake Forest

By Matt Osborne
SouthernPigskin.com
Follow us at Twitter.com/SouthernPigskin.  Become a fan at the SouthernPigskin.com Facebook Page

With a more experienced roster, Wake Forest could be in for a successful 2013 season.

Coach: Jim Grobe (73-74, entering 13th season; 106-107-1 overall)

2012 season: 5-7 (3-5, fourth in the ACC Atlantic Division)

Looking back: After building a successful program based around the concept of utilizing as many veteran players as possible, Jim Grobe was forced to play a multitude of inexperienced underclassmen last fall. The result was a disappointing 5-7 campaign, the Demon Deacons’ fourth consecutive season which ended with a losing record. The offense managed a mere 18.5 points per game in 2012, the worst average of any team in the conference.

Offensive starters returning: 8

Defensive starters returning: 8

RELATED: Wake Forest is hoping to get back to the basics on offense

Top returnees: Tanner Price, QB; Nikita Whitlock, NG; Michael Campanaro, WR

Key losses: Tommy Bohanon, FB; Joey Ehrmann, LB; Chibuikem Okoro, CB

Strengths: Although the offense struggled mightily a year ago, the Demon Deacons should have success passing the football in 2013. Tanner Price will be a four-year starter under center, while receiver Michael Campanaro finished third in the ACC with 79 receptions last fall. Wake Forest also has a number of young receivers who appear poised for breakout seasons, including Sherman Ragland and Deandre Martin.

Weaknesses: Despite returning four starters along the offensive front, Wake Forest still could have significant problems on the line. Injuries, transfers and a number of other variables have put the Demon Deacons’ offensive line in flux heading into the season.

The Demon Deacons were 10th in the conference in passing defense last fall and lost their best and most experienced defensive back in Chibuikem Okoro.

RELATED: Tanner Price is the unquestioned leader of the Demon Deacons

Outlook/Prediction: Throughout his career, when Jim Grobe has had experience on his roster, he has generally turned that into success. With 16 starters returning, Wake Forest should be much better than it was just a mere season ago. The team is not good enough to compete for the division crown, but it is good enough to potentially finish third and earn a bowl invite.

2013 Schedule

Aug. 29 vs. Presbyterian 6:30 p.m. ESPN3

Sept. 6 at Boston College 8:00 p.m. ESPN or ESPN2

Sept. 14 vs. Louisiana-Monroe 12:30 p.m. RSN

Sept. 21 at Army 12:00 p.m. CBS Sports Network

Sept. 28 at Clemson

Oct. 5 vs. NC State

Oct. 19 vs. Maryland

Oct. 26 at Miami

Nov. 2 at Syracuse

Nov. 9 vs. Florida State

Nov. 23 vs. Duke

Nov. 30 at Vanderbilt

* Bold denotes home game

Previous ACC Season Previews

Boston College

Clemson

Duke

Florida State

Georgia Tech

Maryland

Miami

North Carolina

NC State

Pittsburgh

Syracuse

Virginia

Virginia Tech

Matt Osborne - Matt Osborne currently serves as the director of recruiting and lead editor for Southern Pigskin. His work has been published in a number of national publications, including USA Today. Although he loves all levels of football, Matt's number one joy in his life is his relationship with Jesus Christ. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattOsborne200. For media requests, please email Matt at matt@southernpigskin.com.