Following a brutal 35-18 loss to North Texas last week, Army looks to rebound against a Wake Forest team that lost to Florida State last week. The loss to the Seminoles was the Demon Deacons’ second loss of the season. Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford draws comparison to Army’s Ahmad Bradshaw. Coach Dave Clawson likes running read-option plays. Wolford has scored 5 rushing touchdowns on keeper plays. The Demon Deacons’ rushing defense ranks in the top 20 nationally. This could pose as a problem for Army tailbacks Andy Davidson and Darnell Woolfolk, who were held to 70 and 36 yards respectively, last week against North Texas.
Army and Wake Forest have a lot at stake in Winston-Salem, NC, on Saturday. Army is looking to build on a 5-3 record, which could start discussions of Army’s chances at a bowl game in December or January. Wake Forest could have a shot at the AP Top 25 rankings with a win over the Black Knights.
Today we discuss this weekend’s matchup between the Army Black Knights and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, with writer Jake Sloan of Blogger So Dear on the SB Nation network.
UDD Army Writer Jake Schmied: Wake Forest freshman tailback Cade Carney has accumulated 4 TDs. Is the freshman the primary goal line back for the Demon Deacons?
Blogger So Dear’s Jake Sloan: Cade is the primary back in all situations except for obvious passing downs when Tyler Bell comes in for blocking purposes. Carney missed a couple games, but the true freshman has shown great flashes early in his career. He has a knack for finding extra yards and plowing through contact while also having good open field speed. Army's strong rush defense will be a good test for Cade and the Deacon OL.
UDD Army Writer Jake Schmied: Quarterback John Wolford has averaged a 55% completion rating, and has averaged over 40 yards per game. He has 5 rushing TDs. Where does Coach Dave Clawson utilize Wolford the most?
Blogger So Dear’s Jake Sloan: You'll definitely see a few designed runs and read-option looks for Wolford, but more often he will be focused on the short and intermediate passing game. His favorite target, TE Cam Serigne, missed the Florida State game but should be ready to go this weekend. Look for plenty of attempts to both Serigne and WR Cortez Lewis.
UDD Army Writer Jake Schmied: The Wake Forest defensive line is underrated. Duke Ejiofor ranks in the top 10 in sacks. How has the defensive line improved from last season?
Blogger So Dear’s Jake Sloan: The main thing is health. Ejiofor missed several games last season, but has been able to tough out some minor injuries to make a ton of plays this season. Fellow DL Josh Banks and LB Marquel Lee have also been strong thus far, which only helps Duke stay on the attack. Due to the nature of Army's offense, I think you'll hear a lot more of Lee's name this Saturday.
UDD Army Writer Jake Schmied: Army's rushing defense is ranked eighth in the nation; they possess a strong secondary. If the Demon Deacons throw the ball more, who would be their primary target?
Blogger So Dear’s Jake Sloan: I already mentioned above, but Cam Serigne and Cortez Lewis will likely be the main targets. Another couple small, shiftier guys that can make plays after the catch are Tabari Hines and Chuck Wade. Wake uses many different WRs, as no one other than Lewis has really established themselves consistently.
UDD Army Writer Jake Schmied: Will Wake Forest use different defensive schemes given Army's triple option?
Blogger So Dear’s Jake Sloan: For the most part I think it will be business as usual for the Deacs. This season Wake's run defense has been extremely stout, while the pass defense has allowed a few big games. On paper this seems like a favorable matchup. There may be a few more rotations among the linebackers, as I think Thomas Brown and Demetrius Kemp will need to have strong games.
UDD Army Writer Jake Schmied: What are the keys to a Wake Forest victory?
Blogger So Dear’s Jake Sloan: On defense, as is the case with all triple option teams, the Deacs will need to get Army off schedule and force long third downs. Forcing a couple turnovers on the outside pitches would be advantageous as well, as Army coughed it up an astounding 7 times last week.
On offense, I think sustaining drives will be a key. While they don't always need to end in points, flipping the field and giving the defense a rest will be important. If Wake RB Carney can carve out some yards in the running game, it will open up some space in the middle for the receivers as well.
Here's to a well-played, injury free game!