Wake Fan Here...what to look for on Thursday | Syracusefan.com

Wake Fan Here...what to look for on Thursday

RaleighDeac

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Greetings. I take it everyone has gotten as little sleep as me over the past few nights. Ready to kick-off the season! Good luck on Thursday night. Should be a good one.

I've got some free time this morning thanks to Irene so figured I could give a little insight into what to expect from little ole' wake forest on Thursday night. I attended the two pre-season scrimmages and know a few of the players and one of the coaches. I have a pretty good idea of what we bring to the table Thursday night:

Defense--

The defense is completely revamped from last year's experiment in awful. We add a new scheme, reorganization of coordinator responsibilities and several new and much more athletic players. We transition from a 4-3 to the 3-4 to utilize our fastest players at linebacker. We tried out the new scheme in the final game of the 2010 season against a mediocre Vanderbilt team and destroyed them with mostly second string players. Last year's defense was comprised of mostly back-up talent and true freshmen due to injury in skill positions. Don't let last year's stats fool you. We did have some stand-out players such as Kyle Wilber (future NFL-er) and Nikita Whitlock (sophomore nose guard--#1 Defensive player in Texas 5A in 2008) but mostly role players who ended up having to start. The true freshmen players return and we add a few very talented redshirt freshmen to the starting line-up. The true freshmen that burned their shirts last year weren't as talented as the guys who red-shirted. That was a huge point of contention among our fan base last year. We are all pumped to see the new talent finally make it on the field. These are the guys who signed with Wake after the Orange bowl year.

What to look for on defense--

D-line...could go either way. Nikita Whitlock is a beast at NG. He is short for a NG but every opponent we played last year said in post game pressers that he was the quickest D-lineman they had ever seen. The other D-lineman (Dorty and Souza) are solid but unproven. You guys are catching a big break b/c our second best D-lineman is out for the first three games with a bum knee. Right now, I'm expecting a decent pass rush and an average rush defense. Syracuse's big O-line should cause some match-up problems for us in this respect.

Linebackers--definitely the strength of our D. Expect multiple blitz packages. Outside linebackers are lightning fast and the inside backers are violent tacklers and love contact. Don't be surprised to see a blitz on every play. This is the most aggressive Wake linebacker core I've ever seen but also very young. This is the group that will lead us to the promise land again. Probably not this year but definitely by 2012 or 13 season. Of course, the orange bowl year, Curry and Arnoux (now Seahawks and Saints) were both redshirt soph's so could be an exciting year if our new guys gain some confidence early.

DB's...could go either way. Our safeties are very experienced--both seniors. They struggled last year alongside our inexperienced CB's. The CB's are more athletic than last year but still a bit green. They looked 100 times better in the preseason this year than last year but only time will tell how they handle the bright lights.

New players to watch for on D--inside linebacker Justin Jackson tore his ACL in game one last year--he is near 100% and is the second-coming of Aaron Curry for us. Word is he is as fast as Curry and just needs to add some bulk to reach elite status. He will be rotating in and out at inside linebacker. We also add two highly touted redshirt freshmen to the line-up--Zach Allen and Merrill "Bud" Noel both from Pahokee high school in Florida. Allen was one of the top linebackers in Florida coming out of high school and "Bud" was a top 15 DB in Florida and was coached by the same d-coordinator who coached Alphonso Smith. Expect big things from Allen. He has looked unstoppable from the outside linebacker in pre-season scrimmages. Have no idea why his shirt wasn't pulled last year but extra-prep is how Grobe gets the most out of his talent. Noel has looked very good but is raw talent. Also listen for the name Daniel Mack at the free safety position. Kid is young but will take your head off--violent hitter.

Offense--

Our fan base is more excited about this offense than any in recent years. We have 5 guys starting on offense that run a sub-4.5 forty time. Josh Harris our TB has been getting mentions on several sites as a dark horse heisman candidate. Kid can flat out motor and he is strong as an ox. He put up 241 yards against Virginia Tech last year (most against VT in the Beamer-era) and our O-line is much improved (potentially) this year. If he can stay healthy we expect him to rush for well over 1000 yards this year. His back-up Brandon Pendergrass is a seasoned veteran who is just as capable as Harris between the tackles but not as explosive on the corners. Expect the run to be our bread and butter.

QB--Tanner Price returns after starting his true freshman year. In preseason he looked like an all-american quarterback--throwing 40 yard passes downfield on the run. He is still young and needs O-line support but we expect him to blossom this year. He has a cannon of an arm and is rarely inaccurate. We really saw in preseason this year why he was so highly touted in HS. He started at Drew Bree's former school and led them to the 5A state championship. Coaches say he has mastered the playbook this year and should blossom into an all-ACC caliber QB.

WR's--the position with the most depth on the team. We have 7 guys who could potentially start at this position. All of them are lightning fast and the two the redshirt freshmen (James and Terry) look like small forwards--very tall and long arms. Look for Michael Campanero and Chris Givens to get the most snaps. Also look for potential star Terrance Davis--he was the best player on the team in preseason in 2009 but tore his ACL in the final scrimmage--long rehab and finally 100%. Word from preseason camp is he may be the best player on the offensive side of the ball but he has never seen any snaps due to injury. If Tanner Price gets decent protection from the O-Line, there's a lot of confidence from coaches and fans that we will light it up this year. Best core of WR's we've ever had. Period. Yet, again--minus Givens--they are young.

O-Line--the big question. Wake finally has solid players at all of the offensive skill positions but can we get any blocking up front? If the O-Line plays like they have looked in preseason this will be a great offensive year for us. If they collapse to 2009 and 2010 proportions, then its going to be a long year for the Wake offense and you will get to know Alex Wulfeck's name very well--he is our punter.

New players to look for on offense--Terrance Davis, Matt James, Brandon Terry, and the speedy Lovell Jackson. Note on Jackson--against Stanford in 2009, his first play ever on the field as a redshirt freshman, he sprinted past the entire secondary and scored on a 73 yard touchdown pass. Didn't see the field much last year (doghouse) but has reemerged in preseason as a great return man and WR. Kid runs a sub-4.4.

Kicking game--solid kicker. Punter is up for question. We have two guys that are golden about 50% of the time. Seen quite a few shanks in preseason too. We have a freshman punter from Austrailia who can boot it about 65 yards and a 5.5 second hang time. No joke. The kid was a rugby all-star in Australia. But he's had trouble catching the snap in "live" game situations. Once he gets the nerves worked out he'll be a great asset. He tried to take a snap in the third scrimmage last week and the ball went completely untouched. as for now, he isn't the starting punter.

Overall--talent wise this is the best group of kids Wake has ever fielded. We are a completely different team scheme wise and personnel wise than last year but we are very young and lack a lot of real game experience. I won't be surprised if your veteran offensive skill players (Nassib, etc) really take it to our DB's. I expect us to put 25+ on the board but not until the second half. I think it will take our guys a while to warm up on the road. I think we'll do a great job of stopping the rush but your pass game will eventually wear us down.

My realistic prediction--31-27 Syracuse. Although--we definitely have the talent to put up huge numbers on offense; so don't be surprised if the final score is something like 42-31 Wake.
 

690West

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Thanks for the write-up. I hope you're being overly optimistic with some of your offensive predictions , cuz your write up made me dang nervous.
 

Cuseman78

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Excellent post and thanks for the info -- looking forward to Thursday night
 

OrangeMojo

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Thanks for the write-up. I hope you're being overly optimistic with some of your offensive predictions , cuz your write up made me dang nervous.
seems that every year one of the OOC fans comes on the board and their write-up of their team makes it sound like SU is about to go up against the 2001 Miami Hurricanes.

I do appreciate the info, it was a good read, but there's definitely a bit of Rutgers Al built in there as well.
 

ImperialOrange

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Thanks for the write up! If you'll be making the trip to the dome I'd have a cold beer (or beers) waiting for you in skytop lot for your troubles.

Don't have anything bad to say about Wake Forest, and wish you guys the best of luck every game but the first one!
 

Fjoinkay

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My impression is that the SU coaching staff is very concerned about this game. SU football would benefit a great deal from a solid win on Thursday. Beyond that, Winston Salem is a very nice place, and I wish Wake well in the ACC.
 

sdpenny32

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Im curious to see how Macky performs against this NT you are raving about. Macky's biggest asset is his speed and quickness so if he cannot handle Whitlock it will be reason for concern at center all season.
 

Dnyr85

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Good write up! Thanks for posting. Good luck Thursday.

I am also curious to see how Macky handles this NT.
 

rrlbees

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Good job Wake fan. Looking forward to a good injury free game with the Orange coming out on top.
 
T

tipphill

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My impression is that the SU coaching staff is very concerned about this game. SU football would benefit a great deal from a solid win on Thursday. Beyond that, Winston Salem is a very nice place, and I wish Wake well in the ACC.

absolutely they are-- as per hcdm he is wary of their OVERALL team speed particularly the rb, and wr as well as their offensive line.we will be prepared but overall talent will determine this outcome
 

MikeSU02

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Im curious to see how Macky performs against this NT you are raving about. Macky's biggest asset is his speed and quickness so if he cannot handle Whitlock it will be reason for concern at center all season.

This is what worries me the most when we are on O.

When we are on D, we need to step up and stop the run.
 

DocFlanders

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lots of violence and spped in that writeup...just kidding...good luck, thanks for stopping by
 

sdpenny32

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Wake's team speed on offense is not a major concern for me. All preseason the criticism of the defense has been the lack of size and experience. Speed has never been in question. If the upperclassmen provide the veteran leadership we need on the defensive side of the ball, Wake should not be a problem for this young defense.
 

Finwad32

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Rest assured, the coaching staff will not be overlooking the opponent. Good to see a Wake fan stopping by, but I feel we'll be prepared. Very excited and confident to kick off this season.
 

Upstate

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I think Mackey will have an easier time with this DT than any other in the BCS. No-knock, but Mackey is a speed center. He is very quick and quite strong just doesn't have exceptional size. He will have an easier time with a speed rusher than a bull rusher.
 

DNABB5

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Thanks for the write up wake guy. I've neen waiting for payback since 2006 when we were nice enough to you guys to break Ben Mauks arm so Skinner could work his magic year.

Here is to no injuries Thursday, but I am not wishing you luck.
 
T

tipphill

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i am guessing we see screens, some option, half back passes and draws
 

CaliCuse

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Greetings. I take it everyone has gotten as little sleep as me over the past few nights. Ready to kick-off the season! Good luck on Thursday night. Should be a good one.

I've got some free time this morning thanks to Irene so figured I could give a little insight into what to expect from little ole' wake forest on Thursday night. I attended the two pre-season scrimmages and know a few of the players and one of the coaches. I have a pretty good idea of what we bring to the table Thursday night:

Defense--

The defense is completely revamped from last year's experiment in awful. We add a new scheme, reorganization of coordinator responsibilities and several new and much more athletic players. We transition from a 4-3 to the 3-4 to utilize our fastest players at linebacker. We tried out the new scheme in the final game of the 2010 season against a mediocre Vanderbilt team and destroyed them with mostly second string players. Last year's defense was comprised of mostly back-up talent and true freshmen due to injury in skill positions. Don't let last year's stats fool you. We did have some stand-out players such as Kyle Wilber (future NFL-er) and Nikita Whitlock (sophomore nose guard--#1 Defensive player in Texas 5A in 2008) but mostly role players who ended up having to start. The true freshmen players return and we add a few very talented redshirt freshmen to the starting line-up. The true freshmen that burned their shirts last year weren't as talented as the guys who red-shirted. That was a huge point of contention among our fan base last year. We are all pumped to see the new talent finally make it on the field. These are the guys who signed with Wake after the Orange bowl year.

What to look for on defense--

D-line...could go either way. Nikita Whitlock is a beast at NG. He is short for a NG but every opponent we played last year said in post game pressers that he was the quickest D-lineman they had ever seen. The other D-lineman (Dorty and Souza) are solid but unproven. You guys are catching a big break b/c our second best D-lineman is out for the first three games with a bum knee. Right now, I'm expecting a decent pass rush and an average rush defense. Syracuse's big O-line should cause some match-up problems for us in this respect.

Linebackers--definitely the strength of our D. Expect multiple blitz packages. Outside linebackers are lightning fast and the inside backers are violent tacklers and love contact. Don't be surprised to see a blitz on every play. This is the most aggressive Wake linebacker core I've ever seen but also very young. This is the group that will lead us to the promise land again. Probably not this year but definitely by 2012 or 13 season. Of course, the orange bowl year, Curry and Arnoux (now Seahawks and Saints) were both redshirt soph's so could be an exciting year if our new guys gain some confidence early.

DB's...could go either way. Our safeties are very experienced--both seniors. They struggled last year alongside our inexperienced CB's. The CB's are more athletic than last year but still a bit green. They looked 100 times better in the preseason this year than last year but only time will tell how they handle the bright lights.

New players to watch for on D--inside linebacker Justin Jackson tore his ACL in game one last year--he is near 100% and is the second-coming of Aaron Curry for us. Word is he is as fast as Curry and just needs to add some bulk to reach elite status. He will be rotating in and out at inside linebacker. We also add two highly touted redshirt freshmen to the line-up--Zach Allen and Merrill "Bud" Noel both from Pahokee high school in Florida. Allen was one of the top linebackers in Florida coming out of high school and "Bud" was a top 15 DB in Florida and was coached by the same d-coordinator who coached Alphonso Smith. Expect big things from Allen. He has looked unstoppable from the outside linebacker in pre-season scrimmages. Have no idea why his shirt wasn't pulled last year but extra-prep is how Grobe gets the most out of his talent. Noel has looked very good but is raw talent. Also listen for the name Daniel Mack at the free safety position. Kid is young but will take your head off--violent hitter.

Offense--

Our fan base is more excited about this offense than any in recent years. We have 5 guys starting on offense that run a sub-4.5 forty time. Josh Harris our TB has been getting mentions on several sites as a dark horse heisman candidate. Kid can flat out motor and he is strong as an ox. He put up 241 yards against Virginia Tech last year (most against VT in the Beamer-era) and our O-line is much improved (potentially) this year. If he can stay healthy we expect him to rush for well over 1000 yards this year. His back-up Brandon Pendergrass is a seasoned veteran who is just as capable as Harris between the tackles but not as explosive on the corners. Expect the run to be our bread and butter.

QB--Tanner Price returns after starting his true freshman year. In preseason he looked like an all-american quarterback--throwing 40 yard passes downfield on the run. He is still young and needs O-line support but we expect him to blossom this year. He has a cannon of an arm and is rarely inaccurate. We really saw in preseason this year why he was so highly touted in HS. He started at Drew Bree's former school and led them to the 5A state championship. Coaches say he has mastered the playbook this year and should blossom into an all-ACC caliber QB.

WR's--the position with the most depth on the team. We have 7 guys who could potentially start at this position. All of them are lightning fast and the two the redshirt freshmen (James and Terry) look like small forwards--very tall and long arms. Look for Michael Campanero and Chris Givens to get the most snaps. Also look for potential star Terrance Davis--he was the best player on the team in preseason in 2009 but tore his ACL in the final scrimmage--long rehab and finally 100%. Word from preseason camp is he may be the best player on the offensive side of the ball but he has never seen any snaps due to injury. If Tanner Price gets decent protection from the O-Line, there's a lot of confidence from coaches and fans that we will light it up this year. Best core of WR's we've ever had. Period. Yet, again--minus Givens--they are young.

O-Line--the big question. Wake finally has solid players at all of the offensive skill positions but can we get any blocking up front? If the O-Line plays like they have looked in preseason this will be a great offensive year for us. If they collapse to 2009 and 2010 proportions, then its going to be a long year for the Wake offense and you will get to know Alex Wulfeck's name very well--he is our punter.

New players to look for on offense--Terrance Davis, Matt James, Brandon Terry, and the speedy Lovell Jackson. Note on Jackson--against Stanford in 2009, his first play ever on the field as a redshirt freshman, he sprinted past the entire secondary and scored on a 73 yard touchdown pass. Didn't see the field much last year (doghouse) but has reemerged in preseason as a great return man and WR. Kid runs a sub-4.4.

Kicking game--solid kicker. Punter is up for question. We have two guys that are golden about 50% of the time. Seen quite a few shanks in preseason too. We have a freshman punter from Austrailia who can boot it about 65 yards and a 5.5 second hang time. No joke. The kid was a rugby all-star in Australia. But he's had trouble catching the snap in "live" game situations. Once he gets the nerves worked out he'll be a great asset. He tried to take a snap in the third scrimmage last week and the ball went completely untouched. as for now, he isn't the starting punter.

Overall--talent wise this is the best group of kids Wake has ever fielded. We are a completely different team scheme wise and personnel wise than last year but we are very young and lack a lot of real game experience. I won't be surprised if your veteran offensive skill players (Nassib, etc) really take it to our DB's. I expect us to put 25+ on the board but not until the second half. I think it will take our guys a while to warm up on the road. I think we'll do a great job of stopping the rush but your pass game will eventually wear us down.

My realistic prediction--31-27 Syracuse. Although--we definitely have the talent to put up huge numbers on offense; so don't be surprised if the final score is something like 42-31 Wake.
 

Fjoinkay

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The only concern I have with the Wake speed on offense is that they use have been successful using mis-direction plays in the past. SU's defense can give up big plays when it is over-aggressive, and the young linebackers even though they have speed are at risk. I expect SU to attack and blitz as it usually does, but maybe not right away. Early on it will be interesting to see if our D-line can control the line of scrimmage. If that happens I will feel very good about our chances. If not, we may need the offense to score points like it's the Pinstripe Bowl. Either way, I'd love to see the offense score points like it's the Pinstripe Bowl.
 

CaliCuse

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Do we stand a chance against the most powerful team in the country? I'm not taking Wake lightly but reading everything about them makes them out to be bigger the Hurricane Irene. Has there ever been a better defense? Constant blitzing? Who does that ? I guess they do . Its going to be another nightmare opener for the Orangemen anther fans at the Dome. I'm thinking that the 40K+ fans will be heading out by the third quarter.
 

DNABB5

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Ummmmm...we are glad to see you here Cali.

Is that you in the chair in front of a Delorean?
 

dollarbill44

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Do we stand a chance against the most powerful team in the country? I'm not taking Wake lightly but reading everything about them makes them out to be bigger the Hurricane Irene. Has there ever been a better defense? Constant blitzing? Who does that ? I guess they do . Its going to be another nightmare opener for the Orangemen anther fans at the Dome. I'm thinking that the 40K+ fans will be heading out by the third quarter.
It's actually a pretty good game if the Dome fans are still around by the 3rd quarter. It's one thing I both hate and like about games at the Dome. I can always move up to the 50 yard line by the end of the 3rd and I don't have to deal with traffic after. But it's maddening to have the place empty when the game is still in doubt.
 

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