2009 Total Offense Rank (yards per game): 41
2009 Total Defense Rank (yards per game): 75
The departure of four year starting quarterback Riley Skinner is a serious blow to Wake Forest. The team regressed in 2009, winning only five games, after an eight win season in 2008. With no quarterback on the roster that has thrown a pass in a collegiate game before, who will emerge to lead this team?
Junior quarterback Skylar Jones is expected to be the new man under center this season, trying to fill the large shoes of Riley Skinner. Skinner threw for over 3,100 yards and 26 touchdowns last season. Jones, along with fellow quarterbacks sophomore Ted Stachitas and redshirt freshman Brendan Cross, have never thrown a pass in college game before. To say that this group is inexperienced is an understatement. Luckily for them, they have a terrific wide receiving trio. Marshall Williams, Devon Brown and Chris Givens combined for 166 catches, 2,167 yards and 20 touchdowns. All three return and should be a safety net for a young quarterback.
To ease the transition at quarterback, Wake Forest will try to become more of a running team. Senior running back Josh Adams returns after leading the team with 541 yards rushing. The total is low, but his 4.8 yards per carry is proof that he can produce when given the opportunity. The offensive line returns only two starters from a year ago and has little depth. If they have a hard time up front, Adams and the new quarterback will have very little margin for error.
The defense will have a hard time replacing starting defensive tackles Boo Robinson and John Russell. Ramon Booi and Frank Souza will try to step in and control the line. Defensive end Kyle Wilber will be back to provide a speed rush after missing much of last season with injuries. Joey Ehrmann was second on the team in sacks from his linebacker position and should again help in the pass rush. Josh Bush and Kenny Okoro, the team leader in interceptions, will man the corner spots. Chyl Quarles, the team’s leading returning tackler, will start at strong safety.
The Demon Deacons will have a hard time succeeding while their quarterback experiences growing pains. The receivers are great, but with a shaky quarterback and a weak offensive line, the team will have a hard time putting points on the board and winning football games.
Wake Forest’s odds to win the ACC: + 3000
College Teams: Wake Forest Demon Deacons
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