We are very fortunate to have SB Nation's network of team-specific sites with which to work during game weeks. This installment of the Opponent Q&A series features SBN's Demon Deacs site Blogger So Dear. Editor GriffKurz dropped by to answer our questions about this year's Wake squad before FSU's Saturday trip to Winston-Salem.
TN: The Demon Deacons have started Dave Clawson's second year at the helm with wins over Elon and Army, and losses to Syracuse and Indiana. What were your expectations for the team entering the season, and have they changed after the first four weeks?
BSD: Last season, the new coaching staff totally knocked the house. This season, they are building a stable foundation for a consistent bowl contender in the coming years. As onlookers of the program, we understand this. We did not have a win total set as a "goal." Our main goal was substantial improvement. Do home builders discuss the color of the front door or the two car garage when the house frame is still under construction?
TN: The Wake Forest offense has been led by quarterbacks John Wolford and Kendall Hinton. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each player, and which one do you think (and/or hope) plays against the ‘Noles?
BSD: If John Wolford is healthy, he is absolutely the starter. This whole "controversy" is media-driven and blown far out of proportions. The sophomore Wolford is surprisingly athletic and he exposes defenses through his accuracy in short-to-intermediate routes. Wolford is adept at reading defenses and taking what the coverage is giving him. On the other hand, Kendall Hinton has displayed premiere playmaking prowess in the past two games. Hinton often uses his legs to avoid the constant pressure. However, the game is still at pinball speed for the freshmen, who missed some easy intermediate throws. When Wolford is healthy, expect Dave Clawson & Co to produce some intriguing wildcat-style options featuring Hinton.
TN: What have the Demon Deacons done well on offense so far, and how do you expect them to attack the FSU defense?
BSD: This is 100 percent dependent on who the quarterback is. No joke. Given: Our offensive line stops as many defenders as a revolving door. This eliminates the risk of running the ball. Thus, the Demon Deacon offense curtails to the QB's strengths. With Wolford at the helm, the Deacs meticulously sliced down the field by dinking and dunking. Knowing he has no time for deep routes, he quickly gets the ball in the hands of playmakers KJ Brent, Cortez Lewis and Tabari Hines. Meanwhile, Hinton gets out of the pocket and slices the defense up with his elusiveness on the ground.
TN: The Deacs featured a strong defense in 2014. How have they fared thus far in 2015, and what does Mike Elko like to do schematically?
BSD: In 2014, we had starred one of the best CB tandems in the nation (Kevin Johnson- 1st rd pick, Merrill Noel- signed by the Bills). Both studs were on an island the entire game and still managed to limit the top wide-outs. This year, we feature one of the ACC's top linebacking corps of Brandon Chubb, Marquel Lee and Hunter Williams. Overall, Wake's front seven is stout against the run. The inexperienced secondary can be exposed by long pass plays, however. For whether we prefer man-to-man or zone, ask your boy Jimbo Fisher.
Jimbo Fisher says Wake Forest plays a lot of man and a lot of zone.— Bud Elliott (@TomahawkNation) September 28, 2015
TN: In which match-ups are you confident against the FSU offense, and which concern you?
BSD: Ummm... next question?? Wake has had a bend-not-break defense thus far. With its stout front seven, I can see them holding FSU to some short Aguayo bombs. But yes, next question please. I'm sweating already.
TN: Are there any unmentioned playmakers for the Demon Deacons that Florida State fans should have their eyes on?
BSD: One to note specifically is Cam Serigne. He is a squeaky quick and strong tight end who has strong hands. Named to Freshman All-America Team last year, he continues to be a dynamic aerial threat in the middle of the field. He is the ideal safety blanket for young quarterbacks.
TN: The Seminoles opened as 18-point favorites over Wake. How do you see Saturday afternoon's contest unfolding?
BSD: Florida State... NOT SO FAST!
Jokes aside, Wake's defense will keep the game close for the first half but the flood gates will open. Florida State's front seven will eat up the Demon Deacon offensive line.
Florida State 41 Wake Forest 10.
Thanks to GriffKurz for his time and insight! Our answers to BSD's questions are here. Be sure to head to Blogger So Dear for all things Wake Forest.