This website is accessible to all versions of every browser. However, you are seeing this message because your browser does not support basic Web standards, and does not properly display the site's design details. Please consider upgrading to a more modern browser. (Learn More).

You are here: home > sports > football

WFU Deacons host Liberty Flames on Homecoming Weekend

Posted Thursday, September 28, 2006

e-mail E-mail this page   print Printer-friendly page

Winston-Salem, NC - Wake Forest returns to Groves Stadium to face Liberty University, a I-AA opponent from Lynchburg, Va., on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. for Homecoming Weekend. At 4-0 for only the fourth time in school history, the Demon Deacons are receiving votes in both polls for the first time since 2003.

Wake Forest is coming off its best performance of the season, a decisive 27-3 victory at Ole Miss on Saturday. The Deacons ran the ball 53 times for 240 yards and needed to throw only five passes against the Rebels.

Junior RB De’Angelo Bryant made his first career start in place of the injured Micah Andrews. He had 22 carries for 105 yards and
a touchdown.

Defensively, the Deacons dominated. Wake Forest surrendered just three points, the fewest the Deacons had allowed to a Division 1-A opponent on the road since 1999 vs. North Carolina.

Wake Forest gave up just 26 rushing yards on 31 carries, an average of less than one yard per rush. The 26 rushing yards by Ole Miss were the fewest allowed by the Deacons since holding NC State to the same amount in 1999.

Wake Forest’s 4-0 start has raised some eyebrows nationally as the Deacons are receiving votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today top 25 for the first time since 2003.

Liberty (3-1) comes to Winston-Salem after a 28-0 victory at Savannah State last weekend. RB Rashad Jennings ran wild against the Tigers, going for 194 yards and three touchdowns. Statistically, Liberty has the best defense in Division I-AA. The Flames have shut out two of their four opponents and have yielded barely more than four points per game.

Saturday’s game at Groves Stadium will be the first-ever between the schools. In fact, this is the first road trip to an ACC school for the Flames. Liberty has played one Division I-A opponent each of the past seven years, but is still seeking its first win.

The Flames are guided by Wake Forest grad and first-year coach Danny Rocco. He played defensive back for the Deacs in 1982 and 1983 under then head coach Al Groh.

The Unbeatens

Wake Forest is one of 16 Division I-A teams that are 4-0. The Deacons are joined by Auburn, Boise State, Florida, Georgia, Houston, Iowa, Louisville, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio State, Purdue, Rutgers, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
The Demon Deacons are the only team in the country to have defeated four BCS conference opponents and two of those wins were on the road (Connecticut and Ole Miss).

Wake Forest is 4-0 for the first time since 1987 and only the fourth time ever. The Deacons were 4-0 in 1987 under first-year coach Bill Dooley. With legendary coach D.C. “Peahead” Walker at the helm, Wake Forest went 4-0 in 1944 and 1947. The 1944 Deacons finished 8-1.

Receiving Votes

Wake Forest is on college football’s national radar for the first time in four seasons. The Deacons received 12 votes in this week’s Associated Press top 25 and 16 votes in the USA Today top 25. It marks the first time Wake Forest has received votes in the AP poll since Sept. 21, 2003. The Deacons started that year 2-0 including a season-opening 32-28 road win at Boston College and a 38-24 upset against 14th-ranked NC State, led by Philip Rivers.

Following the win against the Wolfpack, the Deacons debuted in the poll at No. 20. The stay in the top 25 was short-lived as the Deacs lost next week to Purdue. Two weeks later, after a road loss to Virginia, Wake Forest stopped receiving votes.

From The Training Room

The injury report for Saturday’s game:
Out: RB Micah Andrews (torn ACL); S Johnny Edwards (ankle); S Aaron Mason (hamstring); QB Benjamin Mauk (arm, shoulder); OT
Arby Jones (torn MCL); DE Matt Robinson (kneecap).
Doubtful: None. Questionable: None. Probable: None.

A Wake Forest Win This Week Would...
... make Wake Forest 5-0 for the first time since the 1987 season.
... give Wake Forest its first five-game winning streak since the 1992 season.
... improve Wake Forest to 3-0 at home this season and 17-15 under Jim Grobe.
... improve Wake Forest to 4-0 against nonconference teams this season and 17-5 under Grobe.
... improve Wake Forest to 5-0 in September and 15-10 under Grobe.
... improve Wake Forest to 3-0 on ESPN360 this season.
... improve Wake Forest to 3-0 in afternoon games this season and 20-23 under Grobe.
... give Wake Forest a 1-0 lead in the Liberty series.
... improve Grobe’s Wake Forest record against I-AA teams to 3-0 (App. State, NC A&T).
... improve Grobe’s record at Wake Forest to 31-32 in six seasons and his all-time record to 64-65-1 in 12 seasons.
... improve Wake Forest’s all-time record to 383-574-33.

A Wake Forest Loss This Week Would...
... be Wake Forest’s first loss to a I-AA team since when the Deacons lost to Appalachian State 20-16 in the 2000 season opener.
... make Wake Forest 4-1 for the first time since the 1987 season.
... snap Wake Forest’s four-game winning streak.
... drop Wake Forest to 2-1 at home this season and 16-16 under Jim Grobe.
... drop Wake Forest to 3-1 against non-conference teams this season and 16-6 under Grobe.
... drop Wake Forest to 4-1 in September and 14-11 under Grobe.
... drop Wake Forest to 2-1 on ESPN360 this season.
... drop Wake Forest to 2-1 in afternoon games this season and 19-24 under Grobe.
... give Liberty a 1-0 lead in the series.
... drop Grobe’s Wake Forest record against I-AA teams to 2-1 (Appalachian State, NC A&T).
... drop Grobe’s record at Wake Forest to 30-33 in six seasons and his all-time record to 63-66-1 in 12 seasons.
... drop Wake Forest’s all-time record to 382-575-33.

Looking For Five In A Row

The Deacons enter Saturday’s game against Libery in the midst of their longest winning streak since the 1992 season. Wake Forest has enjoyed only three five-game winning streaks in the previous 104 years of Deacon football (1992, 1987, 1944).

More On Five-Game Winning Streaks

The 1992 Deacons won six in a row in the middle of the year en route to an Independence Bowl berth. In 1987, Wake Forest won its first five games and finished 7-4. Under Peahead Walker, the Deacons were undefeated during a nine-game stretch that spanned the 1944 and 1945 seasons. Wake Forest won seven straight to begin the 1944 season.

Second Half Dominance

 The Deacons have outscored their opponents 24-0 in the fourth quarter. Wake Forest has outgained its opponents 331 to 186 in total yards during the fourth quarter.

 The Deacons have outscored their opponents 51-3 in the second half. Duke kicked a third quarter field goal against Wake Forest on September 9.

Bend, But Don’t Break

The Deacon defense, which returned 10 starters from last season, is doing a good job of stopping opposing offenses. Wake Forest ranks 28th nationally in total defense, measured in yards.

The bottom line for defenses, however, is points allowed. The Deacons are keeping their opposition out of the endzone, allowing only 9.8 points per game to rank 11th nationally. Part of the reason for that disparity is Wake Forest’s excellent red zone defense. Opponents have reached inside the 20 yardline 13 times, but came away with only three touchdowns and two field goals.

That’s What I Call A Sack Lunch

Wake Forest has tallied five sacks in each of the team’s past two games to set Grobe era records. The Deacons lead the ACC with 14 sacks. Senior DE Bryan Andrews leads the league with 3.5 and sophomore LB Aaron Curry is tied for second with 3.0. Wake had 15 sacks in 2005. The Deacons have been able to get to the quarterback despite the season-long abscence of Matt Robinson, the team’s top pass rusher in 2004 and 2005. Robinson remains out as he recovers from a broken kneecap suffered last November.

Grobe: #2 On Coaching Wins Chart

With the win at Ole Miss, head coach Jim Grobe notched his 30th win at Wake Forest. In doing so, he became Wake Forest’s second-winningest coach passing Bill Dooley (1987-92). D.C. “Peahead” Walker is the school’s alltime leader in coaching wins. He went 77-51-6 from 1937-50. Grobe is also one win away from passing Dooley for the most ACC wins in school history.

The Bus Pulls Out Of The Station

Junior RB De’Angelo Bryant made his first career start at Ole Miss in place of the injured Micah Andrews. Bryant responded with 22 carries, 105 yards and a touchdown. The workload and production were both career-highs for the native of New Ellenton, S.C., nicknamed “The Bus.” The 100-yard game for Bryant was his first, the 32nd by a Wake Forest player under Grobe.

The Gold Curtain

Wake Forest has not allowed a 100-yard rusher yet this season. Over the past 18 games, the Wake Forest defense has allowed only two players to rush for 100 yards — P.J. Daniels of Georgia Tech and Cory Ross of Nebraska.

Last year, the Deacons ranked 38th nationally against the run. This year, Wake Forest ranks 18th, giving up less than 77 yards per game and just 2.1 yards per rush.

Last week at Ole Miss, Wake Forest held the Rebels to 26 rushing yards on 31 carries, less than one yard per rush.

Dropping Like Flies

It doesn’t seem like Wake Forest can get through a game without losing someone to injury.

 DE Matt Robinson, a preseason honorable mention All-American, has not played yet this season because of a broken kneecap. Robinson’s status for the year is questionable and Wake Forest will explore the possibility of a medical redshirt.

 QB Ben Mauk broke his arm and dislocated his shoulder in the season opener against Syracuse. Mauk is out for the season.

 TB Micah Andrews, a preseason first team All-ACC pick, tore his ACL against Connecticut. He is likely out for the season.

 OT Arby Jones, who had started 22 straight games at tackle, tore his MCL against Connecticut. Jones is out of action until at least mid-to-late October.

 Special teams performers Johnny Edwards (ankle) and Aaron Mason (hamstring) suffered injures at Ole Miss and are out this week.

Miscellaneous Notes From Mississippi

 The 24-point margin of victory was the 7th-largest in the Grobe era... the most since last year’s 44-6 win at Duke.

 The 24-point margin of victory was the largest against a non-conference team on the road since the 40-6 win in 1992 at Vanderbilt.

The team’s 43 passing yards were the 2nd-fewest in the Grobe era... the fewest since the 2004 loss at Miami (36 yards).

The team’s four completions were tied for the fewest in the Grobe era... the fewest since the 2003 win at Duke (4).

The team’s five pass attempts were the 2nd-fewest in the Grobe era... the fewest since the 2003 win at Duke (5) and just two more than the school record (3 vs. North Carolina in 1971).

The team’s 27 first downs tied for the 3rdmost in the Grobe era... the most since the 2002 win at Georgia Tech (28).

The team’s 64 punt return yards were the 3rd-most in the Grobe era... the most since the 2002 loss at Northern Illinois (85).  The team’s five sacks tied for the most in the Grobe era... the most since last week’s win at Connecticut.

 De’Angelo Bryant’s 105-yard game marked the 32nd time in the Grobe era that a Deacon has rushed for 100+ yards.

Ole Miss’ 3 points tied for the 2nd-fewest by an opponent in the Grobe era... the fewest since the 2004 win against NC A&T.

Ole Miss’ 26 rushing yards were the fewest by an opponent in the Grobe era... the school record is -21 (twice, 1951 & 1952).
 Ole Miss’ 237 yards of total offense were the 5th-fewest by an opponent in the Grobe era.

Opportunistic Defense

The Deacon defense is gaining a reputation as a play-making unit. Wake Forest has scored 14 touchdowns since 2003, the second-most in the nation. Jeremy Thompson returned an interception 86 yards for a score against Connecticut.

Fourth Quarter Rallies

Wake Forest overcame a six-point, fourth quarter deficit to beat Duke. It was the eighth time under Jim Grobe that the Deacons erased fourth quarter leads to rally for victory.

Last season, Wake Forest beat Clemson at home in the closing seconds. In 2004 and 2003, Boston College was the victim. In 2002, the Deacons came back to win at Georgia Tech and against Navy. In 2001, it happened on the road against both Virginia and North Carolina.

Going Down To The Wire

In the six seasons since Jim Grobe arrived at Wake Forest, the Deacons have played 62 games. More than half of those, 33 of the 62, have been decided by eight points or less and three have gone to overtime — all losses.

The Deacons have won their share of close games.

Wake Forest is 16-18 in games decided by a eight points or less since Grobe arrived in 2001. The Deacons posted a 5-4 mark in 2001, 4-3 in 2002, 1-3 in 2003, 2-6 in 2004, 2-2 in 2005, 1-0 in 2006.

 
e-mail E-mail this page
print Printer-friendly page
 
 
 
WFU Deacons host Liberty Flames on Homecoming Weekend
Wake Forest is coming off its best performance of the season, a decisive 27-3 victory at Ole Miss.
photo by Gene Galin
Latest articles in Football
 
Rosters set for Wolfpack Alumni Classic
 
NCHSAA football playoff pairings
 
Clemson vs. Wake Forest football game notes
 
ACC football by the numbers after week 3
 
ACC football by the numbers
 
ACC announces game times & TV for September 20
 
 
 
Sports

Chatham Journal sponsored
ACC Football Photos
ACC Football News
ACC Basketball Photos




Subscribe now: RSS news feed, plus FREE headlines for your site