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Wake Forest welcomes Maryland to Groves Stadium

Posted Friday, September 23, 2005

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Winston-Salem, NC - Wake Forest welcomes Maryland to Groves Stadium on Saturday for its ACC opener and the first
ever Atlantic Division game for the Demon Deacons. Wake Forest and Maryland are both looking to get back to .500 and in a position to make a run at a bowl game.

The Deacons are coming off their first victory of the season, a 44-34 triumph against East Carolina. In that contest, Wake Forest steamrolled to 407 yards on the ground. Chris Barclay ran for 210 yards and four touchdowns while Micah Andrews finished with 142 yards.

Last week, Maryland quarterback Sam Hollenbach passed for 291 yards and two touchdowns against West Virginia, but it wasn’t enough, as the Terps lost 31-19.

The Deacons and Terrapins are meeting for the 51st consecutive season, dating back to the introduction of ACC in 1954. Maryland has won each of the last six games and all four meetings between Ralph Friedgen’s Terps and Jim Grobe’s Deacs.

Maryland and Florida State are the only teams to defeat Wake Forest each of the last four years. Maryland leads the all-time series 39-13-1 and has won each of the last three games at Groves Stadium (more about the series history on pages seven and eight).

Andrews, Barclay: Nation’s Top Rushing Duo
Wake Forest boasts the nation’s best running back combination in Micah Andrews and Chris Barclay. Together, they average 288 yards per game. Andrews ranks fourth in the NCAA, averaging more than 150 yards per game.

Barclay, on the strength of a 210-yard effort against ECU, would rank eighth, if eligible. Andrews is the top rusher in the ACC and Barclay would rank second, but hasn’t played in 75 percent of the games.

Barclay’s Big Day
Against East Carolina, senior running back Chris Barclay looked like the two-time All-ACC running back he is. The native of Louisville, Ky., rushed 25 times for 210 yards and four touchdowns in a record-setting performance.

Barclay’s first touchdown gave him sole possession of the Wake Forest career rushing touchdown record. His third touchdown gave him the Wake Forest overall touchdown record. The fourth touchdown tied the single game school rushing touchdown record with seven others.

Turning It Around On Third Down
One of Wake Forest’s biggest downfalls in the first two weeks was third down conversions on both sides of the ball. But in the victory against East Carolina, the Deacons picked up eight of their 18 chances (44 percent) and allowed the Pirates to convert just three of their 15 third downs (20 percent).
Against Vanderbilt and Nebraska, the Demon Deacon offense converted just 8-of-30 opportunities (26.7 percent) to rank 11th in the ACC. Defensively, the Deacons allowed 12-of-29 (41.4 percent) to rank 10th in the conference.

From The Training Room
The injury report for the Maryland game: Out: OG Brodie Overstreet (eye). Doubtful: None. Questionable: None. Probable: LB Pierre
Easley (groin), Aaron Mason (concussion).

A Win This Week Would...
... give Wake Forest a 2-2 start for the first time since the 2002 season, the year the Deacons won the Seattle Bowl.
... give Wake Forest consecutive victories for the first time since last September, almost to the day (NC A&T on 9/18 and Boston College on 9/25).
... improve Wake Forest to 14-39-1 overall in the Maryland series.
... improve Wake Forest to 7-20-1 against Maryland at home.
... snap a six-game losing streak to Maryland dating back to Oct. 17, 1998.
... give Jim Grobe his second career win against Maryland, his first over Ralph Friedgen.
... give the Deacons a two-game home winning streak for the first time since last September.
... make Wake Forest 7-13 all-time in nationally-televised games.
... improve Grobe’s record at Wake Forest 24-27 in five seasons and his all-time record to 57-60-1 in 11 seasons.
... improve Grobe’s Wake Forest record to 13-13 in home games.
... improve Grobe’s Wake Forest record to 11-22 in all ACC games, 6-9 at home.
... give Jim Grobe a 6-6 record in his last 12 home ACC games.
... improve Grobe’s Wake Forest record to 11-9 in September games.
... improve Grobe’s Wake Forest record to 15-18 in night games.
... improve Wake Forest’s all-time record to 380-576-33.
... improve Wake Forest’s all-time ACC record to 99-251-5.

A Loss This Week Would...
... give Wake Forest a 1-3 start for the first time under Jim Grobe.
... drop Wake Forest to 13-40-1 overall in the Maryland series.
... drop Wake Forest to 6-21-1 against Maryland at home.
... increase Maryland’s winning streak over Wake Forest to seven games.
... drop Wake Forest 6-14 all-time in nationally-televised games.
... drop Grobe’s record at Wake Forest 23-28 in five seasons and his all-time record to 56-61-1 in 11 seasons.
... drop Grobe’s Wake Forest record to 12-14 in home games, 10-23 in all ACC games, 5-10 in home ACC games, 10-10 in September games, 14-19 in night games.
... drop Wake Forest’s all-time record to 379-577-33.
... drop Wake Forest’s all-time ACC record to 98-252-5.

Key Individuals On Offense
QB Benjamin Mauk R-So. Completed 10-of-17 passes vs. ECU and a touchdown
TB Chris Barclay Sr. WF’s all-time touchdown leader is eyeing rushing record
TB Micah Andrews R-So. Leads the ACC in rushing at 153.3 yards per game
FB Richard Belton R-Fr. Short yardage threat; scored TDs vs. Vanderbilt, ECU
WR Nate Morton R-Jr. Averaging more than three catches per game (52 ypg)
WR Chris Davis Sr. Leads the ACC with 16 receptions, a total of 104 yards
WR Cory Randolph R-Sr. Former starting QB made first career start at WR vs. ECU
WR Willie Idlette R-Jr. “The Jet” has just two receptions for four yards
TE John Tereshinski R-So. Grandfather, father and brother all played at Georgia
LT Wesley Bryant R-Sr. One of just three senior starters on offense
LG Arby Jones R-Jr. Has started 11 straight games dating back to 2004
C Steve Justice R-So. Has played every single snap of the first three games
RG Greg Adkins R-Sr. Versatile veteran re-claimed starting role at guard
OG Matthew Brim R-So. Youngster has already started 12 career games on line
RT Steve Vallos R-Jr. Lombardi Trophy candidate started all 26 career games
PK Sam Swank R-Fr. 2-for-2 this year from beyond 40 yards with a 51-yd long

Favorable Match-Up For Deacs?
Early trends indicate that Wake Forest could be in for a productive day on the ground.
The Deacons bring the ACC’s top rushing offense (8th nationally) into Saturday’s contest, averaging 270.3 yards per game.
The Terrapins allow 220.3 rushing yards per game, worst in the ACC and 105th (out of 117) teams in Division I-A.

Gimme A Break
The Wake Forest defense has gotten its collective hands on 26 passes in just three games.
Eleven different players have chipped in for that total led by Josh Gattis and Alphonso Smith who are tied for the ACC lead with five passes defended. Nine of the 26 have batted passes by the defensive line.
Matt Robinson has three and Bryan Andrews has two.

Special Teams Improving
One of the most maligned areas of the Wake Forest football team has been special teams.
Those close to the program have felt those units would improve as the team’s depth improved.
That is apparently beginning to happen. For the past three years, the Deacons have one of the nation’s top punters in Ryan Plackemeier. Now, the Deacons have one of the top punt coverage units in the nation. On seven punt returns, the Deacons have allowed minus-1 return yards. Wake Forest ranks 17th nationally in net punting. Plus, Alphonso Smith blocked a punt in week three. On kickoff coverage, Deacon opponents are starting their drives, on average, at the 26 yardline.

Block Party
When Alphonso Smith blocked an East Carolina punt, it marked the first blocked punt by the Deacons since the 2002 East Carolina game.
Wake Forest have blocked 10 kicks in the Grobe era. Half have come against East Carolina. The Deacons has blocked five Pirate kicks
(punts, field goals or PATs) since Jim Grobe arrived in 2001. Wake Forest blocked a PAT in 2002, Jamie Scott blocked a 2002 punt, Jerome Nichols blocked a 2003 PAT and a 2004 field goal.

Justice, Vallos Ironmen
Wake Forest has had 239 offensive snaps. Sophomore center Steve Justice and junior tackle Steve Vallos have been on the field for all 239. The Deacons rotate linemen both guard spots and at left tackle. Offensive line coach and offensive coordinator Steed Lobotzke has leaned on Justice and Vallos to play each snap so far in 2005.

Key Individuals On Defense
DE Jeremy Thompson So. Blocked a field goal attempt against Maryland last year
DE Matt Robinson R-So. Leads the Deacons with 2.5 tackles for loss
DT Goryal Scales R-Sr. “BG” has 19 career starts, the most of any defender
DT Jyles Tucker R-Jr. Earned the start ahead of Zach Stukes against ECU
OLB Jason Pratt R-Sr. Team’s third-leading tackler with 14 stops
MLB Jon Abbate R-So. Returned with team-high five solo tackles and a sack
OLB Aaron Curry R-Fr. Rookie recorded a TFL for the second week in a row
OLB Pierre Easley R-Jr. Has missed two straight games with a groin injury
CB Alphonso Smith R-Fr. Tied for ACC lead with 5 PBU; blocked a punt last week
CB Kevin Patterson R-Fr. Leads the Deacons with 12 solo tackles
CB Riley Swanson R-Jr. The team’s third cornerback had four tackles vs. ECU
FS Josh Gattis R-Jr. Leads Wake Forest with 20 tackles and two interceptions
SS Patrick Ghee R-Jr. Grad student described as most consistent among DBs
DB Aaron Mason R-So. Has started all three games for the Demon Deacons
DB Chip Vaughn R-Fr. Made first career start vs. ECU, career-high five tackles
P Ryan Plackemeier Sr. Ray Guy candidate has 10 60-yard punts in his career

The Fonz
The Deacons have 10 redshirt freshmen and one true freshman playing significant roles on offense, defense and in the kicking game. In fact, seven have already started games and have the coaching staff excited about their potential.
The rookie causing the loudest buzz from Deacon fans, though, has been about cornerback Alphonso Smith. No player in the ACC has more pass break-ups (five) than the cornerback from Pahokee, Fla.
Smith, known to coaches and teammates as “The Fonz,” was on the travel team last season and was a strong candidate to play as a true freshman. Playing on the varsity squad, Smith learned from veterans Eric King, Marcus McGruder and Riley Swanson. He made his impact felt on special teams against East Carolina when he blocked a punt.

Swank: Good From Far
Another rookie making a positive impact is redshirt freshman placekicker Sam Swank. Swank is 6-of-8 on field goals, including 2-of-2 from beyond 40-yards. At Nebraska, his second career game, Swank nailed a 51-yard field goal, tying for the third-longest in Wake Forest history.
On kickoffs, Swank’s strong leg has also been a factor. Four have gone for touchbacks and Deacon opponents average start their drive starts at the 26 yardline.

Best Performances vs. Maryland
Rushing Yds. 329 by John Leach (11/20/93)
Passing Yds. 504 by Gary Schofield (10/17/81)
Receptions 12 (113 yds) by Phil Denfeld (10/17/81)
Total Offense 577 (396 rush, 181 pass; 11/20/93)
Rushing Yds. 396 (11/20/93)
Passing Yds. 556 (10/17/81)

Current Deacons vs. The Terrapins
* Chris Barclay rushed 28 times for a career-best 243 yards and three TDs in the 2003 meeting. Last year, he rushed for 103 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown. He has 65 career carries for 397 yards against Maryland. He also has eight receptions for 78 yards.
* In three games against Maryland, Cory Randolph is 23-for-48 for 321 yards and three interceptions.
* Benjamin Mauk went 6-for-14 against Maryland last season for 54 yards and was sacked four times.
* Chris Davis was the leading receiver in the 2003 matchup with four catches for 45 yards. He has six career carries for 49 yards against the Terps.
* Willie Idlette made two catches in the 2003 game for 11 yards.
* John Tereshinski was the team’s leading receiver in the 2004 game with three catches for 37 yards.
* Kevin Marion made two grabs for 36 yards.
* Goryal Scales has seven career tackles against Maryland with a tackle for loss.
* Jeremy Thompson has one blocked field goal.
* Josh Gattis led the Deacs with nine tackles in 2004.
* Matt Robinson posted a 2.5 TFL last year.
* Jon Abbate had seven tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss in the 2004 contest.
* Robinson, Jyles Tucker, Dominic Anderson each had one sack last year in the Maryland game.

Wake Forest-Maryland Connections
* The Deacons have one player – Napoleon Sykes of Woodstock – from the state of Maryland.
* Maryland has six North Carolinians on its roster, including Winston-Salem senior Russell Bonham. Bonham attended Carver high school, which also produced current Deacons Matt Brim and Goryal Scales.
* Wake Forest’s James Adams, Josh Gattis and Jon Temple, and Maryland’s Chase Bullock all attended Northern Durham High School.
* Deacon Kevin Harris and Terrapin D’Qwell Jackson both graduated from Seminole HS in Florida.
* Wake linebacker Jon Abbate and Terp fullback Tim Cesa both attended Harrison HS in Georgia.
* WFU’s Anthony Davis and Maryland’s Jasper Brooks and Mack Frost went to Columbia, SC’s Spring Valley HS.
* Both head coaches are graduates of ACC schools – Wake’s Jim Grobe (Virginia) and Maryland’s Ralph Friedgen (Maryland).
* Maryland assistant Ray Rychleski previously worked as an assistant at Wake, from 1993 to 2000.
* Both schools’ recruiting coordinators – Ray McCartney and Dave Sollazzo – graduated from Guilford.
* Former Deacon Ovie Mughelli is playing in the NFL in Maryland with the Baltimore Ravens.
* Desmond Clark, who once played for the Deacons, and former Terrapin Leon Joe are now teammates with the Chicago Bears.
* Former Maryland standouts Kris Jenkins and Al Wallace currently play with former Deacon Ricky Proehl with the Carolina Panthers.

When & Where:
At 3:30 PM on September 24 at Groves
Stadium (31,500) in Winston-Salem, N.C.
ESPNU (national). Dave Armstrong (play-byplay) and Mike Tomczak (analysis) call the action. Brian Zwolinski is the producer.
Wake Forest/ISP Radio Network and XM Radio. Stan Cotten (play-by-play) and Bill Urbanik (analysis) call the action.
Maryland leads, 39-13-1. The Terrapins have won six straight in the series, including last year’s 13-7 victory in College Park. The
Deacons are looking for their first win against the Terps since 1998.
Neither team is ranked.
Jim Grobe is in his fifth season at Wake Forest with a 23-27 record. Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen is in his fifth year with the Terps. He owns a record of 37-15.
Schedule & Results:
S1 Vanderbilt ESPNU L, 20-24
S10 at Nebraska TBS L, 3-31
S17 East Carolina W, 44-34
S24 Maryland ESPNU 3:30
O1 Clemson ESPNU 3:30
O8 at Florida State TBA
O15 at Boston College TBA
O22 NC State TBA
O29 at Duke TBA
N5 at Georgia Tech TBA
N17 Miami ESPN 7:30

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Wake Forest welcomes Maryland to Groves Stadium
photo by Gene Galin
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