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Wake Forest returns to Groves Stadium to play East Carolina

Posted Thursday, September 15, 2005

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Winston-Salem, NC - Wake Forest returns to Groves Stadium this week to play East Carolina where the Demon Deacons look to avoid their first 0-3 start since the 2000 season. Wake Forest and ECU are familiar rivals. The schools have met on the gridiron in each of the past four seasons and the Deacons have won all four meetings.

East Carolina Pirates

The Pirates had an open week following a 24-21 win in their season-opener against Duke in Skip Holtz’s East Carolina debut. ECU caused four Blue Devil turnovers and offensively, wide receiver Aundra Allison made 10 catches for 163 yards and a score.

Wake Forest leads the all-time series with East Carolina five games to two. Last season, Cory Randolph operated an offense that piled up 584 yards, the fifth-most in school history, in a 31-17 victory in Greenville. It marked Wake Forest’s fourth straight win against East Carolina, the first of which came in Jim Grobe’s debut in 2001.

Under Grobe, the Deacons have performed very well against instate opponents, posting a 13-5 record.

Wake Forest is coming off a nightmare of a game in Lincoln, Neb., where the Cornhuskers scored three defensive touchdowns en route to a 31-3 victory.

Statistically, the Nebraska game was an oddity. Wake Forest totaled more rushing and passing yards, but failed to get into the endzone. The Deacons converted just 3-of-16 third down opportunities and committed four turnovers.

Deacons Excellent Vs. In-State Rivals
Since Jim Grobe’s arrival prior to the 2001 season, Wake Forest has defeated every Division I opponent in the state, posting a 13-5 overall record that includes a 4-0 mark against East Carolina, 4-0 vs. Duke, 2-2 vs. North Carolina, 1-3 vs. NC State, plus victories against I-AA Appalachian State and North Carolina A&T. During that same time period against in-state rivals, NC State is 10-3, North Carolina is 9-5, Duke is 2-10 and East Carolina is 1-8.

Banging On The Door
Early this season, the Deacons have moved the ball with regularity. Wake Forest leads the ACC in rushing, is third in first downs and
ranks in the middle of the pack in total offense, averaging almost 360 yards per game. Individually, Micah Andrews leads in the ACC in rushing and Nate Morton ranks among the league’s leaders in receiving.
So why are the Deacons scoring only 11.5 points per game to rank 11th in the ACC and 103rd in the nation?
Three key elements to any successful offense are third down efficiency, red zone and most importantly, taking care of the football. Those are the areas where Wake Forest has performed poorly this year.
The Deacons are converting just 26.7 percent on third down, 11th in the league. Wake Forest has made eight trips into the redzone, coming away with only two touchdowns. Worst of all, the Deacons already have five giveaways, the second most in the ACC.
The Nebraska game marked the first time Wake Forest failed to score a touchdown in 51 games.

From The Training Room
The injury report for the East Carolina game: Out: OG Brodie Overstreet (eye). Doubtful: None. Questionable: None. Probable: None.

A Win This Week Would...
... give Wake Forest an 1-2 start for the first time since the 2002 season, the year the Deacons won the Seattle Bowl.
... give Grobe a 14-5 record against in-state opponents since coming to Wake Forest.
... give Wake Forest a five-game winning streak against East Carolina.
... give Wake Forest a 6-2 lead in the all-time series with the Pirates.
... snap Wake Forest’s five-game losing streak dating back to the Duke game on Oct. 30, 2004.
... snap Wake Forest’s two-game home losing streak.
... make Wake Forest 14-8 in non-televised games under Grobe.
... improve Grobe’s record at Wake Forest 23- 27 in five seasons and his all-time record to 56- 60-1 in 11 seasons.
... improve Grobe’s Wake Forest record to 12-13 in home games.
... improve Grobe’s Wake Forest record to 13-5 in all non-conference games, 8-3 at home.
... improve Grobe’s Wake Forest record to 10-9 in September games.
... improve Grobe’s Wake Forest record to 9-9 in night games.
... improve Wake Forest’s all-time record to 379-576-33.

A Loss This Week Would...
... drop Wake Forest to its first 0-3 start since 2000, Jim Caldwell’s final year with the Deacons.
... drop Grobe’s record vs. in-state rivals to 13-6 record since coming to Wake Forest.
... snap Wake Forest’s four-game winning streak against East Carolina.
... give Wake Forest a 5-3 lead in the all-time series with the Pirates.
... increase Wake Forest’s losing streak to six games, its longest since the 2000 season.
... mark Wake Forest’s first three-game home losing streak since 2001 (Maryland, NC State and Clemson).
... make Wake Forest 13-9 in non-televised games under Grobe.
... drop Grobe’s record at Wake Forest 22-28 in five seasons and his all-time record to 55-61-1 in 11 seasons.
... drop Grobe’s Wake Forest record to 11-14 in home games.
... drop Grobe’s Wake Forest record to 12-6 in all non-conference games, 7-4 at home.
... drop Grobe’s Wake Forest record to 9-10 in September games.
... drop Wake Forest’s all-time record to 378-577-33.

Key Individuals On Offense
QB Benjamin Mauk R-So. Struggled at Nebraska with three interceptions
TB Chris Barclay Sr. Picked up 60 yards in Lincoln; needs 847 for WF record
TB Micah Andrews R-So. Limited to 64 yards on 19 carries at Nebraska
TB De’Angelo Bryant R-So. “The Bus” carried seven times for just four yards at NU
FB Richard Belton R-Fr. Short yardage threat, rushed for a TD against ‘Dores
FB Damon McWhite R-Fr. Devastating blocker missed nine games in ‘04 (knee)
WR Willie Idlette R-Jr. Speedster limited by injury, has 2 catches for 4 yards
WR Nate Morton R-Jr. Averaging almost 80 yards per game in the early going
WR Chris Davis Sr. Tied for the team lead with 10 receptions
TE John Tereshinski R-So. Grandfather, father and brother all played at Georgia
LT Wesley Bryant R-Sr. One of just two senior starters on offense
LG Arby Jones R-Jr. Has started 10 straight games dating back to 2004
C Steve Justice R-So. First year starter has replaced ironman Blake Lingruen
RG Matthew Brim R-So. Started 10 games at tackle last year; has moved to OG
RT Steve Vallos R-Jr. Lombardi Trophy candidate started all 25 career games
PK Sam Swank R-Fr. Drilled 51-yarder, longest FG by a NU opponent in 24 yrs.

Key Individuals On Defense
DE Jeremy Thompson So. Applied good pressure on NU quarterback all night
DE Matt Robinson R-So. Recorded his first sack of the season in Lincoln
DT Goryal Scales R-Sr. Has 19 career starts, the most of any Deacon defender
DT Zach Stukes R-So. Earned the start ahead of Jyles Tucker at Nebraska
OLB Pierre Easley R-Jr. Didn’t travel to Lincoln because of a groin injury
OLB Eric Berry R-Fr. Rookie made his first career start against ‘Huskers
OLB Jason Pratt R-Sr. Moved to MLB last week in the abscence of Abbate
OLB Aaron Curry R-Fr. Active against NU with 4 tackles, TFL, PBU and hurry
MLB Jon Abbate R-So. Sat out against Nebraska with a hamstring injury
CB Riley Swanson R-Jr. Experienced veteran returned to the lineup at NU
CB Alphonso Smith R-Fr. His 3 PBU vs. Vanderbilt were second-most in Grobe era
CB Kevin Patterson R-Fr. Youngster made his second career start in Lincoln
SS Aaron Mason R-So. Made second career start at strong safety at NU
FS Patrick Ghee R-Jr. Graduate student led the Deacons with eight tackles
DB Josh Gattis R-Jr. Speedy defender is playing safety and cornerback
P Ryan Plackemeier Sr. Ray Guy candidate has nine 60-yard punts in his career

Chris Barclay Record Watch
Wake Forest observers already know Chris Barclay has a chance to break the school’s all-time rushing record.
However, he’s in the hunt for a number of other records including rushing touchdowns, allpurpose yards and scoring.
Barclay’s 60 rushing yards at Nebraska brought him within 360 yards of Michael Ramseur for second place on the Wake Forest all-time rushing chart.
Barclay now has 3,195 career all-purpose yards, the ninth-most in school history.
His next rushing touchdown will be the 31st of his career, giving him sole possession of that Wake Forest record.
Barclay is 35 rushing yards away from becoming the 25th player in ACC history to reach the 3,000-yard plateau.
If he reaches the endzone nine times this year, Barclay would become Wake Forest’s all-time leading scorer.
For the second straight year, Wake Forest senior running back Barclay has been selected as a candidate for the Doak Walker Award. The SMU Athletic Forum announced the 2005 preseason list last week. The Doak Walker Award is annually presented to the best running back in college football.
Barclay, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound running back from Louisville, Ky., has rushed for 1,000 yards and led the ACC in rushing during the regular season each of the last two years. He is a twotime All-ACC pick and the only player in WF history to surpass the 1,000-yard mark two years in a row.
Barclay played in all 11 games last year for the Demon Deacons. He led the ACC with 243 attempts and finished with 1,010 yards. His season-high came in the season opener at Clemson, a 179-yard rushing performance that led to ACC Offensive Back of the Week honors.

Wake Looks To Avoid 0-3 Record
The Demon Deacons need a win on Saturday to avoid their first 0-3 record under Jim Grobe. At Ohio, Grobe’s Bobcats started 0-3 twice
(1998 and 1999) and went on to finish 5-6. Oddly enough, in 1998, it was East Carolina that handed Ohio its third loss to begin the season, a 21-14 final in Athens.

Youthful Defense Impresses
With the injuries to linebackers Jon Abbate and Pierre Easley, an already young defense got a lot younger at Nebraska.
Redshirt freshmen Eric Berry and Aaron Curry made their first career starts. They joined cornerbacks Kevin Patterson and Alphonso Smith as rookie starters on the defensive side of the ball.
Wake Forest also started four sophomores on defense including Aaron Mason, Matt Robinson, Zach Stukes and Jeremy Thompson.
Underclassmen have accounted for 14 of the team’s 22 defensive starting assignments in 2005.
Still, the defense limited Nebraska to 10 points, 13 first downs, 234 yards of offense and 3.7 yards per play.

ECU To Fall Off Wake’s Schedule
Saturday’s game with East Carolina marks the fifth straight season the Deacons and Pirates have met on the gridiron. Wake Forest has most likely played its last game in Greenville for a while.

Wake Forest’s future schedule looks like this:
2006: at Connecticut, East Carolina, Liberty, at Ole Miss
2007: Army, Elon, at Navy, Nebraska
2008: at Baylor, Navy, Northern Illinois, Ole Miss
2009: Baylor, at Navy, Stanford, TBA
2010: Navy, at Stanford, Tulane, TBA
2011: Air Force, TBA, TBA, TBA

When & Where:
At 6:30 PM on September 17 at Groves Stadium (31,500) in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Wake Forest/ISP Radio Network and XM Radio. Stan Cotten (play-by-play) and Bill Urbanik (analysis) call the action.
Wake Forest leads, 5-2. The Deacons have won four games in four years against the Pirates, including last year’s 31-17 victory in Greenville. Wake Forest is 3-0 all-time vs. ECU in Winston-Salem.
Neither team is ranked.
Jim Grobe is in his fifth season at Wake Forest with a 22-27 record. East Carolina coach Skip Holtz is in his first year with the Pirates. He owns a record of 1-0.
Schedule & Results:
S1 Vanderbilt ESPNU L, 20-24
S10 at Nebraska TBS L, 3-31
S17 East Carolina 6:30
S24 Maryland ESPNU 3:30
O1 Clemson TBA
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 returns to Groves Stadium to play East Carolina
photo by Gene Galin
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