Wake Forest will open the 2012 season on Saturday evening when the Demon Deacons host Football Championship Subdivision and Big South Conference opponent Liberty at BB&T Field.
The Deacons and Flames have met just once previously. Wake Forest beat Liberty, 34-14, at BB&T Field in 2006, en route to the ACC Championship and a berth in the Orange Bowl.
Led by a talented and veteran defense, Wake Forest is looking for a second straight bowl bid in 2012. The Deacons return 50 letterwinners overall, including 23 on defense.
Wake brings back seven starters on the defensive side of the ball, including preseason All-ACC pick nose guard Nikita Whitlock and 2011 All-American cornerback Merrill Noel.
Whitlock was a second team All-ACC honoree in 2011 after registering 14 tackles for loss. He enters the 2012 season second among active ACC players with 24.5 career tackles for loss.
Noel had a breakout freshman campaign, earning ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and an honorable mention All-America nod from the Associated Press. He finished the season tied for the national lead with 21 passes defended.
On offense, the Deacons boast one of the most productive quarterbacks in the ACC in junior Tanner Price, who ranked among the league leaders in passing yards, total offense and pass efficiency last season. Price enters the season riding a streak of five games and 173 passes of not throwing an interception.
Price will look often to junior flanker Michael Campanaro, who is one of the most versatile players in the country. Campanaro is the team's leading returning receiver, one of its primary punt returners and even threw two touchdowns last season.
The Demon Deacons will open ACC play next Saturday by hosting North Carolina.
Wake Forest has won two of the last three meetings but UNC won the most recent game, 49-24 in Chapel Hill last season.
Wake Forest has won five-straight ACC home openers.