Demon Deacons (2-1, 0-1 ACC)
vs. Eagles (3-0, 1-0 Big East)
Saturday, Sept. 25; Noon|
Groves Stadium - Winston-Salem, N.C. (31,500)
ESPN2. Pam Ward (play-by-play), Mike Tomczak (analysis) and Dave Ryan (sidelines) call the action.
Wake Forest/ISP Network. Stan Cotten (play-by-play) and Bill Urbanik (analysis) have the call.
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This Week's Game
Wake Forest hosts a Boston College team that rolls into Groves Stadium with an unblemished 3-0 record in front of a national television audience on ESPN2 on Saturday at noon.
The Demon Deacons are looking for their first three-game winning streak since the 1992 season.
Wake Forest is coming off a decisive 42-3 victory over I-AA North Carolina A&T last week, a game marked by the best debut by a running back in Deacon history.
Boston College enters Saturday's game undefeated following a 27-7 win against Big East rival Connecticut.
When the Eagles officially become members of the Atlantic Coast Conference next fall, they will be divisional rivals with the Deacons.
Saturday's game will be a rematch of the 2003 season opener for both teams, a wild 32-28 Deacon victory in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Boston College leads the all-time series by a narrow 5-4-2 margin. This will be the Eagles' first trip to Winston-Salem since 1952 and the first meeting between the schools at Groves Stadium.
Soon-To-Be Division Rivals Clash
When Boston College joins the ACC next fall, the conference will split into two divisions currently known as Division A and Division B. The Deacons and Eagles will be members of Division A along with Clemson, Florida State, Maryland and NC State. Each school will play each of its division rivals once each year, plus a "crossover rival" and two rotating opponents in the opposite division. Wake Forest's crossover rival is Duke while Boston College's crossover rival is Virginia Tech.
Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech comprise Division B.
Wake Forest-Boston College Have Recent History
By the time, the Deacons and Eagles get together next fall, they will be old rivals. It will be the third meeting between the schools in as many years.
Last August, Wake Forest traveled to Boston for both team's season opener. The Deacons rallied from a 13-point first half deficit and overcame a three-point Eagle lead in the game's final two minutes to claim a 32-28 victory.
Cory Randolph, making his first start at quarterback, led the Deacons on a five-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 43-yard touchdown pass to Chris Davis to give Wake Forest a victory.
More on last year's game on page 7.
78 Minutes And Counting
The Wake Forest defense has not allowed a touchdown in more than 78 minutes, dating back to the East Carolina game. Since the Pirates scored with 1:13 to go in the third quarter on Sept. 11, Wake Forest has allowed only a field goal. Those points came early in the fourth quarter against North Carolina A&T, a scoreless streak of 66 minutes.
Since the ECU touchdown, opponents have combined for 12 possessions and only three points. The Deacons have forced three turnovers (two interceptions and one fumble), five punts, three stops on downs and a missed field goal.
Wake Forest scored in each of the season's first 11 quarters of regulation. The streak came to an end against North Carolina A&T when the Deacons did not add to their 42-point lead in the fourth quarter. Wake Forest's longest such streak last season was nine quarters.
Andrews Makes A Splash
Redshirt freshman Micah Andrews rushed for 125 yards and three touchdowns against North Carolina A&T, setting records for most yards and most touchdowns by a Wake Forest player in his first college game.
Andrews, who sat out the first two games while serving a suspension for a violation of team rules, scored a 13-yard touchdown on his third carry.
He became the first Wake Forest freshman to rush for three touchdowns since Chris Barclay did it in 2002 at Purdue. The 125 yards were the sixth-most by a Deacon freshman. He was named ACC Rookie of the Week.
Leftovers From North Carolina A&TWake Forest's 39-point margin of victory was the largest of the Jim Grobe era and the most by a Deacon team since 1999 when Wake Forest beat UAB 47-3 at Groves Stadium.
Cory Randolph and Marcus McGruder were the Wake Forest captains.
Redshirt freshman Zach Stukes made his first career start at defensive tackle in place of Jerome Nichols. It stopped a streak of 14 straight starts by Nichols. He started at East Carolina, at Clemson and all 12 games in 2003.
In each game this season, the Deacons have scored first. Wake Forest also scored first in three of the final four games of last season.
Jyles Tucker's second quarter interception was the first of his career.
With his second quarter touchdown, Chris Barclay passed Brian Piccolo for 10th place on the Wake Forest scoring chart. On the ensuing extra point, Matt Wisnosky tied Piccolo and would later pass the Deacon legend with another PAT.
Marcus McGruder's second quarter interception return for a touchdown marked the fifth career pick and his first career touchdown.
Wake Forest's 35 points in the first half were the most since the Deacons led Clemson 35-0 at halftime of their 2003 meeting. The Deacons also blanked their opponent in the first half for the second straight week.
In the second quarter, Ben Mauk recorded his first rush. Alonzo Chisolm, a walk-on, got his first carry in the second quarter, a gain of nine. Moments later, Dan Callahan, who came to Wake Forest as an offensive lineman, got his first carry, a gain of six.
In the third quarter, Delon Lowe, Micah Andrews, Kenneth Moore and Will Hollis made their first career receptions.
From The Training Room Out: LB James Adams (knee sprain; indefinitely), LB Brandon Drumgoole (broken fibula; season), FB Damon McWhite (knee sprain; 4-6 weeks), OG Brodie Overstreet (eye; indefinitely). Doubtful: None. Questionable: WR Jason Anderson (ankle sprain), DE Bryan Andrews (shin, ankle), TE Zac Selmon (groin strain), S Rob Simmons (knee sprain). Probable: DT Jamil Smith (quadricep contusion), DE Jeremy Thompson (quadricep contusion).
The injury report for the Boston College game:
A Win This Week Would...make Wake Forest's season record 3-1 for the second straight year under Jim Grobe.
give the Deacons their first three-game winning streak since 1992.
even the series with Boston College at 5-5-2.
mark the second victory in as many years against the Eagles.
make Grobe's teams 2-0 against BC coach Tom O'Brien's.
improve Wake Forest 11-10 at home under Grobe.
make the Deacons 4-1 in their last five games against Big East teams.
improve Grobe's four-year record at Wake Forest to 21-19 and 54-52-1 in his career.
give Wake Forest an all-time record of 373-561-33.
A Loss This Week Would...make Wake Forest's season record 2-2 for the third time in four years under Grobe.
snap the Deacons winning streak at two games.
give Boston College a 6-4-2 lead in the series.
make Grobe's teams 1-1 against BC coach Tom O'Brien's.
drop Wake Forest to 10-11 at home under Grobe.
make the Deacons 3-2 in their last five games against Big East teams.
drop Grobe's four-year record at Wake Forest to 20-20 and 53-53-1 in his career.
give Wake Forest an all-time record of 372-562-33.
Abbate Count, Part II
For the second time in three weeks, redshirt freshman linebacker Jonathan Abbate led the Deacon defense in tackles.
Against North Carolina A&T, the Powder Springs, Ga., native tallied nine tackles, including eight solo stops.
At Clemson, Abbate recorded nine tackles, including six solo tackles, the most tackles by a Deacon rookie in a single game since 2001 when Eric King made 11 stops vs. Georgia Tech.
For his effort against the Tigers, Abbate was named the ACC's Rookie of the Week.
Abbate leads all ACC freshmen and ranks second overall in the league with 17 solo tackles.
Something's Got To Give
One of the interesting battles to watch in Saturday's game will be Wake Forest's rushing attack vs. Boston College's run defense.
The Eagles have given up just one rushing touchdown this season and are surrendering just 78.3 rushing yards per game to rank 15th nationally.
On the other side, the Deacons rank 10th nationally in rushing offense with 276.7 rushing yards per contest.
In fact, Wake Forest's "worst" rushing performance of the season came at East Carolina where the Deacons ran for 240 yards as a team.
The Deacons have punched in nine rushing touchdowns this season and four different players have reached the endzone on the ground.
A Different Guy Every Night
Wake Forest has had a 100-yard rusher in each of its first three games. The interesting note, though, is that it's been a different player each week.
At Clemson, Chris Barclay ran for 179 yards and was named ACC Offensive Back of the Week.
At East Carolina, Cory Randolph ran for 107 yards and threw for 344 and was named ACC Offensive Back of the Week.
Against North Carolina A&T, Micah Andrews barreled for 125 yards on just 17 carries and was named ACC Rookie of the Week.
Chris Barclay, a junior from Louisville, Ky., is the leading rusher among active ACC players with 2,190 career yards. He ranks ninth in Wake Forest history, but needs just 57 yards to catapult into sixth place.
Despite being limited to 66 yards at East Carolina and 50 against North Carolina A&T, Barclay still ranks fourth in the ACC in rushing on the strength of a 179-yard game at Clemson.
Barclay is averaging 98.3 yards per game and was named ACC Offensive Back of the Week for his efforts at Clemson.
Barclay, a second-team All-ACC pick as a sophomore, has now rushed for at least 100 yards in six of his last ten games. Since the Georgia Tech game last October, Barclay has averaged more than 117 yards against the Yellow Jackets, Duke, Florida State, Clemson (twice), North Carolina, Connecticut, Maryland, East Carolina and A&T.
With one more touchdown and 10 more yards, Barclay will become the 12th active Division I player -- and the only player in the Atlantic Coast Conference -- to have 2,200 career yards and 25 touchdowns on their collegiate resume. Barclay will be one of just four juniors on the national level to have accomplished the feat. The others are Marion Barber III (Minnesota), DonTrelle Moore (New Mexico) and Brad Smith (Missouri).
If Barclay stays healthy, he should eventually move into third place on the Wake Forest rushing chart this year.
Anderson Upgraded To Questionable For BC
Jason Anderson saw his streak of 14 straight starts come to an end as he missed the North Carolina A&T game with a sprained ankle.
He suffered the injury during the East Carolina game on the second play from scrimmage. Anderson was injured while making a 32-yard catch up the right sideline.
His status for this weekend will hinge on his ability to practice this week.
He would be replaced in the starting lineup by sophomore Nate Morton, who caught five passes for a career-best 142 yards and a touchdown against East Carolina.
At 18.7 yards per catch, Anderson leads the nation's active receivers. He is already Wake Forest's career leader in that category and ranks sixth all-time in the ACC.
Against Clemson, Anderson made his 100th career reception and moved into eighth place in Deacon history.
Anderson is one of just seven active receivers in the country with at least 1,900 career yards and 15 career touchdowns.
Milestone WatchWith 50 yards against North Carolina A&T, Barclay now has 2,190 yards for his career. He needs 14 yards to pass Anthony Williams (1988-91) to move into eighth place, 23 yards to pass Larry Hopkins (1970-71) to move into seventh place, 57 yards to pass John Leach (1990-93) to move into sixth place.
Barclay rushed for two touchdowns against the Aggies for his 23rd and 24th career touchdowns. That puts him in fourth place for the most touchdown runs in Deacon history. He is five touchdowns away from passing Larry Russell for third place.
Barclay has 144 career points, 10th place on the Wake Forest scoring chart. He is two points behind Todd Dixon for 9th place, seven points behind Phil Denfeld for 8th place, 10 points behind Mike Green for 7th place and 30 points behind Ricky Proehl for 6th place.
Jason AndersonAnderson ranks 8th on the Wake Forest career receiving charts with 1,929 career receiving yards. He needs 46 yards to pass Red O'Quinn (1946-49) to move into seventh place, 112 yards to pass James Brim (1983-86) for sixth place.
Anderson has 103 career receptions, good for 16th in Wake Forest history. He needs 17 catches to tie for the top-10.
Anderson continues to own the Wake Forest career mark for yards per reception. At 18.7 yards per catch, Anderson also currently ranks sixth in ACC history.
With 30 career pass breakups, Eric King ranks fourth in Wake Forest history. He needs two to pass Tony Mosley (1986-88) for third place and six to pass George Coghill (1989-92) for second place.
Ryan PlackemeierWith 97 career punts for a total of 4,352 yards, Ryan Plackemeier has an average of 44.86 yards per boot. That mark ranks first all-time in both Wake Forest and Atlantic Coast Conference history. It also ranks first among all active NCAA punters.
With 142 career points, Matt Wisnosky ranks 11th place in the Wake Forest record book. He is two points behind Chris Barclay for 10th place, four points behind Todd Dixon for 9th place, 11 points behind Phil Denfield for 8th place.
Wisnosky has made 21 straight PAT attempts and 57 of his last 58 extra points since October 2002.
With 70 extra points, Wisnosky ranks third in Wake Forest history. He needs 10 to pass Matthew Burdick (1979-82) for second place.
The Cory Details
At ECU, junior quarterback Cory Randolph became the first Demon Deacon, and third ACC player, to ever throw for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in the same game. The only other players in conference history to accomplish the feat are Charlie Ward of Florida State (vs. Maryland in 1992, 506 total yards, 111 rushing, 395 passing) and Woody Dantzler of Clemson (vs. NC State in 2001, 517 total yards,184 rushing, 333 passing).
Randolph finished with 344 yards passing and 107 yards rushing for a total of 451 yards of total offense, the fourth-highest since game total since Rusty LaRue set the ACC record in 1995. His passing and rushing totals were career-best performances.
Randolph was named ACC Offensive Back by the league's select media panel.
Since Jim Grobe's arrival in 2001, Wake Forest has posted a very successful 12-3 record against in-state opponents. The Deacons are 4-0 against East Carolina, 3-0 vs. Duke, 2-1 vs. North Carolina, 1-0 vs. Appalachian State, 1-0 vs. North Carolina A&T and 1-2 vs. NC State.
During that same time period against in-state rivals, NC State is 8-2, North Carolina is 6-5, Duke is 2-8 and East Carolina is 0-7.
Coming Down To The Wire
Nineteen of the 39 games in the Jim Grobe era -- almost half -- at Wake Forest have been decided by a touchdown or less, including the season opener every year.
Grobe Gets 20th Win At Wake Forest
Last week's win against North Carolina A&T was Jim Grobe's 20th victory as Wake Forest's head coach.
Grobe is the second fastest coach to reach the 20-win level in Wake Forest history. He needed 39 games to get there. Only D.C. "Peahead" Walker (1937-1950) got there faster. He earned his 20th victory in his 36th game as head coach.
Wake Forest coaches through 39 games:
D.C. Walker 1937-41 21-18
Jim Grobe 2001-04 20-19
Bill Dooley 1987-90 17-22
John Mackovic 1978-81 16-23
Al Groh 1982-85 16-23
Wake Forest's 18 wins in Grobe's first three seasons are the most wins in any three-year period since 1986-88.
Deacons Make A Good First Impression
Wake Forest has won each of its home openers under Jim Grobe.
Wake Forest beat Appalachian State 20-10 in 2001, beat East Carolina 27-22 in 2002, beat 14th-ranked NC State 38-24 in 2003 and beat North Carolina A&T 42-3 in 2004.
The Deacons are 24-13 in home openers since Groves Stadium opened in 1968.
Junior punter Ryan Plackemeier was named to the Ray Guy Award watch list, the Greater Augusta Sports Council announced. The Ray Guy Award is presented annually to college football's best punter by a national selection committee.
Plackemeier, a 6-foot-4, 235 pound native of Bonsall, Calif., was a first-team All-ACC pick last fall. He led the ACC and ranked sixth nationally in punting with a school season-record average of 45.6 yards per boot. Plackemeier put 11 of his 57 punts inside the 20 yard line and had a long punt of 67 yards.
Coming into the 2004 season, Plackemeier's 44.8 career punting average ranks first all-time at Wake Forest and in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
King Selected to Preseason Nagurski List
During the summer, senior cornerback Eric King was selected to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy preseason watch list, which is a compilation of the best defensive players in college football regardless of position, chosen by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
King, a 5-foot-10, 185 pound cornerback from Woodstock, Md., was a first-team All-ACC pick last fall and was chosen as Wake Forest's MVP by his teammates. He started all 11 games and led the ACC in passes defended with 18, including 15 breakups and three interceptions. As a sophomore, King was honorable mention All-ACC and started each contest.
King is one of 60 defensive players on the list.
The winner of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented by the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club, will be named on Dec. 6 at a banquet in Charlotte, N.C. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops will be the keynote speaker.
Lingruen Considered For Outland Trophy
Senior center Blake Lingruen has been selected to the Outland Trophy preseason watch list by the FWAA.
The Outland Trophy annually is presented to the top interior lineman in college football on either side of the ball - tackles, centers, guards - in a vote of the FWAA All-America Team Committee in late November.
Lingruen, a 6-foot-4, 298 pound center from Liberty Center, Ohio, started 11 games last year for the Demon Deacons despite suffering a knee sprain in the season opener.
He was chosen by The Sporting News as a second-team junior class All-American. Lingruen graded out at 88 percent for the season and averaged 9.3 knockdowns per game. He was the ACC Lineman of the Week after helping pave the way for five rushing touchdowns against Duke.
Lingruen is one of 57 interior lineman on the preseason watch list.
Presented since 1946, the Outland Trophy is the third oldest award in college football behind the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award.
It is named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Penn at the turn of the century.
Odds & EndsJim Grobe's teams have led their conference in rushing for the last eight years -- 1996 to 2000 at Ohio and 2001 to present at Wake Forest.
Blake Lingruen survived a scare last December when he was hit by a drunk driver while on a sidewalk in Ohio. He rolled up and over the car but suffered only a broken wrist and a few scratches. Lingruen's friends were able to get the license plate and the driver was convicted on a DUI and sentenced to 30 days in jail. Lingruen was ready to go on day one of spring practice.
During the summer, Jason Anderson attended a wide receiver camp in Los Angeles where he caught 100 passes a day and worked out with other collegiate receivers.
Ryan Plackemeier worked hard in the weight room this offseason and while at home in his native California, he practiced punting into the wind on the beaches to increase leg strength.
Brad White will finish his undergraduate degree in analytical finance this December and simultaneously get his graduate degree in accountancy. Last spring, White earned a 4.0 grade point average.
The Deacons will be the last Division I team to get on an airplane for a road trip this fall. Wake Forest won't have to fly to any road games until Nov. 20 when the Deacons play Miami's Orange Bowl. Of the 117 Division I football teams, only Western Michigan will not fly to any road games.
Deacons Make The Grade
During the summer, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) honored Wake Forest as having one of the top five graduation rates in all of college football.
As a team, Wake Forest posted a graduation rate of 94 percent. The national average was 59 percent.
Boston College, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State were also in the top five.
Other ACC schools which earned distinction for having a rate of 70 percent or better included Duke, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina and Virginia Tech.
Coming In Droves to Groves:
Home Attendance Record Set In 2003
Wake Forest set a new school season record for home attendance in 2003. In seven games, an average of 28,273 fans visited Groves Stadium (a total of 197,911 spectators). The school's season record was broken in 2002 as an average of 26,537 spectators attended six home dates at Groves. That average broke a 22-year-old record of 26,485 set in 1980.
On This Date
1997 -- In the first nationally televised game from Groves Stadium, the Deacons defeated NC State 19-18 on a Thursday night ESPN telecast. Matthew Burdick hit a 37-yard field goal with 43 seconds left in the game to give Wake Forest the victory.
The Deacons trailed 18-10 in the fourth quarter but Brian Kuklick hit Thabiti Davis for a touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, setting up Burdick's dramatics.