Wake's defense improves, offense is hurting

October, 6, 2010
10/06/10
11:00
AM ET
Wake Forest backup quarterback Skylar Jones has turf toe. Backup Brendan Cross has a sore non-throwing shoulder. And Ted Stachitas will be out.

The good news for the Deacs is that true freshman Tanner Price should be ready to go after suffering a concussion two weeks ago against Florida State.

With so many injuries at quarterback, coach Jim Grobe said it's been impossible to find any consistency. Three quarterbacks played in Saturday's loss to Georgia Tech, and the first two -- Stachitas and Cross --left with injuries.

"It's impossible," Grobe said. "It's not a tough job, it's an impossible job. One of the things that you worry about is the amount of reps you give guys during the week. Last week we gave each quarterback a third of the reps because we didn't know who would be the best guy in the game or who would be the most durable, and as it turned out, we needed all three."

If Wake Forest can find some stability at quarterback and get the same effort from the defense against Navy on Saturday that it gave in the loss to Georgia Tech last weekend, the Deacs could get their first win since Sept. 11 against Duke. Wake has the advantage of facing a similar triple-option offense two weeks in a row.

On Saturday, the Yellow Jackets rushed 48 times for 209 yards. It marked the fewest rushing yards allowed by the Demon Deacons in seven games against Paul Johnson's triple-option offense (dating to Paul Johnson's arrival at Navy in 2002. Georgia Tech had entered the game ranked fourth in the nation in rushing, averaging 320 yards per game.

"It lets us know that we're capable of playing against the offense," Grobe said. "We can certainly look at things we did wrong, so we can correct those mistakes. One of the issues is that Navy now has a good bead on us. They saw how we attacked Georgia Tech, so they'll have a pretty good plan and have some wrinkles for us that we don't expect. One of the other issues is that we're beat up a little bit. That's a physical offense, and to go against it two weeks in a row makes it tough."

Redshirt senior linebacker Matt Woodlief has had three of his best games against triple-option teams. He had eight tackles against Georgia Tech on Saturday. He also had 12 against Navy last year and six against Georgia Tech in 2009. Woodlief’s three tackles for loss against Georgia Tech on Saturday also represented a career-high.

Still, Georgia Tech is not Navy.

"Georgia Tech isn't the same offense at Navy," noseguard Nikita Whitlock said. "They're a little bit more powerhouse and they hit you a little bit harder. But, Navy is more like technicians. When they cut you, they're going to cut you, so be ready for it. When they come at you with your helmets, make sure you have your shin guards on and your hands down because Navy is tenacious. They're really good at what they do. But playing the option against Georgia Tech really helped us."

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