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Thursday, October 11, 2012
Wake has major questions on offensive line

By Andrea Adelson

Wake Forest knew it would have some major question marks on the offensive line this season, with four new starters up front.

But coach Jim Grobe felt if could keep everybody healthy, his group would be able to hold its own. Unfortunately for the Deacs, that has not been the case, and the prospects for the remainder of the season look bleak. Grobe said this week that starter Antonio Ford is out for the season with a broken leg, an injury sustained in a loss to Maryland last week.

Another starter, Steven Chase, has been playing with a torn ACL. Wake Forest was without starting guard Frank Souza last week because of a suspension, so the injury to Ford really left Grobe's line depleted.

"We've got issues, there's no question," Grobe said. "We went into the season feeling like we'd have five pretty good guys up front. Thought if we could keep guys healthy we would be actually pretty good, even better than competitive. But right away, second practice, Steven Chase tears his ACL, and then Antonio Ford broke his leg. Our senior center (Garrick Williams) is playing pretty good, and we thought he would. But the other four, Steven Chase and Antonio Ford are arguably our two best offensive linemen. Steven is coming back now trying to play with that ACL, and really for a guy with an ACL is hanging in there pretty good.

"But losing Antonio was a problem, and mainly because we had kind of repped five guys all week and really hoped to keep those five on the field, and so as soon as Antonio goes down, now we're putting in, kind of moving guys around, putting young guys back out there again."

Grobe said he has never had a lineman play with a torn ACL, but the Deacs do not have much choice, so long as doctors have Chase cleared to play. During the bye this week, Grobe said he will be looking for the five best players to start at Virginia next week, and then hope they can all stay healthy.

"We have got depth problems and we've got some young guys playing," Grobe said. "We've got one guy, Whit Barnes, that we're really playing out of position. He's a center and we've got him playing guard. I think we'll try to over the next week and a half try to get our best five guys in there and hopefully they can give us the lion's share if not all the snaps when we go up to Virginia."