Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Midseason report: Wake Forest
By Andrea Adelson
Record: 3-3, 1-3
Injuries have taken a major toll on the Deacs, who are coming off their bye with losses in three of their past four games. Nothing has seemed to go right since their come-from-behind win over North Carolina. The following week, Wake lost 54-0 to the Seminoles. Its only win in this recent span was in a shootout over Army. The Deacs also had their 12-game winning streak over Duke snapped, 34-27, and followed that loss with another one to Maryland, a game that the Deacs were forced to play without starting receiver Michael Campanaro (hand) and six suspended players (four of them starters).
In the week since that game, coach Jim Grobe has announced the indefinite suspension of two others, safety Duran Lowe and offensive tackle Devin Bolling, both backups. On-the-field play has definitely not made headlines this season because of all these outside forces. In addition to Campanaro, Wake Forest has seen key players like Nikita Whitlock, offensive tackle Steven Chase and cornerback Merrill "Bud" Noel miss time because of injuries. The offensive line has been hit particularly hard because of injuries -- Chase is playing with a torn ACL and Antonio Ford is out for the season.
The Deacs rank in the bottom half of the country in total offense (102) and total defense (83) and have simply been too inconsistent to win games. There are talented players on this roster, and Wake Forest should get healthier as the year goes on. Campanaro is expected back in the next few weeks. There are winnable games remaining, but there is no question Grobe is going to need to find a way to get the ship headed in the right direction.
Offensive MVP: WR Michael Campanaro. When Campanaro got hurt against Duke, he was one of the best receivers in the ACC, leading the league with 38 catches while ranking second in the country in receptions. He had nine or more catches in four of five full games he played in this season, leading the team with 429 yards and three touchdowns.
Defensive MVP: OLB Justin Jackson. Jackson has been the most consistent player on defense, leading the team with 47 tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks. He also has forced a fumble and blocked an extra-point attempt.