Every team has issues to address this offseason, and this week, we're taking a look at the most glaring holes for each ACC team and figuring out where they might find answers between now and the season opener.
Position to improve: Offensive line
Why it was a problem: It all starts up front, and that was the cause of the biggest problems for the Demon Deacons this season. It is hard to run the ball or make big plays in the pass game when the men in the trenches have a difficult time sustaining blocks. The offensive line has been an issue for years at Wake Forest, so it was not a huge surprise that this unit struggled. Especially when you consider the Deacs had started a true freshman at center for the first seven games of the season to pair with a true freshman starting quarterback. Add in next to no experience or depth at running back, and you get one of the worst offenses in the country. Wake Forest finished No. 124 in rushing offense (out of 125) with an average of 39.9 yards per game (and 1.25 yards per carry). Yards were taken off those rushing numbers because the Deacs gave up so many sacks -- 48 in all, to rank tied for last in the country.
How it can be fixed: Wake Forest only had one senior listed on its two-deep from a year ago, so the hope is that this group will come back not only with more experience, but with a deeper knowledge of the new offensive scheme and systems. The Deacs also redshirted several freshmen offensive linemen a year ago, so they should have more depth and more competition during practices. During recruiting, Wake Forest heavily targeted skill position players as well to help provide added depth and competition at running back, quarterback and receiver. Three of the four early enrollees this year are skill players.
Early 2015 outlook: Coach Dave Clawson expects every unit to step up its play this season, most especially the offensive line since that is the unit that takes the longest to develop. Though Cory Helms decided to transfer, three starters are expected back, including veteran tackle Dylan Intemann, with 28 career starts. Wake Forest also expects to sign two more offensive tackles next week. Keep in mind Wake Forest would also like to use more two-tight end sets. Cam Serigne emerged a year ago; now the Deacs have added ESPN 300 tight end Bowman Archibald into the mix. They have the potential to help with blocking as well. There is little doubt the offensive line is a work in progress, but this group should be improved in 2015.