2010 In Review
Beset by inexperience at quarterback and throughout its defensive unit, Wake Forest posted a 3-9 overall record including a 1-7 mark in the ACC, and missed a bowl berth for only the second time in the last five years under head coach Jim Grobe. In his 10th season at the helm, Grobe, who has won more games (62) than any coach in Wake Forest history save for D.C. “Peahead” Walker, saw his Demon Deacons suffer three losses by 10 or fewer points...In a possible portent of good things to come, Wake rebounded from a nine-game losing streak at season's end to down Vanderbilt, 34-13... True freshman Tanner Price received the bulk of the playing time at quarterback, completing 56.8 percent of his passes for 1,349 yards and 7 TDs in nine starts...Price is the first Wake Forest true freshman QB to lead the Deacons to a road victory since 1994...Another true freshman, RB Josh Harris, recorded the 5th-best single-game rushing total for an ACC freshman by running for 241 yards on 20 carries against Virginia Tech...Harris, who finished 5th in the ACC in rushing yards per game (65.5), and LB Nikita Whitlock were named Freshman All-Americas... PK Jimmy Newman finished second in the ACC in field goal percentage, making 12 of 13 three-pointers (.923)...WR Chris Givens finished fifth in the ACC in all-purpose yardage (92.3)...DE Kyle Wilber tied for fifth in the ACC in TFLs (14.5), second in fumbles forced (3) and 10th in QB sacks (6)... DE Tristan Dorty tied for seveth in the ACC in fumbles recovered (2).
Wake Forest loses seven starters, four of them on offense, two on defense and P Shane Popham...Offensively, the Deacons lose two of their top three receivers in Devon Brown and Marshall Williams as well as C Russell Nenon and RB Josh Adams, who finished his career seventh on Wake’s career rushing list with 2,249 yards...Defensively, the Deacs lost two of their top four tacklers in LBs Hunter Haynes and LB Matt Woodlief.
Coach Grobe welcomes back 17 starters among his 54 returning lettermen...Offensively, seven starters return led by sophomore QB Tanner Price...Price started the last nine games of 2010, solidified his status as starter in the spring, and will be backed by junior Ted Stachitas and sophomore Brendan Cross...Consistent QB play will be a key to Wake Forest’s improvement in 2011 and the year of experience should help Price significantly...So should having four offensive line starters return in Ts Dennis Godfrey and Doug Weaver and Gs Joe Looney and Michael Hoag...Junior Garrick Williams, who started the final three games of 2010--two at guard and one at center--will move into a starting role at the pivot...Both tight ends return as well in seniors Cameron Ford and Andrew Parker...At running back, sophomore Josh Harris was impressive as a true freshman, rushing for 720 yards, a 5.5 per-carry avg and is joined by senior RB Brandon Pendergrass, who has 1,049 career yards and a 4.1 per-carry average and starting FB Tommy Bohannon... The receiving corps should again be solid led by junior WR Chris Givens and sophomore WR Michael Campanaro...The Deacons also have on hand a reliable placekicking weapon in PK Jimmy Newman. who made 12 of 13 field goals last season (.923) to rank second in the Conference in FG %... On the defensive side, co-coordinators Brian Knorr and Tim Billings take over for Brad Lambert, who left to take the head coaching position at start-up UNC Charlotte...Wake converted to a 3-4 defense last year and will remain in this configuration for 2011...The Deacons should benefit from having experience at virtually every position this fall...NG Nikita Whitlock, who had 10.5 TFLs and 3 sacks as a freshman last year, is flanked by DE’s senior Tristan Dorty (7 TFLs) and sophomore Zack Thompson...Big-play performer Kyle Wilber, who led the Deacons in tackles for loss (14.5) and QB sacks (6.0), will start at one OLB spot, backed up by senior OLB Gelo Orange...Junior Joey Ehrmann will man the other OLB post, with juniors Scott Betros and Riley Haynes starting at ILB...Though all four starters return in the secondary, 2009 starter Kenny Okoro reclaimed his starting cornerback berth in the spring, and is joined as a starter by sophomore CB A.J. Marshall, with another sophomore, CB Dominique Tate, serving as the primary backup at both positions...Senior SS Cyhl Quarles, Wake’s leading returning tackler with 71 hits, returns, while Josh Bush moves over from cornerback to handle the free safety position...Experienced depth is provided here by FS Daniel Mack and SS Duran Lowe... Australian rules football convert Alex Kindal will seek to handle Wake Forest’s punting chores.
Numbers & Notes
3 - Three of Wake Forest’s nine losses in 2010 were by 10 or fewer points and by a combined total of just 15 points (5.0 avg.), including a one-point defeat to Navy and a four-point loss to Georgia Tech.
4 - Wake Forest QB Tanner Price was one of four ACC true freshmen who made their starting debut at quarterback in 2010. Price was joined by Duke’s Brandon Connette, Miami’s Stephen Morris and Boston College’s Chase Rettig. Both Rettig and Price had the most starts in the group with nine starting assignments each.
8 - The number of Texas natives on this year’s Wake Forest roster. The Texans have an influence beyond their numbers, though as the Lone Star state natives include starting QB Tanner Price (Austin), leading rusher RB Josh Harris (Duncanville), leading returning receiver in WR Chris Givens (Wylie) and starting NG Nikita Whitlock (Wylie). Givens was named to the preseason watch list for the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the nation’s top receiver.
9 - Wake Forest will face nine 2011 opponents who participated in a post-season bowl game in 2010 including non-conference foes Notre Dame (Hyundai Sun) and Syracuse (New Era Pinstripe).
12 - Wake Forest PK Jimmy Newman enters the 2011 season having made 12 consecutive field goal attempts. Newman missed his first attempt in 2010, then made his next 12 attempts. The ACC record is 27 set by NC State’s Marc Primanti during the 1995-96 seasons.
24.0 - Wake Forest senior OLB Kyle Wilber has recorded 24.0 tackles for loss in his career, the third-highest mark of any 2011 returning ACC defender.
54 - Wake Forest welcomes back the second highest amount of returning lettermen in the ACC this year with 54 returnees who have played enough in either 2008, 2009 or 2010 to earn a letter. Florida State (58) leads in that category.