Deacons gain ground in second spring scrimmage

Josh Harris runs against Army during a 2012 game - Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

Wake Forest rushed rushers run for 236 yards in the second scrimmage of spring practice.

Tanner Price and Joshua Harris each scored touchdowns and the Demon Deacon offense rushed for 236 yards during a steamy second scrimmage of 2013 spring practice. Deacon passers got few chances to showcase their arms, as the Wake Forest offensive plan called for 57 runs out of 69 total plays. Harris led all rushers with 67 yards on 14 carries, including a touchdown from 4 yards out on the final drive of the scrimmage.

Following the scrimmage, head coach Jim Grobe sounded pleased with what he saw out of his young team.

"I thought we competed good," Grobe said. "I thought we competed really good. I think offensively we got more done today. I thought we improved quite a bit. I thought our running backs got better today. I thought Josh was more comfortable, I thought Deandre (Martin) was more comfortable. I think we've got some talent in the two young running backs. So, that was a good thing to see."

The scrimmage featured its share of botched snaps and broken plays, but Grobe attributed that to youth and lack of depth (redshirt freshman Cody Preble played a number of snaps at center).

"Right now, our guys offensively, are trying to figure out what to do more than realizing the situation but I think we're getting closer," he said. "We're getting closer to where the mechanics are going to be simpler."

Despite the positives he gleaned from Saturday's scrimmage, Grobe expressed some concern about the offensive execution on a few short yardage situations, in which the offense routinely fell short.

"The one thing I was disappointed in is I think we had about three or four or five fourth and inches," Grobe said. "I'm not talking about fourth and a yard, I'm talking about two or three inches and our guys have to do a better job offensively in realizing the situation and getting that extra few inches so we got first downs to keep drives alive."

The defense again played with a high level of intensity, which contributed to a rather physical intrasquad scrimmage. Free safety Ryan Janvion was all over the field, recording 2 solo tackles and assisting on 7 more. Zach Thompson also had a strong scrimmage, assisting on 5 tackles while garnering 2 more on his own.

"I thought we had a lot of energy, lot of guys running to the football," Grobe said. "We've got a lot of young guys on the field, again, that aren't real real comfortable with what to do, but when they know what to do they're getting to the football in a hurry. All in all, I was really kind of pleased with the energy. That was a physical scrimmage."

Despite the offensive miscues, Wake Forest did not turn the ball over during the course of the practice. Perhaps most important was the lack of any serious injury, although those in attendance held their collective breath when Preble went down on the last play of the scrimmage. Trainers later determined it to be an ankle sprain.

Wake Forest will conclude the spring season with its annual "spring game" at BB&T Field on Saturday. The scrimmage will begin at 1:00 p.m. and is free to the public.

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