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Wake Forest vs. Army: 3 Keys to the Game

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Wake is a 2.5 point underdog at home. What facets of the game will allow Wake to prove the oddsmakers wrong?

Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

1. Wake Forest Offensive Line vs. Army Defensive Line

Much has been made in recent weeks about Wake Forest's struggles on the offensive line, and rightfully so. Freshman quarterback John Wolford has been sacked 14 times so far in this young season. Against Utah State, the offensive line allowed Wolford to be hurried or sacked 24 times out of 56 drop backs. In total Wake Forest has 87 rushing attempts (sacks included as attempts in college) for 68 yards, or 0.78 yards/attempt. Even if you remove Wolford's rushing attempts, we average just 2.02 yards/carry. That absolutely must improve. The good news for Wake Forest is that the Army defensive line has just two sacks so far this season, and opponents are averaging 5.77 yards/rush. The Deacs have to take advantage of Army's undersized line in this game, give Wolford time, and also establish a run game.

2. Wake Forest Defensive Line

I can't emphasize enough how important the play of our defensive line will be this Saturday. The primary goal of the defensive tackles is to blow up the play from the beginning. They will be the primary ones in charge on containing fullback Larry Dixon, who is averaging 6 yards per carry. The defensive ends will have an even more difficult challenge. The ends are accountable for helping on the fullback dive as well as beating the offensive line and forcing the quarterback to show his decision. This requires a tremendous amount of athleticism. Fortunately for Wake Forest, both Wendell Dunn and and Zachary Allen are converted Allen, so they are ideal players to defend the option attack.

3. Eliminating Turnovers

Through three games the Wake Forest offense has already committed seven turnovers, which includes one lost fumble and six interceptions. On two of Wake's first three drives against Gardner-Webb they threw interceptions in the red zone. This means Wolford needs to be more accurate, but it also means the offensive line needs to block better and the receivers need to secure the ball when it's thrown to them. Against Utah State, the Aggies scored a touchdown on both an interception and fumble by Wake Forest.

What do you all think are the keys to the game?