ESPN has been ranking how strong each ACC team is at each position. Today at Blogger So Dear we will take a look at ESPN's running back rankings. The Wake Forest Demon Deacons came in a lowly 14th out of 14. Is that justified? We examine.
Last season the Deacs averaged just 3.03 yards/carry, which was 127th out of 128 in the country. That's awful by any definition. The year before the Deacs were last nationally, and averaged .7 yards/carry less than the second-to-last ranked team. The positive news for the Wake rushing attack? They more than doubled their yards/carry, though that probably says more about 2014 than just the improvement in 2015.
How did Wake improve in 2015? Freshmen. Wake's three leading rushers last season were Tyler Bell (3.5 ypc), Kendall Hinton (4.2 ypc), and Matt Colburn (3.6 ypc). No player in 2014, who had more than 10 carries, averaged more than 2.86 yards/carry. What will 2016 look like?
It should help tremendously that the Wake Forest offensive line will only get better. Wake will also add freshmen Cade Carney and Arkeem Byrd. Carney had a fantastic spring, and I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up being the starting back. Byrd is a dynamic player, who will give the Wake rushing attack explosiveness and playmaking in the open field.
I can't come up with a legitimate argument that says Wake Forest does not have the worst rushing attack, at least at this point. I think there's some room for optimism, but as of May, they do have the worst. Still, it should be about closing the gap. Wake has done that through recruiting. For Wake to take another step forward, then the backs are going to need strong improvement from the offensive line in order for them to provide leverage and create gaps.
What are your thoughts? Tomorrow we will take a look at ACC receiving corps.