The Deacs are 1-0, but we’re already on to the next one. Wake Forest takes on the Towson Tigers (1-0) this Saturday in the home opener, so let’s take a look at the Tigers defense.
Since we have just 1 game to look at from this season, I’ll start with a quick dive into how the Tigers performed on defense last season.
In total defense, the Tigers ranked 21st out 122 FCS teams, giving up just 332.3 yards per game. That breaks down into 170.5 passing yards per game (9th in FCS) and 161.8 rushing yards per game (62nd in FCS). I have a feeling that their total defense rank had something to do with their offensive pace, as the Tigers gave up 27.6 points per game and were the third worst FCS team in 3rd down defense, giving up a first down at an almost 50% rate. If you want an FBS opponent for the sake of comparison, the Tigers gave up 63 points and 535 yards against 4-8 Maryland last season.
This season, Towson has played just one game — a 36-10 win over Morgan State. The Tigers held the Bears to just 167 yards of total offense, 13 first downs, and 0 offensive points. I am not all that familiar with FCS football, but Morgan State was 1-10 last season, so take from that what you will.
The Tigers do return several key players on the defensive end: senior Diondre Wallace led the team with 90 total tackles a season ago, red-shirt senior Monty Fenner led the team with 3 interceptions while adding 72 total tackles last season, and redshirt sophomore Bryce Carter finished his first year with 4 sacks and 8 tackles for loss.
All that being said, I don’t think the Deacs should have too much of a problem establishing the run game early and extending drives on 3rd down.