The Wake Forest Demon Deacons now have their answer at quarterback as they enter the 2019 season. With perhaps the biggest question answered, the Deacs are seeking their fourth straight bowl game appearance (and win). Don’t look now, but Wake Forest also holds the longest bowl game winning streak in the ACC.
After longing for football since the victory in the Birmingham Bowl, College Football is back this week when the Florida Gators meet the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday. The Arizona Wildcats also take on the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors later that evening.
Predictions only will continue as we build up to
my birthday the Deacs home opener against Utah State.
1) Who is Wake Forest’s most important player on offense this season?
Answer: Jamie Newman
Why: The Deacs for the second year in the row had a training camp battle at signal caller with the same two challengers. This year Newman won over QB Sam Hartman. The QB question was definitely a big one but there are some changes in the other position groups as well. The Beef Boys seemed to have found a couple of new replacements in Zach Tom at center and Sean Maginn at left guard. Skill players will be slightly different as well do-it-all Greg Dortch in a NFL camp. With the changes around him, Newman will look to build off his hot streak last season and ironically be a consistent cog for the productive Wake Forest offense.
2) Who is Wake Forest’s most important player on defense this season?
Answer: Justin Strnad
Why: Last year, the Demon Deacons defense was decimated with injury. A defensive coordinator change along with health helped the defense gel a bit to end the season but this year, Strnad is coming back and securing the middle of the defense.
While Essang Bassey may be the most talented player in terms of the next level, Strnad seems to be the consistent rock of the defense.
3) What should be the biggest change between last year and this year?
Answer: Depth (and health)
Why: In a weird way, health is not something that is controllable but the Deacs could elevate to another level if health (and therefore depth) is kind to them this year. Last season, the back seven was devastated with injury that forced S Cam Glenn to essentially play at all three levels of defense and players like Luke Masterson be all over the field and out of position at times.
Entering the season, the Deacs unfortunately lost LB Jake Simpson to medical hardship but a number of young players have stepped up (like Shamar McCollum) which may help the depth even further. This year (knocking on wood), the depth will be a big difference, especially for the defense.
4) What is Wake Forest’s most important game on this schedule, and why?
Answer: Boston College Eagles
Why: It’s easy to say Utah State because it’s a sneaky tough matchup and sets the tone for the rest of the season. However, for the second year in the row, the Eagles will be an important game on the schedule.
A 1-0 start (because UNC is not a conference game....) in the ACC along with a potential 5-0 start could make this season very special for the Deacs and the Eagles are in the way. Last season, the loss to BC made the fan base feel a bit deflated but this year, there’s a bit more confidence and hope to beat the Eagles.
5) What is your prediction for W/L record and postseason destination?
Answer: 8 wins in the regular season, 9th win in the bowl game.
Why: The Deacs have won three straight bowl games in a row and it’s prediction and positive season. The Deacs are looking to take the next step and 8 regular season wins and a fourth straight bowl game would be a good season and further evidence of Coach Clawson being the perfect man for the program.