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Wake Forest (1-2) at Army (1-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 21, 12 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Michie Stadium (38,000) -- West Point, New York. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Wake Forest 1-1, Army 1-1. Away Record: Wake Forest 0-1, Army 0-1. Neutral Record: Wake Forest 0-0, Army 0-0. Conference Record: Wake Forest 0-1, Army 0-0. Series Record: Wake Forest leads, 8-4.
GAME NOTES: Two teams looking to put a stop to losing slides will square off at Michie Stadium when the Wake Forest Demon Deacons visit the Army Black Knights.
Despite a record-setting game from Michael Campanaro, the Demon Deacons fell just short against ULM last time out. Wake Forest scored a touchdown with four seconds left to play on a 23-yard pass from Tanner Price to Orville Reynolds, but the ensuing two-point conversion attempt failed. That left the Demon Deacons on the wrong side of a 21-19 decision and also gave them their second loss in a row.
Army gave No. 5 Stanford everything it could handle at Michie Stadium in its most recent bout. However, the Cardinal eventually prevailed, with a 34-20 victory over the Black Knights, who had been routed, 40-14, by Ball State the previous weekend. Army is still looking for its first win of the campaign against a FBS opponent. It's lone victory came against FCS foe Morgan State (28-12).
A year ago Wake Forest hosted Army and won in a 49-37 shootout. The win pushed the Demon Deacons' led in the all-time series to 8-4.
Campanaro hauled in 16 passes to tie his own Atlantic Coast Conference record against ULM. Campanaro is now second in the ACC in catches (21) behind Duke's Jamison Crowder. He is also averaging 131.5 yards per game. Jonathan Williams (13 receptions, 206 yards) and Reynolds (nine receptions, 131 yards, two TDs) have also been productive receivers.
The passing game has been led by starting quarterback Tanner Price. The senior has completed just 58.8 percent of his attempts for 729 yards and four touchdowns. Price has managed to limit his own mistakes, with just a single interception.
While the passing game has been strong the Demon Deacons just haven't been able to get anything going on the ground. Wake Forest is averaging just 86.3 rushing yards per game. That number is last in the ACC and makes Wake Forest the only team in the league posting less than 100 yards on the ground.
In its first three games Wake Forest has managed to be a stingy defensive squad. Foes are picking up less than 300 yards, while scoring only 17.3 points per game. However, teams have had great success once they do move the ball down the field, scoring on 75 percent of their chances in the red zone.
Mike Olson doubled his tackle total for the regular season against ULM with 12 stops. He now leads the team with 24. Nikita Whitlock and Zach Thompson have provided a strong pass rush with nine TFL and five sacks combined. Brandon Chubb has collected one of six interceptions recorded by the Demon Deacons, while ranking second on the team in tackles (21).
Running the ball is not an issue for Army like it is for Wake Forest. Of course that is due to the triple-option offense that the Black Knights employ. Army has attempted more runs than any other team in the country (167) and ranks seventh in the nation in rushing yards per game (314). Army was even able to run successfully against the punishing Stanford run defense as the team had 284 yards on 61 carries.
A.J. Schurr and Angel Santiago have shared quarterbacking duties for the Black Knights. The position requires much more in terms of running the ball then passing. The two combined for just 49 passing yards on six completions but 72 yards on the ground against Stanford. Santiago has been the more utilized signal caller as he has rushed for 211 yards and three scores, while making 11 more pass attempts than Schurr. Santiago is second on the team in rushing yards.
Larry Dixon (242 yards, three TDs) is the chief option among a deep stable of running backs for the Black Knights. Raymond Maples (23 carries, 123 yards) is the next most productive back.
Although their offensive scheme lends itself to a slower pace that stops opposing offenses from posting large numbers in yardage, Army still hasn't been able to slow teams down. After Stanford posted 30 points, the Black Knights are now letting up 28.7 points, on 383 yards per game. Army has yet to get a stop in 12 red zone chances for foes.
Geoffery Bacon (26 tackles) and Thomas Holloway (25 tackles) are reliable tacklers, while Josh Jenkins (nine tackles, four passes defended, INT) has been solid in pass coverage.
It was a surprise to see Army play up to the competition against Stanford. Wake Forest does not have nearly the same type of pedigree on defense as the Cardinal and will struggle to slow down the Black Knights' run game.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Army 24, Wake Forest 21
09/18 10:37:33 ET
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