To preview this weekend's game between the 3-5 Eagles and the 2-6 Wake Forest Demon Deacons (yawn), we welcome Martin Rickman of the excellent Wake Forest site Blogger So Dear to the blog. In exchange, we answered some questions about the Eagles over on their site. Be sure to check them out.
BC Interruption: Wake Forest has an epically bad defense. BC has an epically bad offense. Does the world stop spinning when these two forces collide? Who do you expect to win in this pillow fight -- the Deacons D or the Eagles O?
Blogger So Dear: Eagles O in a romp. I'm pretty sure my Pop Warner team, the Hudson Hawks, could score 10 on the Deacs (we had a BEAST kicker back then). Look, Wake's defense is a train wreck. They celebrate on second downs, then give up 3rd and 15. The corners are 15 yards off the WRs, the d-line gets no pressure, and outside of Dorty and Wilber, there are no playmakers. This group looks like they've completely quit.
BCI: Wake Forest has been blown out by Stanford ... and by Florida State ... and by Virginia Tech ... and by Maryland, all on the road. Conversely, Wake is 2-2 at home with close losses to Georgia Tech and a heartbreaking loss to Navy. Is there anything to a little Wake Forest home cookin'? Or is Wake's home/road record split simply a product of the schedule (i.e. whom you've played at home vs. on the road?)
BSD: No homecooking. I don't know why, but outside of a call here or there, the refs really never give us the benefit of the doubt, in football OR basketball. It's really a matter of the teams we played. We've been pummeled by the option the last few years, so it was probably a big point of emphasis in practice. Plus getting it two weeks in a row-well it was on the team's mind. It doesn't help that we're a bad road team in general anyway.
BCI: It looks like Wake Forest is going to go with freshman Tanner Price at quarterback this weekend. What can you tell us about Price's performance thus far this season? How does his game differ from that of Wake's other options at QB -- Ted Stachitas and Skylar Jones?
BSD: He's been okay, but inconsistent, which is to be expected. Some throws look great; other throws look just terrible. I think he has a lot of talent and is the long-term solution at QB. Stachitas gives us (and I hate to say it) a Tebow-like mentality...lots of zone reads, lots of runs, a below-average arm. Skylar is also quick, but he is just not a starting QB in the ACC.
BCI: Wake was projected to take a step back this year in the post-Riley Skinner era, but did fans ever expect it to be this bad? What's the pulse of the fan base at the moment?
BSD: Most of the realistic fans predicted between 4 and 6 wins. And honestly, it's still possible I guess. But losing those two close games at home and getting absolutely embarrassed in a lot of other games, well, I just don't think we expected that. We were hoping the defense would play better, not be one of the bottom five teams in the whole country. The pulse of the fan base is flatlining. There are plenty of outcries (warranted) to fired both coordinators and blow the team up. There are doubts about talent evaluation. And some fans are even calling for Coach Grobe's head. It's ugly.
BCI: Wake is on their longest losing streak since 2000 and longest under head coach Jim Grobe. Even though Grobe pretty much single-handedly turned this program around, is his seat getting a little warm? How much more losing will the fan base endure before they start calling for Grobe's head?
BSD: See above answer. You never would have thought it after the turnaround he's had, but the team is looking more and more like the Fresh Deacs (the class with Aaron Curry, Stanley Arnoux, Chip Vaughn, Alphonso Smith and others) were the reason for the success. Looking back, this team had their problems the last few years anyway. If it wasn't for the defense's incredible play and a lot of luck, that magical ACC season would have never happened anyway. Take another glance-everything that could go right went right that year. The offense hasn't been good for what seems like forever, even with Riley Skinner at the helm. The defense has been getting worse, and it seems like the players we've brought in aren't getting better.
I'm worried about the direction of the program unless some changes are made. And the quotes Coach Grobe keeps throwing out aren't making a lot of fans feel any better. I love the guy and I think he's a great coach, but right now things aren't good to say the least.
BCI: With the calendar turning to November and a disappointing season on the gridiron, I'm sure Wake fans are happy that college basketball is right around the corner. But like BC, Wake Forest will be breaking in a first year coach in Jeff Bzzzzzzzzzz (couldn't spell it if I tried). Who will have more success in year 1 -- Bzz or BC's Steve Donahue?
BSD: Coin flip at this point. We're injured already, we're playing five freshmen, we're not deep. I'm excited for the class and from all accounts, Coach Bzdelik is a calming influence on the young guys. But we're going to turn the ball over and we're going to be TERRIBLE defensively. There will be a couple of nice upset wins and a lot of ugly losses. I guess that didn't answer your question, but I'd give the edge to Donahue.
BCI: Last one. Prediction time. Whenever BC and Wake get together, it seems to get cra-zeee. Will this game be any different? Who ya got in this one? What's the final score?
BSD: You guys are going to win. It won't be crazy. It's gonna be something like 28-10. I'm going to be out of town and unable to watch the game. I'm actually excited about that.
BCI: Thanks for joining us.
For more information about the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, be sure to check out Blogger So Dear.