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September 20, 2012

In the trenches: Wake vs. Army

Wake Forest (2-1, 1-1 ACC) is in major need of a win following its 52-0 loss at No. 4 Florida State, and Saturday's Homecoming game versus Army (0-2) is a great way to get back on track.

Deacons Illustrated discussed Wake's upcoming challenge with GoBlackKnights.com football analyst A.M. Allan.

Army obviously likes to run the ball, but what are the strengths of its Triple Option offense that make it difficult to defend and why? "As you know, this is an Army team that is returning all of the key backfield ingredients from an offense that led the nation in rushing in 2011. You have a four-year starter at QB, Trent Steelman, 1,000 rusher in slot-back Raymond Maples, up and coming fullback, Larry Dixon, along others slot-back starting with senior, Malcolm Brown."

"So first there's the experience factor, that speaks well to the Black Knights running an effective and even deceptive option offense. But perhaps the key component in Army's success offensively is with the decision making ability that begins and ends with Steelman running the show. He has the keen ability to read defenses and as he goes, so goes the "O"."

What is a significant area of weakness in Army's offense Wake Forest could exploit? "Everyone one knows that for Army, it's run first and pass some other time. As such, it won't be a surprise to see Wake Forest have 8 or perhaps even 9 in the box. At that point, it will become a battle of will vs. wits ... who will blink first?"

Jim Grobe described Army's defense as unconventional and not afraid play bump and run coverage. What are some things the Demon Deacons can expect from the Black Knights on defense? "Unfortunately, bump and run, or press coverage as I call it was the Black Knights' Achilles heel last week against Northern Illinois who burned them throughout the day. My guess is that the Demon Deacons will see similar coverage that is masked with safety or linebacker help underneath. However, if Army's front four can't apply early pass pressure, expect a variation of stunts and blitzes to slow down quarterback Tanner Price."

What are the biggest concerns Wake brings to the table for Army? "Plain and simple ... the Deacons passing game. Until Army proves that they can slow it down, I expect Grobe to bring it and bring it often.
What is Army's injury situation going into Saturday's game? "The biggest loss is sophomore slot-back Terry Baggett, but Army has solid depth at running back and should not miss a beat."


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