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2019 Wake Forest football season preview

2018 Season: 7-6, 3-5 in the ACC (T-5th in ACC Atlantic)

Head Coach: Dave Clawson (6th Season)

While Demon Deacon football usually plays second fiddle to the basketball that captivates viewers of the Atlantic Coast Conference, they have begun to find some success recently under the tenure of Dave Clawson. And there is good reason for Wake Forest fans to ramp up the atmosphere about its compatriots on the gridiron for the coming season.

Taking a look back at last fall, the Demon Deacons started the season with an absolute thriller of a contest, an overtime win broadcast on CBS for the country to see. They followed it up with a 31-point drubbing of Towson, but were brought back to reality with losses to Boston College and Notre Dame. Overall, this was how most of the rest of the season continued—alternating one or two wins with one or two losses. Clemson handed them their jockstraps in a 60-point loss, but just two weeks later, Wake Forest put up 56 in a win over Louisville. It finished out the campaign by sending Daniel Jones and the Duke Blue Devils packing, and then won a nail-biter over Memphis in the Birmingham Bowl to secure both a winning record and a solid end to 2018.

Setting up a wining season in 2019 is helped by the fact that most of Wake Forest's core is returning for at least another season, if not multiple. Leading the offense at the quarterback position was Sam Hartman— a freshman. He threw for almost 2,000 yards, completing 55.3 percent of his passes and finding his receivers in the end zone 16 times over nine games played. Also returning for the offense are faces such as Cade Carney, a back who rushed for 1,005 yards last season.

On the defensive side of the ball, Wake Forest will be returning three of its four top tacklers, including its top man in Justin Strnad, who played in all 13 games and broke the 100 tackle mark with 105. The Demon Deacons will need to keep the yardage to a minimum this year, as they allowed an average of 458.6 per game last year.

The ceiling for the Demon Deacons doesn’t look astronomically high, but head coach David Cutcliffe and his Blue Devils will certainly be looking at a contest when they travel to Winston-Salem in November. Look for this game to decide bowl contention and conference placement for both squads.


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