Wake Forest is coming off of a brutal season, as the Demon Deacons lost nine in a row at one point, finishing the season 3-9, including 1-7 in the ACC. Seven times, Wake Forest allowed 30 points or more, as it finished 110th in the NCAA in points against (35.8). Worse yet, the offense struggled, scoring just 22.8 points per game. But there is optimism in Winston-Salem heading into the upcoming season, with a maturing nucleus of stars.
Players to watch for (Offense):
TANNER PRICE (QB): Last season, Price emerged as a true freshman to take over the helm. The lefty showed flashes of brilliance, including a three-touchdown effort against Duke and threw for 326 yards against Navy. But he also showed he had a lot to learn, completing just 3-of-16 passes against Virginia Tech. Price has had a full season now in the Deacons system and will try to build on his consistency.
JOSH HARRIS (RB): Look no further than Wake Forest’s game against Virginia Tech to see Harris’ potential. The back rushed for 241 yards and two touchdowns against a solid Hokie defense. For the season, he finished with 720 yards (good for fifth in the ACC) and seven touchdowns.
CHRIS GIVENS (WR): Heading into his third year as a starter, Givens finished last season with 514 yards and four touchdowns. He’ll be a frequent target of Price’s with the graduation of Devon Brown, who hauled in a team-leading 39 catches last year.
Players to watch for (Defense):
TRISTAN DORTY (DE): Last season, with injuries piling up, necessity forced Wake Forest to switch to a 3-4 defense from its traditional 4-3. Dorty was one of the stars of the defense, finishing with 44 tackles, including 7.5 for loss and 2.5 sacks.
KYLE WILBER (OLB): Originally a defensive end, Wilber moved to linebacker in the new 3-4 scheme. He ended up leading the Deacons with 14.5 tackles for loss and 6.0 sacks and was third on the team with 65 total tackles.
Fearless prediction: Syracuse will open its season Thursday night against Wake Forest on Sept. 1 at the Carrier Dome. The Deacons return 58 players from last year’s team and did finish off the season with a 34-13 win at Vanderbilt. But the Orange, behind a few key returning starters of its own will open the season with a win.
- What kind of senior season will Tyler Roberson have at Syracuse? - October 25, 2016
- Instant Juice: Syracuse 28, Boston College 20 - October 22, 2016
- Boston College Eagles— 2016 Syracuse football scouting report - October 21, 2016
- Instant Juice: Syracuse 31, Virginia Tech 17 - October 15, 2016
- Virginia Tech Hokies — 2016 Syracuse football scouting report - October 14, 2016
- Instant Juice: Syracuse 9, Wake Forest 28 - October 8, 2016
- Waters: Syracuse basketball in ‘good shape’ for 2017 targets - October 6, 2016
- Wake Forest Demon Deacons — 2016 Syracuse football scouting report - October 5, 2016
- Recruiting Roundup: Syracuse extends offer to 2017 five-star Billy Preston - October 4, 2016
- Syracuse football notebook: Tom Coughlin calls interview with Bills ‘none of your business’ - October 3, 2016