Wake Forest Demon Deacons — 2014 Syracuse Football preview

As we countdown to kickoff in August, we’re going to be doing a team-by-team preview each Tuesday over the summer. SU will continue its 2014 ACC conference schedule when they play Wake Forest on Oct. 18.

BIG CHANGES: There isn’t another team in the ACC that has undergone as many changes as Wake Forest has in the last year. The Demon Deacons lost their starting quarterback (Tanner Price), leading rusher (Josh Harris) and most accomplished wide receiver (Michael Campanaro), while also dumping their head coach (Jim Grobe). Former Bowling Green head coach Dave Clawson has taken over, and he has plenty to do on a team that has a lack of depth and experience in several key positions.

wake

There are plenty of new faces at Wake Forest this year

» Related: Previewing Syracuse’s matchup against Florida State

WHO TO WATCH FORRunning back will be a position to keep an eye on as the season begins. Orville Reynolds is currently listed at the top of the depth chart, but he rushed just nine times last season for 36 yards. Still, it’s hard to imagine Reynolds as an every down back considering he’s just 5’9″, 185 pounds. Dominique Gibson is the most experienced back returning. The converted safety rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown last year. The duo were the only two backs to receive any reps in the spring game. The quarterback situation continues to be fluid. Price’s backup, Tyler Cameron, was widely believed to be front runner for the job heading into this season, but he struggled mightily in the spring game. That may have opened the door for former Michigan commit Kevin Sousa to grab the job. But in the end, the job may fall to true freshmen Travis Smith and John Wolford. 

PREDICTION: Wake Forest’s defense will be the better of the two units this year, highlighted by a veteran secondary. But Wake’s offense, which finished at the bottom of the ACC last year in production, will need time to develop. SYRACUSE 21, WAKE FOREST 10.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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