The Wake Forest Demon Deacons football season starts tomorrow night against the Louisiana-Monroe WarHawks. This will be first game of the coach Dave Clawson era and the unveiling of the new 4-2-5 Wake Forest defense. It will also be the first game in the career of freshman quarterback John Wolford. There are just a lot of new things happening in this season opening game against one of the Sun Belt Conference’s core teams.
Date: August 28
Time: 6:00 PM
Venue: James L. Malone Stadium (Monroe, LA)
Last Time: 2013; WarHawks 21 Demon Deacons 19
The two teams met for the first time in Winston-Salem last year on September 14. WarHawks Quarterback Kolton Browning threw for 315 yards and 3 touchdowns to beat the Demon Deacons. On the final play of the game, Wake quarterback Tanner Price escaped pressure and threw a ball that the normally sure-handed Michael Campanaro dropped, sealing the loss.
Opponent: Louisiana-Monroe WarHawks
This year’s game will not have Kolton Browning or Price or Campanaro. The new WarHawks quarterback is a familiar face, Pete Thomas. Thomas was once the Colorado State quarterback before transferring to NC State. He will have started for three FBS programs when he takes the field for the WarHawks Thursday. Thomas’ movement is a testament to the graduation waiver for transfers.
The strength of the WarHawks offense is the receiving corps. The unit boasts junior Rashon Ceaser who took 65 catches for almost a thousand yards receiving. Ceaser has earned enough respect that the way should be open sophomore Ajalen Holley and senior Kenzee Jackson to find holes in the secondary. This will be a good early test of Wake’s 4-2-5 system.
The defense is a 3-3-5 set with a youthful defensive secondary fronted by more experienced linebacker and defensive line units. The defensive line returns all of its starters from last year. The linebackers lost the team’s leading tackler, but brought back his two work horse mates. Prepare to hear the names Hunter Kissinger and Ray Stovall early and often as they stop plays and make peace.
Prediction: 21-17 WarHawks
Not much different from last year’s score, but Louisiana-Monroe just has more in place right now than Wake Forest does. Going to Monroe just tilts the balance a little further.