Sep 14, 2013; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Louisiana Monroe Warhawks wide receiver Kenzee Jackson (23) runs through the tackle of Wake Forest Demon Deacons linebacker Hunter Williams (30) during the third quarter at BB&T Field. Louisiana Monroe Warhawks defeated the Wake Forest Demon Deacons 21-19. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Wake Forest Demon Deacons at UL-Monroe WarHawks Preview

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)

TV: ESPNU

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.

Sep 8, 2012; Little Rock, AR, USA; Louisiana Monroe Warhawks linebacker Ray Stovall (39) reacts after a play in the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at War Memorial Stadium. Warhawks defeated the Razorbacks 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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Tags: ACC Football Sun Belt Football Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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