Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs Gardner-Webb Runnin Bulldogs Preview


The Wake Forest Demon Deacons began their football season going into the wilds of eastern Louisiana to play UL-Monroe. Their trip to Duck Dynasty country ended in disappointment as their offense failed to move the ball enough to overcome the War Hawks. Wake Forest now begins to look for answers as they play the second game of the Clawson era against the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs of the FCS Big South Conference.

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Date: September 6

Time: 6:30 PM

Venue: BB&T Field

Last Time: 2011- Demon Deacons 48 Runnin’ Bulldogs 5

Tanner Price had a good day against the Bulldogs as he ran for one touchdown and threw for two more to open a margin that Gardner-Webb simply could not match. The ground game accounted for the final three scores, including two by backups sent in after the game had been decided. It was a busy day for kicker Jimmy Newman.

Opponent: Gardner-Webb Runnin Bulldogs (0-1)

Gardner-Webb has had a fair amount of success under second year coach Carroll McCray. The team went 7-5 last year with victories against ranked FCS teams. If that was not enough, the entire roster appears to be back. All 22 starters from last year are still with the team.

The key offensive weapon is receiver and Payton Award candidate Kenny Cook, who had more than a thousand yards of receiving last year. Now he has to face the Wake Forest veteran secondary and a likely matchup with cornerback Kevin Johnson.

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  • Gardner-Webb’s defense is strongest in the middle where veteran Lei’ataua Mau resides at defensive tackle and Tanner Burch resides at inside linebacker. Given the speed differences, Wake Forest is likely to run wide anyway. Avoiding those two would be a bonus.

    Gardner-Webb lost to the Furman Paladins 13-3 in the opener. Their running game was mostly shut down and they could not find enough open men to move through the passing game. Look for Wake Forest to try and replicate those results.

    Prediction: 27-3 Demon Deacons
    ONJ Record: 4-0

    The Wake Forest defense looked pretty stout against the War Hawks, and its senior leadership should guarantee a similar performance against the Runnin’ Bulldogs. Gardner-Webb’s strength, Cook, is also Wake Forest’s. John Wolford should have more time to find receivers this week, allowing him to have a rhythm he could not find last week. Wake Forest must not give away silly turnovers however.

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