We were able to catch up with the folks at Blogger So Dear to ask them a few questions in anticipation of Clemson's trip to Winston-Salem this weekend. Again, these guys do a good job with all things Wake Forest and I encourage you to head over there and check it out if you haven't already.
STS: Freshman Josh Harris has been (at least on paper) Wake's best running back this season. How big of a role does he play in this offense?
BSD: We all wish he played more of a role. The story coming out of camp was that he "wasn't learning the playbook" or "picking up blocks" well enough, which is always code for seniority when it comes to a talent perspective. Harris has been rightfully upset with his workload when it comes to certain games this year (especially vocal on his twitter account), and it's clear that with the way this team is playing and the mess that the offense is as a whole, the staff isn't sure exactly how to use him. One thing is for sure, Harris is the back of the future and he's extremely talented. Now it's just a matter of getting him more touches.
I have not seen a whole lot of Wake this football season but distinctly remember Jim Grobe's offenses being fundamentally sound squads who like to run a lot of misdirection. Does this assessment still ring true? If not, what changes in terms of offensive philosophy has this team taken on?
No. This team has no offensive philosophy. It hasn't for a couple seasons. One drive we run it 10 straight plays, the next we throw three straight times for a three-and-out. There is no continuity. At all. It's at the same time both aggravating and perplexing. Make a roulette wheel, put plays on it and spin the wheel--you'll have a better time predicting the offense than we do.
What do you see as the strenghts and weeknesses of your defense? What would you do this week if you were Clemson and what areas/play types should the Tigers try to avoid?
The defense has no strengths. Run any play you want, especially passing plays. If Parker doesn't have a blindfold on, he should have no trouble throwing for 4 TDs.
After a tremendous run in th emid '00's, WF has fallen back a bit in terms of wins and losses. Is there a particular reason for this and what will Jim Grobe and staff need to do to get Wake back to the top of the ACC?
1.) Refusal to adapt with personnel.
2.) Poor scouting.
3.) No consistency or identity.
4.) Lack of motivation for whatever reason with the players.
5.) Talent disparity from the poor scouting/recruiting.
6.) Turnover and a big drop from the core group that won the 2006 ACC Championship team.
Coach Grobe has to make big changes in a number of ways if the team hopes to get better. We will see after the season if he is willing to do so.
When WF passes the ball, who is Tanner Price's go to guy? Can you compare Chris Givens and Devon Brown for Clemson fans?
No one really knows. Marshall Williams has all but disappeared this year. The TEs are nonexistent. So you're on the right track with Givens and Brown. Both are very similar--quick, catch-and-run receivers, so if they're open and Tanner makes a good throw, they'll usually reel it in.
With apparent top position players being a Freshman QB, Freshman RB, and a Soph WR, do you consider this season an experience builder and what do you look for out of this team over the next year or two?
If we're going to call it anything, I guess "experience builder" is a good way to put it. The problem is that the defense is just SO bad and most of those guys played last year. We were hoping that them all having to play last year on D would be an "experience builder" seeing as the team flamed out in spectacular fashion last season. Who knows? I can only hope so I guess. I would hope to see major changes in the offseason--whether it's coaching strategy, who the coaches are in general, or where people are playing. If we continue down the same road and maintain status quo, you'll see more of the same unless something miraculous happens or some of these players turn into all-conference players in the winter/spring somehow.