WINSTON- SALEM -- Wake Forest's first road test of the season didn't go so well in Tallahassee last week, but the Deacons are hoping to regroup from the 52-0 loss in time for Army's visit to BB&T Field this week.
The 52 points allowed to the Seminoles was Wake Forest's most since their 3-9 campaign in 2010 when they allowed more than 60 twice. That same year, they were shut out by Florida State 31-0.
“What people don't realize, like the Florida State game, you look at giving up 52 points and you think the defense played terrible, but in reality, playing good defense is just as much a function of how you're doing on offense,” said Wake Forest Head Coach Jim Grobe.
Wake Forest can blame the lack of offense on a running game that entered the week ranked 114th in the nation and played no better against Florida State. The Deacons managed just 43 yards on the ground while allowing 385.
“If your offense is out there controlling the ball, eating up clock time and scoring some points, it's a lot easier to play defense,” Grobe said.
The passing game, however, was supposed to be their strength, but it also came up short. Wake Forest only got 83 yards through the air, and it will see a similar scheme from the Black Knights.
“For the receivers, specifically, we learned that we need to do better coming off press coverage and we just need to do everything in our power to help our team to victory,” said wide receiver Brandon Terry.
Grobe pointed out a bigger issue – when there's pressure on the quarterback, the receivers need time to get open.
“Florida State pressured us so much, we didn't protect [quarterback] Tanner [Price] very well and there wasn't a lot of time to throw the football,” he said.
The Deacons are trying to put the loss behind them as they prepare for Army, but the bad taste it left can be used for motivation.
“Everyone's still disappointed and they've just got the fire under them. They're just trying to get back into it and make sure we come out strong on Saturday,” offensive lineman Frank Souza said.
In the last two weeks, Wake has experienced the high of a comeback win over rival UNC and the low of a lopsided loss in Tallahassee, so Grobe is reiterating that the season is a marathon, not a sprint, and there's still nine games left to be played.
“We're not close to being through a season. It's a long road but it's fun,” he said.
The Deacons kick off against Army at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.