CHARLOTTE, NC – The Wake Forest Demon Deacons enter 2021 with a more than favorable schedule, starting with Old Dominion. They follow this up with a matchup against North Dakota State before starting their ACC schedule against Florida State.
The Deacons have, for the first time ever, made it to a bowl game in five straight years, but they are looking to build past that.
“I think we’ve made a lot of progress and were certainly proud that we’ve made it to 5 straight bowls. But we want more,” said head coach Dave Clawson.
Despite making that bowl game last season, they were still 4-5 on the season. On the bright side, their passing attack ranked 4th in the ACC, led by returning starting quarterback Sam Hartman. He threw for 2,224 yards and 13 TD’s, good enough for 6th in the ACC.
This leads us into looking at what can be improved, and that is the defensive side of the ball for Wake.
“I think for us, it is going to be the defensive secondary,” said Clawson on an area they can make the most improvement in 2021.
This will help tremendously with them holding onto games. There were three games last season where the Deacons lost while holding double-digit leads in the 4th quarter. They ranked 63rd in the country in 3rd down conversions offensively, converting 40% of the time. Defensively they ranked also in the middle of the pack, sitting 78th in the country, allowing conversions 41% of the time.
“That’s the job. Try to find that season where we can get both units (offense & defense) to play at a high level,” said linebacker Luke Masterson, noting Wake’s current explosive offense.