FTRS: At FTRS.com, we have very little respect for the Miami Hurricanes or their fans. What are your thoughts about the Riley Skinner injury? What's his status for this weekend's game?
BSD: The hit happened on the sideline opposite of my seats and I still have not been able to review the tape. However, if the hit was too flagrant the Wake Forest forums would have really been up in arms. Most people just seemed to think it was an unfortunate combination of events and did not really blame the ‘Canes for the incident.
As far as Skinner’s status for the game goes, the coaches and doctors are still going through evaluations, but it seems positive. He has not had any reported effects since Saturday and was back at practice on Wednesday throwing without pads. The next step is to get the doctors and his family to clear him for the game, which seems like it will happen at this point. I could be completely wrong though...
FTRS: Who is more dangerous: a reeling Wake Forest squad or a surging Florida State team?
BSD: A surging Florida State team. Our seasons have been similarly depressing this year, with dumb losses and a couple decent wins. So, if you're going to put a surging FSU team against the Deacs (which very well might happen next week), I'm taking FSU. Unless of course, Wake's backs are against the wall and they find some way to get motivated.
FTRS: Jim Grobe has not lost four regular season games in a row since he started at Wake Forest. How does he end his current three game skid? Is there one primary contributor (special teams, offense, defense, etc.) that's led to this 2009 slump?
BSD: Obviously, playing the #10 team in the nation on the road is not good news for Grobe and the losing streak. In order for the Deacs to come out on top, a lot of things are going to have to fall into place on Saturday. It goes without saying that Wake needs Riley Skinner to be healthy and playing to have any sort of chance. The Demon Deacs are not going to stop the triple option regularly, so putting up a ton of points seems like it will be our only chance. Add this to a couple bad pitches and we might have ourselves a ballgame.
Overall, the slump has taken many forms. All units were terrible against Clemson, the offense was hard to watch in the pouring rain at Navy and the special teams and defense faltered down the stretch against Miami. It is worth mentioning that the offense notched 33 first downs against the Hurricanes, which is the most first downs ever given up by Miami in a game in the history of their football program. However, the defense dropped several easy interceptions, Brown fumbled a punt and gave the Canes a TD, and our field goal kicker missed a chance to seal the game. Obviously, it has been a frustrating year of losing in the worst ways possible (other than Clemson), so most Wake fans are coming into this one with low expectations.
FTRS: Would you rather see a 2006 ACCCG type game this weekend or a 2001 shootout type game?
BSD: This is loaded. Are you asking if I'd rather see Wake win in an ACCCG game like '06 or lose in a shootout like '01? Because obviously you guys know the answer to that. But if W/L aside and we're just talking how the game will look, I'll definitely take a shootout. I already saw us score three against Clemson and 10 against Navy. At the very least, I want a show.
FTRS: Give us one player who we have not heard of but need to be aware of for Saturday.
BSD: Who have you heard of and I can go from there? Our WRs have been getting publicity lately. Marshall Williams (41 rec, 595 yds, 5 tds) is a very gifted receiver, Chris Givens (30 rec, 432 yds, 6 tds) is extremely athletic and Devon Brown (40 rec, 504 yds, 2 tds) is just flat out fast. But you've probably heard about those guys.
So let's go defense then. I'd keep an eye on #6 CB Kenny Okoro. He is doing a lot of great things as a freshman for a young and inconsistent defensive unit. He has made a lot of game changing and clutch plays and has had a chance at a lot of others. Another freshman who has started to really come on is #40 LB Joey Ehrmann. He's a beast and will only get better.
FTRS: Where is Jim Grobe in 5 years? Is he hitting the ceiling of potential for Wake?
BSD: I've thought about that here and there the last few weeks. To answer the first part of your question, I think Grobe will still be here. He is very comfortable at Wake Forest and is part of the family and to add to that, he will always have challenges here. As to the ceiling, there are two benchmarks above winning the ACC title--winning a BCS game and winning a BCS title. Of course, I'd love to see the latter, but I think the real ceiling is winning the ACC again and then getting that win in the Orange Bowl.
A big part of where Grobe will be in 5 years has a lot to do with this class of RS freshmen. This was an attempt to reload, along with this year's freshman class who are being redshirted now, and if Grobe was able to find diamonds in those classes again, there's a chance that these players could be better overall than the ACC Championship team. But, if those guys are disappointments, then the ceiling has been reached.
FTRS: Jim Grobe has faced the Paul Johnson-option five times with markedly different results each time. How are the Deacs changing their preparation for GT based on the Navy loss earlier this season? Did Wake originally schedule Navy with the intentions of preparing for GT?
BSD: While I believe extending the Navy contract has something to do with Johnson being in the ACC, I have no evidence to back that up. Grobe has an affinity for the service academies, so that is definitely a factor as well.
As far as preparing for the Georgia Tech version of the triple option, there are not really any significant changes that Grobe and staff can prepare for other than keeping a close eye on B. Thomas, a weapon that Navy obviously did not have anything comparable to. The main problem for Wake is that their linebackers are not nearly fast enough to cover the ground necessary in defending the triple option. It has been tough replacing the losses of Curry and Arnoux, and that will probably be highlighted more this week than any other so far. Haynes, Woodlief, Ehrmann, Jones and Midgett will need to bring their A games for the scoreboard operator to have a nice breather during the contest.
Check back for FTRS' response to Blogger So Dear's questions.