September 19, 2014

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) Wake Forest hasn't been able to count on many wins during coach Dave Clawson's tough first season.

A visit from Army on Saturday might be one of them.

The Demon Deacons (1-2) have won seven straight in the series with the Black Knights (1-1) and have never lost to them in Winston-Salem.

Clawson and new Army coach Jeff Monken were assistants together at Buffalo in 1992.

Clawson says the Paul Johnson disciple uses the same triple-option offense that Navy and Georgia Tech run and ''it is an absolute pain in the neck to defend.

''There are so many different ways they probe you and find out how do you handle motion, how do you handle unbalanced,'' Clawson said. ''They'll just run it, run it, run it, lull you to sleep and then the play action game is really effective. Again, he knows what he's doing with that offense.''

That should provide a test of Wake Forest's best unit - its defense. The Demon Deacons rank in the middle of the Atlantic Coast Conference pack in most key defensive stat categories, and allow 100 yards rushing per game.

Army is 19th nationally on the ground, averaging 269.5 yards, and is coming off a 35-0 loss at Stanford.

''We want to run the football and throwing the ball is not an afterthought, but it's certainly not at the forefront of our thoughts in terms of going into a game,'' Monken said. ''It's not how can we get guys open to throw the football, but how can we run the ball effectively.''

Wake Forest can't seem to get anything going offensively. With true freshman quarterback John Wolford behind a young offensive line, the Demon Deacons rank last in the ACC in total offense, rushing offense and scoring offense.

''We are not a football team that has a very big margin of error,'' Clawson said.

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Some things to know about Wake Forest's visit from Army:

THE SERIES: The Demon Deacons have certainly dominated Army through the years, with the Black Knights' last win in the series coming in 1989. Wake Forest has outscored Army by an average of 34-17 in winning the last seven meetings.

IS ANYBODY BACK?: Then again, there aren't many Wake Forest players who were around for last year's 25-11 victory at West Point, New York. The only current Demon Deacons player who gained a single yard in that game was sophomore receiver John Armstrong, who had one carry for one yard and one catch for two yards while making his first career start in that game.

BELIEVING IN WOLFORD: The Demon Deacons haven't lost faith in their young quarterback, despite his early struggles. Wolford is averaging 215 yards per game, sixth-best in the conference, but he has thrown a league-high six interceptions - with two coming last week in the road loss at Utah State. ''Everyone knew right away he was going to be a dude,'' tight end Cam Serigne said. ''He has every aspect that you could want in a quarterback and each and every week, he just progresses the same.''

HOMECOMING: One of Army's assistant coaches has pretty strong ties to Wake Forest. Defensive line coach Ray McCartney spent 13 years on Jim Grobe's staff with the Demon Deacons, but was not retained when Grobe stepped down and Clawson was hired to replace him.

YOUNG DEACONS: Wake Forest has 28 freshmen or sophomores listed on its depth chart. That's tied for the fourth-most in the nation. Also, 74 of the 105 players on the roster are either freshmen or sophomores - making the Demon Deacons the third-youngest roster in Division I.

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