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    Tuesday, October 09, 2007

    Three And Out: FSU-Wake Forest

    This week's "Three And Out" comes from Rob Daniels who covers sports for the Greensboro, North Carolina paper The News & Record. Rob has been in journalism for 19 years, the past 10 of which have been at The News & Record. He also covers ACC business administration and writes a weekly column. He was born and raised in Baltimore and remains "an incurably pathetic Orioles fan." Rob earned his degree in government from the University of Virginia in 1988. Thanks to Rob for answering the questions for us.

    1. Who are the marquee players for Wake on offense and defense?
    Kenny Moore is as important to his team as any player is to his team in the country. A nominal wide receiver, Moore has carried 23 times on end-around plays for 245 yards, including the game-breaking touchdown at Duke last week. He's one of only two players in Division I-A (I refuse to use the new and unintelligible abbreviation employed by the NCAA) with 200 or more rushing yards and 300 or more receiving yards. (The other is at Air Force, whose new coach, Troy Calhoun, is also a Jim Grobe protege.)

    QB Riley Skinner, last year's ACC Rookie of the Year, is still accurate but has thrown more interceptions than in all of 2006.

    RB Josh Adams, a redshirt freshman, has developed into the team's top runner. He struggled in his first career start, which came at Duke last week, but he's quicker and more assertive than senior Micah Andrews.

    C Steve Justice is probably the Demon Deacons' most reliable player.

    TE John Tereshinski is an important resource over the middle when Moore has been covered.


    CB Alphonso Smith has returned three interceptions for TDs already. That's one short of the NCAA's single-season record. The statistic is somewhat deceiving because some teams -- particularly Duke last week -- have been able to pick on him a bit.

    DE Jeremy Thompson has registered five sacks on the year. Unlike nearly everybody else in the program, he played as a true freshman. He suffered a knee injury at the end of the 2005 season and really wasn't fully healthy last year.

    S Chip Vaughn is an important factor in Wake's ability to contain big plays so far.

    2. Do you think the Thursday game at Wake is a big advantage for Wake Forest?

    It's certainly better than playing in Tallahassee, but I don't see it as a huge advantage. Wake hasn't hosted one of these Thursday night deals in several years. Unlike in Atlanta, where it's a part of the sporting culture, Thursday night football is an unknown in the Triad. For example, tailgating, which can take place all day at some college facilities -- even on a Thursday -- is restricted at Wake because the stadium is off-campus. It's bordered by company parking lots of RJ Reynolds Tobacco, most of which are borrowed by the university for games. Wake fans won't have access to the lots until late in the afternon.

    3. What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of Wake Forest vis-a-vis the Noles?


    Wake's defense has been opportunistic, having scored five TDs already. If Lee or Weatherford make hasty passes in the flat, they could go the wrong way for a score.

    PK Sam Swank has gotten back into a groove after being used infrequently in the first few weeks of the year.


    I think FSU can lob to Greg Carr frequently. Eron Riley caught 145 yards worth of passes for Duke against the smallish Deacon secondary last week.

    The Deacons have failed to establish a second WR to complement Moore. They'll need somebody other than the tight ends.

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