August 19, 2011

Scrimmage Two Report

Winston-Salem, N.C. - After giving up 399 yards passing in Monday's scrimmage the defense was determined to slow down the offense today.

This morning's effort was better, as the defense allowed 231 yards through the air, but gave up 207 yards rushing. However, the rushing stats are a little deceiving, as 96 yards came from a touchdown run by Josh Harris.



"They (the defense) were the group that was challenged last Monday," Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe said. "They came out, and played with a little more emotion today, and a little more intensity."

Wake Forest had 11 players out with injuries, including cornerbacks Merrill Noel and Kenny Okoro, enabling A.J. Marshall and sophomore walk-on Jason Green to get starters reps.

"I think Jason Green has done some great things," Grobe said. "It wouldn't surprise me a bit to see him play a lot at Syracuse. In fact he's shown better play than some of the kids who are spending time out with injuries. I think it's been really good for A.J. Marshall to get a lot of reps. There were some times I thought he was a little banged up today, but he just kept going. The good thing is when somebody gets dinged it's somebody else's opportunity, and it looks like a couple of our kids are trying to take advantage of that opportunity."

Green and Marshall were tied for second in tackles, with six apiece, and Green arguably had the defensive highlight of the day when he dove to intercept one of Tanner Price's passes late in the scrimmage.

Green and Marshall were tied for second in tackles, with six apiece, and Green arguably had the defensive highlight of the day when he dove to intercept one of Tanner Price's passes late in the scrimmage.

Offensively the Demon Deacons sputtered early, going scoreless their first seven possessions until they finally replaced the goose egg with a 28-yard field goal by Jimmy Newman. The junior kicker was perfect on the day, drilling three more (22, 23 and 25 yards).

"I thought the offense hung in there, and did some good things toward the latter part of the scrimmage," Grobe said. "With Jimmy I think the biggest issue is just going to be getting the ball off quick enough. Jimmy is doing really well. We just need to work on timing."



Harris's long touchdown run was the turning point for the offense, as the defense lost some of its momentum that it started with.

Price rebounded from his late interception with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Danny Dembry to cap an 11-play, 65-yard scoring drive.

Top Performers

Offense

-Tanner Price completed 18 of 26 pass attempts for 161 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also had a one-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown.

-Josh Harris carried nine times for 114 yards and a touchdown (96 yards).

-Danny Dembry had seven receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown.

-Jimmy Newman went 4-4 on field goals, with a long of 28 yards.

Defense

-Sophomore linebacker Justin Jackson led everyone with 10 tackles (four solo), 1.5 tackles for loss (-7 yards).



-Jason Green recorded six tackles (four solo) and an interception.

-A.J. Marshall and sophomore outside linebacker Jharrison Gillespie both had six tackles. Gillespie added a pass breakup to the box score.

Injuries

-Chris Givens appeared to injure his hamstring on a 34-yard catch and run, but later ran sprints in conditioning drills after the scrimmage.

-Michael Campanaro remains on the sidelines with hamstring problems.

-Cornerbacks Kenny Okoro and Merrill Noel did not scrimmage, but Okoro jogged as the team ran sprints.

-Freshman quarterback Kevin Sousa was inactive due to a hand laceration.

-Turner Faulk and Airyn Willis were out.

-Josh Strickland will be out four to six weeks, because of a fractured fibula.

-Morgan Harris did not scrimmage.

-Jordan Garside was out.

-Terence Davis continues to remain sidelined due to a light sprain in his right foot, and is wearing protective boot. No date has been set for his return.

-Kyle Wilber did not scrimmage (hamstring).

More Quotes From Grobe

On the overall team performance

"For both sides the lesson is for the offense to start faster, and for the defense you got to stay with it. It's hard to play defense. I mentioned it last week, you can't punt on defense. If you're not three-and-out you spend some time on the field. I thought early we were really sharp defensively, toward the latter part of the scrimmage a little softer, but a good workday on both sides of the ball."

On Danny Dembry

"He's had two really good scrimmages, and that's good. When we're out here we've got live tackling going on, and it's nice to see kids that step up when the pads are on, and when we're taking guys to the ground. Danny has had two really good scrimmages, and really has shown that he's not only a good practice guy, but when it comes time when the lights go on he's playing, so it's been fun to watch him."



On Josh Harris's touchdown run

"That helps a lot. When you're backed up like they were what we're trying to do coming off the goalline is just get a first down. That's our thought. Whenever you get a run like Josh had where you get points out of it off backed up like we were that's a huge lift to your football team. I thought that did give our offense a little bit of juice, and got them going a little bit."

On the defense's performance early in the scrimmage

"I think we were playing with a lot of energy on defense, a lot of enthusiasm. Our kids were playing physical and tough. They just got challenged on Monday. We didn't play very good defensively Monday, and I think the kids stepped up a little bit today."

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