No. 15 Wake Forest ready for run-heavy Army
Army West Point Black Knights at Wake Forest Demon Deacons
- Wake Forest has won 10 of the last 11 meetings, including last year's 70-56 shootout at West Point that was the highest-scoring game in Army history. Sam Hartman passed for a career-high 458 yards and five touchdowns for the Demon Deacons as the teams combined for 1233 yards of total offense.
- Despite missing the season opener following surgery to remove a blood clot, Wake Forest's Sam Hartman is tied for sixth in FBS with 15 touchdown passes, including two thrown last week versus Florida State. Hartman's 87 career TD passes leads all active FBS players.
- The Demon Deacons have now won 10 straight games in the month of October following a 31-21 win over then-No. 23 Florida State. The Deacs have scored a school-record 202 points through five games and rank 17th in FBS with 40.4 per contest.
- Sophomore Justice Ellison is coming off his first career 100-yard rushing game, totaling 114 and a touchdown on 18 carries versus Florida State. Ellison had totaled just 106 rushing yards over his previous three games.
- Army is off to its worst start since 2015, Jeff Monken's second season as head coach, following a 31-14 loss to Georgia State. However, the Black Knights got through the game with committing a penalty for the first time since December 2016 (vs. Navy).
Wake Forest just finished a challenging pair of games in Atlantic Coast Conference play, and now the No. 15 Demon Deacons have a different type of task Saturday night when Army visits Winston-Salem, N.C.
Wake Forest (4-1) fell in overtime to unbeaten Clemson on Sept. 24, then won at previously undefeated Florida State.
"You're going to get punched in the face, but you've got to fight back," Demon Deacons running back Justice Ellison said.
Army (1-3) has struggled on offense, but perhaps the sight of Wake Forest's defense will provide incentive.
The teams played a memorable 2021 game, with Wake Forest prevailing 70-56 at West Point, N.Y. That was the Demon Deacons' largest point total in the modern era.
Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman's 87 touchdown throws in his career make him the NCAA active leader in that category. He also ranks sixth in ACC history.
"They make me look good," Hartman said of his receivers and others around him. "Nothing happens without the O-line and the running backs."
Meanwhile, Army has attempted only 35 passes (completing 18 of those) all season.
Army is coming off a 31-14 home loss to Georgia State in a perplexing performance.
"It's our job to have them ready," coach Jeff Monken said. "The guys are fighting. It's tough. I would love not to be 1-3. That's not a great place to be. But the season is not over. A lot of football left to play. I believe in this team and we're going to keep fighting."
Monken said with Wake Forest having made a change at defensive coordinator since last year, the Black Knights are bound to face different alignments.
Adding to the challenge is that Army has movement along the offensive line because of injuries.
"There's going to be some things in the blocking game that we'll have to look at," said Monken, who added that Wake Forest will be the best team that the Black Knights have faced.
"What they do on offense, it is unique," he said. "It's different from everybody else and it gives them an edge."
There's still hope for the Black Knights.
"That's what I appreciate about our guys, they always feel they have a chance to win a football game," Monken said. "We're going to take our team down there with the intent to win the football game."
The Black Knights depend on running back Tyrell Robinson (282 yards) and quarterback Tyhier Tyler (254 yards, six TDs) to carry the ball.
The Demon Deacons' most-recent nonconference game turned into a one-point victory against visiting Liberty on Sept. 17.
Wake Forest maintains a 10-game winning streak in games played in October. The school has announced another sellout, marking the first time in 11 years there have been three consecutive capacity crowds.
The Demon Deacons hold a 12-5 edge in the series with Army, winning six of the seven home games. The lone home loss for Wake Forest came in Army's last visit in 2016.
This is just Army's second road game of the season after opening the schedule with a 38-28 loss at Coastal Carolina.
--Field Level Media
Updated October 4, 2022