Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
We had a chance to talk with Blogger So Dear writer Robert Reinhard about Wake Forest, their team, and what to expect to see on the field when the Demon Deacons visit the Hurricanes.
State Of The U: After starting the year 2-3, Wake has won 2 games in a row, including a big win over Maryland, Should we expect to see the team that struggled early, or the one that's put together a couple nice games in a row?
Robert Reinhard: I believe you will see the team that has shown up to play the past two games. We've changed our offensive philosophy for the better as well as our offensive line scheme and that has served us much better as of late. We've spread our offensive linemen out a lot more, so I'm curious how the Miami defensive line will handle it given that it'll be the best line we've faced since making the change.
SOTU: WR Michael Campanaro and Tanner Price have been tearing defenses apart in recent weeks. What about their individual games, and connection on the field, makes the so successful?
RR: Tanner Price and Michael Campanaro have a great connection in part because both have had plenty of time together to develop a rapport. Price is in his 4th year starting at quarterback and Campanaro has started for the past three seasons. Campanaro is an outstanding route runner which enables him to find gaps in the defense and get open.
SOTU: Your punter seems to have grown a cult following. How did the Kinal Kount come about, and why is he so popular?
RR: The Kinal Kount came from fellow Blogger So Dear writer, Bart Johnston. He was looking at the number of punts Kinal had during the middle of last season and realized we had been punting quite frequently. Kinal led the nation in punts last season and came within six of breaking the one year record. During the first three games of this season we continued punting far more often than we would prefer, so Bart began comparing him to the career ACC and NCAA records.
SOTU: Talking some X's and O's, what type of offense are you running? I've seen your scheme flip from spread to triple option like GT every few weeks based on opponents. Is that something you've been doing all year, or were some of the things you did against BC, for example, more of a special package?
RR: During the first part of the season we attempted to utilize an option attack, but it wasn't necessarily in Tanner Price's skill set as he is not the fastest quarterback in the world. When you also consider that Michael Campanaro is our best player and we weren't throwing the ball that often, it didn't make a lot of sense to run that offense, and hence our 1-2 start. We've since gone to more of a spread attack that utilizes short to intermediate passes and allows Price to get the ball out of his hands quickly. Our offense relies on a lot of bubble screens and shorter routes that are essentially runs in our offense.
SOTU: Wake Forest is well known to sit younger players, and give them time to develop physically before putting them on the field. This year, I seem to notice more freshmen playing than in years past. How has this impacted the team to this point?
RR: I think part of it is that the quality of recruits we are getting has increased and therefore we feel more confident being able to play guys as true freshmen. We also dealt with a lot of injuries last season and I think burning the redshirts allows us to put more talent on the available roster and give us a bit more experience if/when the injuries do happen. You've seen that impact on offense as Cory Helms has started every game for us at center and Tyree Harris has been emerging as a go-to receiver the past several games. Our special teams also consists of a fair number of true freshmen, which allows us to have more talent on that unit than in years past.
SOTU: Outside of the aforementioned Campanaro and Price, who are 2 players that Miami fans should look out for come Saturday?
RR: A name to look out for is definitely senior nose guard Nikita Whitlock. He's definitely not built like a typical nose guard (5-11, 250), but don't let that fool you. He's third nationally in tackles for loss and absolutely wreaked havoc on the Maryland offensive line last weekend.
Another name to look out for is junior cornerback Kevin Johnson, who was actually a high school teammate of Michael Campanaro. KJ already has three interceptions on the year, and when he picks it off he refers to it as the #NoFlyZone. He is now up to 175 pounds and that has allowed him to become a better tackler this season. He's an NFL player and I'm looking forward to how well he plays against Miami's receivers.
SOTU: Lastly, complete this sentence: Wake Forest will consider this game a success if _______?
RR: Wake Forest will consider this game a success if we can keep it competitive going into the second half, keep it to within two scores, and continue to play the caliber of football we've played the past two games. I believe the spread is around three touchdowns, so I'm not going to consider it a failure if we do not win. If you look at recruiting rankings and NFL Draft picks it's not a shocker that Wake is an underdog. Wake needs two more wins to make a bowl game and was never counting on winning one at Miami in the first place. Our game next week against Syracuse is far more important.
Prediction Miami 31 Wake 17
Thanks to Robert for taking the time to join us this week. You can follow Robert and Blogger So Dear's twitter accounts below.