Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson

It’s a formidable challenge to compete at the highest level when the undergraduate enrollment is just 5,102 and you find Clemson and Florida State on your schedule each fall. But Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson spoke with great optimism at the ACC Kickoff in Charlotte about his program’s future which includes a $58 million commitment for facility upgrades. The McReary Field House has already been completed at a cost of $21 million. The indoor facility will benefit all of the Demon Deacon athletic programs, but Clawson is excited about what it means to his program with regard to year-round conditioning and recruiting.

Wake Forest is coming off its third consecutive bowl victory and returns seven offensive starters, including 1,000 yard rusher Cade Carney. Carney’s performance was good enough for 3rd-team honors on the all-conference team and helped the Deacons to 32.8 ppg last season.

The 500 lb. gorilla on Wake’s schedule is, of course, Clemson, but the rest of the slate is manageable. The first four games are Utah State, Rice, Elon and North Carolina (in a non-conference contest). The Deacons open conference play against Boston College at Chesnut Hill, where Wake Forest has won on three of its last four trips. Clawson’s club will enjoy a bye in the first week of October before playing host to Louisville, a team in transition under first-year head coach Scott Satterfield. If the progression of the offense continues under Clawson, there is good indication Wake Forest will be making a fourth consecutive bowl trip at the end of 2019.


2018 Wake Forest at a glance

Wake Forest Demon Deacons      7-6                       3-5        Won Birmingham Bowl against Memphis

Dave Clawson 6th season            28-35                  12-28

  2018 ACC Rank NCAA Rank
Points Per game 32.8 5 37
Rushing Yards per game 216.7 4 24
Passing yards per game 235.2 8 65
Total yards per game 451.8 4 28
Points allowed per game 33.3 12 101
Rushing yards allowed per game 192.2 10 92
Passing yards allowed per game 265.3 13 117
Total yards allowed per game 457.5 13 115

The Deacons return 14 starters, 7 on offense, 5 on defense, and the Kicker and Punter.

Statistical Leaders Returning

Sam Hartman 1984 16 8 55.3
Jamie Newman 1083 9 4 59.6
RB Games Yards TD AVG
Cade Carney 13 1039 8 5.4
WR Games Yards TD REC
Sage Surratt 10 581 4 41
  Tackles TFL INT Sacks
Carlos Basham Jr. 64 11.0 0 4.5
Justin Strnad 105 8.5 0 1.5
Luke Masterson 52 1.0 1 0
Essang Bassey 73 2.5 1 1.0

Returning Starters Offense                                          

QB Jamie Newman

QB Sam Hartman

RB Cade Carney

WR Sage Surratt

TE Jack Freudenthal

LT Jake Benzinger

RT Nathan Gilliam

Returning Starters Defense

DE Carlos Basham Jr.

LB Justin Strnad

LB/S Luke Masterson

CB Amari Henderson

CB Essang Bassey

Special Teams

K Nick Sciba

P Dom Maggio

Key Losses

RB Matt Colburn

WR Greg Dortch

WR Alex Bachman

LG Phil Haynes

C Ryan Anderson

RG Patrick Osterhage

DE Chris Calhoun

DT Willie Yarbary

DT Zeek Rodney

S Chuck Wade Jr.

S Cameron Glenn