The 2014 Wake Forest offense was young. It started three freshmen — including quarterback John Wolford — and four sophomores.
Accordingly, it was also terrible. The Demon Deacons ranked dead-last in the country in total offense, averaging 216.3 yards per game — 52.7 yards worse than second-to-last SMU.
A lot of those struggles were blamed on the youth. An unseasoned offensive line couldn’t create any running lanes. Wolford was never able to string consistent drives together.
That inexperience isn’t something that’s going to get any better in 2015, though. Second-year coach Dave Clawson joined the David Glenn Show on Friday, and he said that the offense will be featuring even more young players than it did last year.
“It’s a year later, but not a lot has changed. The two sides of the ball are so different. A year ago, we were older, we had a lot more talent and a lot more experience on the defense. We were outmanned on offense,” Clawson said. “This year, we’re still much older on defense. I do not project a freahman starting on our defense … Offensively, you’re looking at a situation that over half of the starters could be freshmen — redshirt or true. But I do believe that these are talented players. These are guys capable of playing in the ACC.”
When Clawson walked into the job last season, he said flatly that Wake Forest didn’t have the talent, particularly on the offensive side of the ball, to compete in the ACC. Although the Demon Deacons will be young, he believes the talent level is rising rapidly.
“On offense, it’s going to be wide open,” he said. “You’re going to have guys who, right away, are playing 55, 60, 80 snaps a game. It’s concerning, but it’s also exciting about how good these guys are going to be and how quick their learning curve is going to be.”
Clawson added that several freshmen will play on the defense, but they’ll provide depth. They won’t be relied upon as key players, unlike the offense.
You can hear Clawson’s entire spot with the David Glenn show below.