Indiana looks to stay unbeaten in visit to Wake Forest
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Indiana has managed to stay undefeated so far. Wake Forest is a few plays from a perfect record of its own.
The Hoosiers (3-0) visit the Demon Deacons (2-1) on Saturday in a matchup of teams trying to prove their winning records aren’t mirages.
Indiana’s first 3-0 record since 2010 includes a one-point win over Southern Illinois of the FCS and a three-point win over Western Kentucky, and is aiming for its first 4-0 start since 1990.
For the Demon Deacons, wins over Elon of the FCS and Army sandwich a 30-17 loss at Syracuse — a game they led at halftime.
Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson calls the Hoosiers “a great challenge” while Indiana’s Kevin Wilson expects the Demon Deacons to give his team a strong test in its first road game.
“We’ve got to learn how to play on the road,” Wilson said. “We have to keep eliminating the big plays and we have to keep finding ways to get more points offensively.”
There’s some uncertainty about who will play quarterback for Wake Forest.
Starter John Wolford injured his ankle on the opening series of the Army game and freshman Kendall Hinton replaced him, throwing for 159 yards while rushing for 114 yards and both of the Demon Deacons’ touchdowns in the 17-14 win at West Point.
Clawson has labeled Wolford as “somewhere in that questionable to doubtful range” and believes Hinton “will be well prepared to go” if Wolford is out.
Wilson said it shouldn’t matter who takes the snaps because “the schemes won’t change blocking.
Facing Hinton “would be the emphasis of a more athletic quarterback.”
Some things to know about the Indiana-Wake Forest game:
OFFENSIVE HOOSIERS: Indiana has had no problems moving the ball. Behind RB Jordan Howard and QB Nade Sudfield, the Hoosiers are tops in the Big Ten in passing (312.7 yards per game), scoring (40.7 points) and total offense (557.7 yards). They’ve had a 100-yard rusher in every game this season. Meanwhile, Wake Forest has yet to allow one.
TURNOVERS ARE KEY: The Hoosiers have forced seven turnovers during their hot start and Wilson says “we wouldn’t be 3-0 if we wouldn’t have them.” Wake Forest has turned it over six times and has yet to force a takeaway.
A RIVALRY? Wilson — a native North Carolinian who played for UNC in the early 1980s — didn’t exactly shy away from some strong comments he reportedly made over the summer to a group of Hoosiers fans. An Indiana blogger reported that Wilson said “I don’t like the Deacons” and that “we’re going to kick their” rear ends. He said this week that “I’m going to tell alumni — we’re going to go win the game. ... And that was nothing slighting Wake Forest University or their football team.”
— BIG TEN-ACC CHALLENGE: The Demon Deacons haven’t played a Big Ten school since losing to Purdue in 2003, and are 3-9 against schools in that conference at the time. They will return the trip to Bloomington, Indiana, next season. The Hoosiers’ last game against the ACC was a home loss to Virginia in 2011.
— WELCOME BACK, BRIAN: Indiana defensive coordinator Brian Knorr was on Jim Grobe’s staff at Wake Forest from 2008-13, spending the last two years as defensive coordinator. Knorr landed at Indiana during the staff shuffle that followed Grobe’s resignation and Clawson’s hiring.