Hope and concern: Wake Forest

The hope and concern series continues today with Wake Forest:

Biggest reason for hope: Maturity on defense

Wake Forest finished 2010 ranked 110th in the country in scoring defense and 101 in total defense. The only way to go is up, and they appear to be headed in that direction. Some of the most measurable progress on the team should be found in the secondary, where all four starters return in cornerback Josh Bush, strong safety Cyhl Quarles, free safety Daniel Mack and cornerback Kevin Johnson. The Deacs are two-deep at every position in the secondary, as opposed to last year when Wake had to start two true freshmen cornerbacks. Wake Forest has also adapted to and embraced the new 3-4 scheme, which it switched to last year, and there is enough talent up front to make it a success.

Biggest reason for concern: The schedule

Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe finished spring ball convinced his team is better than the one that won three games last season. The problem is, fans might not be able to realize it this fall by looking at the win-loss column because the Deacs have significant nonconference challenges in a road trip to Syracuse and home games against Notre Dame and Vanderbilt. Wake Forest also has back-to-back October weekends against defending division champs Florida State and Virginia Tech.

More in this series: