Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Demon Deacons Eyeing Atlantic Division Win at Florida State

Following its bye week, Wake Forest returns to action on Saturday, October 20, as the Deacs hit the road to face Florida State. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN2. Clay Matvick, Dan Orlovsky and Paul Carcaterra will call the action. Saturday’s game can also be heard on the Wake Forest Sports Network. Stan Cotten and Lary Sorensen have the call with Dave Goren reporting from the sidelines.

The Demon Deacons fell to 3-3 on the year following a 63-3 defeat to No. 4 Clemson on Saturday, October 6. Greg Dortch became the fastest player in program history to 100 career receptions, needing just 14 games to catch 100 passes. Additionally, Dortch ranks second in the country and first in the ACC in all-purpose yards per game with 176.17 while ranking second nationally in receptions per game (8.0) and 10th in punt return average (13.5). As a team, the Deacs have committed just 20 penalties on the season, the fewest in the ACC and the third-fewest in all of the FBS.

Florida State enters Saturday's contest with a 3-3 record and a 1-3 mark in ACC play Willie Taggart is in his first season at the helm of the Seminoles. It is the second coaching stop for Taggart in the state of Florida, as he served as the head coach for South Florida from 2013 to 2016. As a team, the Seminoles allow just 101.2 rushing yards per game, the eighth-fewest in the country. The Seminoles lead the all-time series, 29-6-1 and have won the last six meetings.

Redshirt sophomore WR Greg Dortch became the fastest Demon Deacon to record 100 career catches in a career. Against Clemson, Dortch had three catches for 37 yards, enough to push him over the century mark in just his 14th career game. He now has 101 career catches for 1,314 yards and 14 touchdowns in 14 career contests. John Henry Mills (1989-92) had been the previous record-holder, hitting the 100-catch mark in his 22nd career game. Earlier this year against Boston College, Dortch became the quickest Deacon to ever reach 1,000 career receiving yards, surpassing the mark in his 11th game. The previous mark had been 19 games.

Dortch is second in the nation and first in the ACC in all-purpose yards this week, as the redshirt sophomore is averaging 176.2 yards per game in 2018, up from his 2017 season average of 161.2 YPG. Dortch also leads the ACC in receptions per game (8.0) while ranking second in the league in punt return average (13.5) and receiving yards (98.7) per game. He is fifth in the ACC in kickoff return average (23.2). His 8.0 receptions per game rank second nationally while also ranking in the top-10 in the country in punt return average (tenth). The redshirt sophomore remains the only player in FBS with two punt return touchdowns.

Dortch is just the second player in school history with 500 or more receiving yards, 150 or more punt return yards and 200 or more kickoff return yards. The only other Deacon to have accomplished this feat is Fabian Davis in 2002 when he finished the season with 575 receiving yards, 363 punt return yards and 363 kickoff return yards.

According to Pro Football Focus, Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman is the No. 5 freshman player in the FBS through the first six games of the season. Hartman is preceded by WR Jaylen Waddle of Alabama, QB Alan Bowman of Texas Tech, RB Pooka Williams, Jr. of Kansas and WR Jayden Reed of Western Michigan. Hartman this week ranks fourth in the nation among freshmen with 209.8 passing yards per game, fourth in completions per game with 17.0, tied for fourth with 10 touchdown passes and tied for fourth in points responsible for (points scored and passed for) with 66.

Hartman is ranked No. 2 in the nation among freshmen with 1,259 passing yards. Texas Tech’s Alan Bowman is the national leader with 1,680. Freshman QB Sam Hartman has two of the top 10 total offense play games in school history. Hartman debuted with 442 yards of total offense on 64 plays on Aug. 30 against Tulane. He added 64 total offense plays against Boston College on Sept. 13. The 64 total offense plays in a game are tied for the ninth-most in a single game. In addition, Hartman has become the first Wake Forest freshman with two games of 300 or more total offense yards. Along with his 442 yards vs. Tulane, Hartman had 306 yards vs. Towson.

Freshman PK Nick Sciba ranks sixth in the nation in field goal percentage among freshmen at .750. He has made 9-of-12 field goal attempts. Sciba is sixth in the nation among freshmen with nine field goals made. Sciba leads the Deacons with 49 points this season. The school record for most points scored by a true freshman is 60 by RB James McDougald in 1976. Sciba already owns the school mark for field goals made by a true freshman having surpassed the previous mark of four set by Danny Nolan in 1983.