WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Jim Grobe appreciates the way the service academies play football. His humbled Demon Deacons just can't afford to get beat by another one when they host Army on Saturday night.
Grobe spent a decade as an assistant at Air Force, and has played six games against the academies since 2007. Wake Forest is 3-3 in those games, including three losses in the last four meetings with Navy — which, like Army (0-2), uses a triple-option offense.
"We have to approach things from a different angle," Grobe said. "We've got to try to stop the run, but what Army can hurt us with — as Navy has done in the past — is play-action passes. They get you crowding the line of scrimmage trying to stop the run, and beat you with some throws where you've turned people loose and don't cover them."
That's almost a polar opposite from what the Demon Deacons (2-1) faced last week against a nationally ranked Florida State team that used big plays from its elite players to rout them 52-0 — their worst loss since the 1996 Maryland team beat them by the same score.
"We just can't think we're going to come out and kill Army because we're upset about last week," Wake Forest linebacker Justin Jackson said. "We definitely know that we need to work harder. That's one benefit of last week — we know we've got to work harder to get better."
Army has the second most productive rushing offense in the nation, averaging 384 yards, and that offsets a passing game that ranks last in the Bowl Subdivision with an average of 29 yards.