Wake Forest draws Campbell in another schedule twist
Wake Forest takes on visiting Campbell, which is closing out an abbreviated fall slate, in a non-league game Friday night at Truist Field in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Wake Forest (0-2) could use a jolt of confidence after a rough opening stretch.
“We’re getting better,” Demon Deacons coach Dave Clawson said. “I think we have the makings of a good football team, but this team is a work in progress and we’ll get there.”
This will mark the first football game in the state of North Carolina with increased attendance guidelines. State restrictions are allowing up to 7 percent of stadium capacity beginning this weekend.
“We are excited to play in front of Deacon Nation again, even if it is a limited capacity,” Clawson said. “We can’t wait to feel that energy and support starting with our game against Campbell.”
This will be the first meeting between the programs.
Campbell (0-3), a member of the Football Championship Subdivision’s Big South Conference, is playing four games as part of a fall season after the Big South opted to hold its main competition in the spring. So it’s four road assignments for the Camels, including the final two in their home state.
Campbell has lost to Georgia Southern (27-26); to Coastal Carolina (43-21); and to Appalachian State (52-21). There would have been a week off before its final game, but like so many other things this season, changes were necessary.
“It’s prepping us for when we get in the playoffs because that’s where we’re going (in the future),” said Camels coach Mike Minter, a former standout with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. “Now it shows us you have four weeks, you have to get ready every single day. … What I’m looking for is how do we put it all together?”
By playing this schedule across a period of a month, the exposure for the Camels has been beneficial. Twice, their games have been on national television.
“I think that is the biggest plus,” Minter said of the ability to promote the program and university.
Campbell wasn’t on the original schedule for Wake Forest. But when non-league foe Old Dominion decided it wouldn’t play a fall schedule, the Demon Deacons sought another opponent.
The Campbell-Wake Forest matchup was pegged for Oct. 9. It was moved up a week when Wake Forest had its matchup with Notre Dame postponed from the scheduled date of Sept. 26 because of coronavirus issues connected to the Notre Dame team.
The adjustment avoided back-to-back weeks with no games for Wake Forest. And instead of facing then-No. 7 Notre Dame in their third game, it also might reduce the chance that the Demon Deacons are saddled with their first 0-3 start since dropping their first seven games in 2000 in the final season under coach Jim Caldwell.
Wake Forest running back Kenneth Walker rushed for three touchdowns in the Sept. 19 loss at North Carolina State. Glitches in the passing attack have held the Demon Deacons back.
“We need to make some plays on the outside,” Clawson said. “We’ve dropped probably five or six deep balls in two weeks. At certain point, you’ve got to go make those plays.”
–Field Level Media