How to Contain WF Quarterback Skinner
Wake Forest quarterback Riley Skinner is off to a great start this season. The senior has the attention of Maryland defensive coordinator Don Brown, who told me Tuesday night that Skinner is a particular concern when he gets out of the pocket and starts to ad-lib. He needs just 81 passing yards to become the school’s all-time leader. He has thrown for a total of 1,004 yards in his last three games, and has thrown at least one touchdown pass in six straight games. Against N.C. State on Saturday, he set career highs in pass attempts (45) and passing yards (361). Wake Forest is the only ACC school to rank in the top five in the conference in passing offense and rushing offense. The Demon Deacons are also on pace to set the school mark for total offensive yards. Maryland’s defense played well against Clemson, holding the Tigers to 71 yards in the second half. But facing Skinner will offer more of a challenge.
"They are not running [Skinner] as much as they have in the past,” Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen said. “Now that I've said that, they'll probably run him zone option all over the place. I don't know whether they are afraid of him getting hurt or what. They are very innovative with what they do. It seems no matter how they try to do it, they are not the norm. They are always different in some ways. Even running a little zone play, it has a little different tweak. They are not afraid to do things that other people don't do which makes them very difficult to defend. I have a lot of respect for them as coaches and they are very innovative-type people. We got a real test on our hands defensively."
Said Maryland linebacker Alex Wujciak: "He's very experienced. He's been the starting quarterback for four years now. We've played against him a bunch and he's played in a lot of big games for them. He took home the ACC championship a few years ago. He's dangerous throwing and running and everything, so we've got to try and take him out of [his] game this week."
Defensive lineman Deege Galt added: "He's good. He's experienced, obviously. He's one of the ACC's best quarterbacks. He's elusive, he makes good decisions, he's smart and he knows the playbook like the back of his hand. They have a lot of weapons, a lot of speed and they're really experienced up front. One thing you take from it is you can't let him beat you."
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