Wake Forest will be behind the 8-ball when they play Maryland today. This disadvantage doesn’t come from injuries but rather poor decisions. Yesterday afternoon Jim Grobe announced that six players including four starters would be suspended for Saturday’s matchup with the Terrapins.
The four starters that have been suspended are cornerback Merrill Noel, safety Daniel Mack, linebacker Mike Olson and offensive guard Frank Souza. The two other suspended players are tailback Deandre Martin and receiver Airyn Willis. All six of them could return for the Demon Deacons next game against Virginia.
The announcement came as a surprise, and there is still some mystery surrounding the suspensions because a reason for them has yet to be given.
The loss of these six players may doom Wake in today’s game. The Deacons have had a bad defense up until this point, they are ranked 100th in the nation in scoring defense (giving up 33.4 points per game) and losing three starters on that side of the ball including their top tackler, Olson, could mean a blowout by the Terrapins.
However, there is a chance that these suspensions could have the opposite effect. It could force the team to come together in a time of crisis. The only way that Wake can beat Maryland today is if that is the case. If the Deacons do indeed break under the pressure of losing four starters, then it could affect the rest of the season and possibly cost Wake Forest a chance at a bowl.
Fans have to hope that the six suspended players have learned from their mistakes and will return to the field better for this experience, because their decisions may have just cost their team a game.