- Associated Press - Friday, October 8, 2010

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - Wake Forest is getting used to dealing with option offense.

One week after temporarily slowing down Georgia Tech, the Demon Deacons face another team that rushes the ball almost exclusively Saturday when they play host to Navy.

“The key thing I think, for us as a defense, is for the younger guys to understand (that) because we played well against the same offense last week doesn’t mean we’ll play well this week,” Wake Forest linebacker Hunter Haynes said. “I tried to tell guys, ‘Navy’s a whole different ball game.’ These kids, they’re the toughest guys you’ll play against.”

Wake Forest (2-3) held Paul Johnson’s Yellow Jackets to a season-low 209 yards rushing _ they entered ranked No. 4 nationally in rushing offense. But quarterback Joshua Nesbitt gained nearly one-fourth of that on one key play, a 50-yard run during the winning drive of a 24-20 comeback win.

Now comes a matchup with that coach’s former team, which kept many of the same triple-option principles that Johnson masterminded before he took over at Georgia Tech in 2008. The Midshipmen rank 11th nationally on the ground, but averages only 12 1/2 pass attempts per game. Only Army throws it less frequently.

Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe isn’t sure whether the advantage belongs to his team or to Navy.

“There’s no question it helps us, but it helps them, too,” Grobe said. “They’ve seen our best stuff against Georgia Tech. We’re not real sure how they’ll plan against us. I’m sure they’re talking with Georgia Tech and trying to figure out they thought what we did good, where they thought we were weak. … I’m guessing it’s a wash.”

The Demon Deacons and Midshipmen might not be in the same conference, but they’ve play more often than most league opponents do. This marks their sixth meeting in five years, including a rematch in the 2008 EagleBank Bowl.

Both teams have struggled so far. Wake Forest has lost three in a row, all to teams that have been nationally ranked at some point. Navy (2-2) is coming off a 17-6 loss at Air Force and was beaten by Maryland in the first of its three matchups with Atlantic Coast Conference teams.

While Wake Forest knows what it will face in Ricky Dobbs, the engineer of Navy’s option attack, the Midshipmen are preparing for the Demon Deacons’ uncertain quarterback situation.

Wake Forest was down to its No. 4 QB last week because of injuries, and freshman Tanner Price _ who missed the Georgia Tech game with a concussion _ and Skylar Jones _ who’s fighting turf toe _ were listed atop the team’s midweek depth chart.

“Fortunately, we have tape on all of them,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. I have great faith in (defensive coordinator Buddy) Green and his staff that we’ll have a good plan for whomever winds up playing.”