Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson says Texas A&M’s small numbers mean big trouble for the Demon Deacons at Friday’s Belk Bowl.
Clawson said he’s concerned about the danger posed by Aggies receivers Jhamon Ausbon, Christian Kirk and Damion Ratley – all of whom wear single-digit jersey numbers – during the bowl’s Media Day events Thursday in Charlotte.
As Aggies fans know well, Ausbon wears No. 2, Kirk wears No. 3 and Ratley wears No. 4. For Clawson, those numbers are a sure indicator of matchups that might cause serious difficulties for the Demon Deacons.
“All of those single-digit guys for them — 2, 3, and 4 — there are really some matchup issues,” Clawson said.
He’s not the first person to note the threat from those receivers.
Kirk, a junior widely expected to become a first-round pick in April’s NFL draft, finished the regular season with 58 catches for 730 yards and seven touchdowns. Ratley, among the SEC’s top deep threats, caught 26 passes for 603 yards for an average of more than 23 per catch. And Ausbon, a freshman who should become the Aggies’ go-to receiver next season, grabbed 38 passes for 459 yards during his first season in College Station.
The potential for mismatches, Clawson said, is significant, and it isn’t just at receiver.
“If you look at some of the height, weight, speed concerns on their defensive line, they’ve got guys 6-6, 320,” Clawson said.
That’s a potential trouble spot for Wake Forest, which has only two offensive linemen – center Ryan Anderson and left guard Phil Haynes – who reach the 300-pound mark, both of them at 305.
On the defensive line, too, Wake Forest’s starting front four of Duke Ejiofor, Elontae Bateman, Willie Yarbary and Wendell Dunn have an average weight of 275 pounds, far smaller than the Aggies’ offensive line.
“We’re a little bit small on the D-line for the ACC, and we’re going against an offensive line that averages about 6-4, 305 or 307 pounds,” Clawson said. “So we’re going to have to play really well.”
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