Riley Johnston (2-2)
The Deacs seemingly broke through a little bit on the offensive side last week against Army. It's hard to tell whether or not it was the opponent that we were playing or if we figured out some better blocking/schemes to aid in that. I think it's a little bit of both, and hopefully we see some semblance of that this weekend.
Obviously it's going to be near impossible to come out of Death Valley with a win. I think that it will be closer than the 28 point line due to Wake limiting the big play and Clemson running less than a full package on offense. I'll take the Tigers 31-14.
Robert Reinhard (3-1)
I'll guess 45-10 Clemson. (Rob is a man of many words, he just chooses not to share them here)
Anybody going into Death Valley needs to prepare for the possibility of getting absolutely housed. Combine that with the inconsistency of the Deacs this year, and the fact that Clemson looks like they might actually be legit this year and might not Clemson it up for once, and I don't see the Deacs avoiding a blowout, let alone winning. I'm going to go with 38-10 Tigers, with the only bright spots coming from solid performances by Michael Campanaro and Nikita Whitlock. I know, I know, scandalous predictions, but what can I say? I'm a rebel.
Bart Johnston (3-1)
If the Wake Forest offense which showed up in the second half against Army can come out against Clemson the Deacs may have a fighter's chance. As it stands though I don't see a scenario where Wake utilizes enough effective strategies to mitigate the differences in athleticism, talent, and size that Clemson has. As I mentioned in my weekly article, I believe that Clemson will come out with a lot of short passes and screens while Wake stays back in a soft zone and lets Sammy Watkins manhandle the defense.
For Wake to keep the game close three things need to happen: huge turnover margin in favor of the Deacs, complete control on the offensive line against Clemson's defensive front, and aggressive play calling which is utilized to exploit advantages the Deacs may have across the field. I don't expect many of these to materialize and as such I believe the Tigers take this one 38-14. I previously had 38-10 but am changing it back to my original 38-14 score.
John Mundy (3-1)
Thoughts on last week:
After some halftime adjustments, Wake Forest finally found some running room at West Point and pulled away late. Josh Harris again showed flashes of, well, Josh Harris-ness and Wake Forest finally started to click on the ground.
The air attack, however, was spotty at best- the lone highlight being a beautiful touchdown reception by Michael Campanaro. However, everything was overshadowed by a completely dominant performance by the Demon Deacon defense. The Deacs did yeoman's work in holding the Army wishbone attack out of the end zone.
Thoughts on this week:
Wake Forest doesn't have to play a perfect game to win in Death Valley, but the Tigers have to be in a giving mood to give the Deacs a chance at the upset. I don't care who you are, if you turn the ball over multiple times you are letting the enemy in the front door.
If the Deacs are to hang around and have a chance in the fourth quarter, they will have to have solid performances from all three phases of the game and turn the Clemson offense over 2 or 3 times. Again, I'm not talking a perfect game, I'm talking a solid and opportunistic one.
I've been following Wake Forest long enough to know that winning in Death Valley is a long shot for the Deacs, no matter how good either team is. Additionally, despite the good vibes emitted by the Wake offense last week, we've still only seen the Deacs play a quarter and a half of good offensive football.
I'm not sold yet. Clemson wins 31-7.