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Wake Forest vs. Syracuse: Statistical Preview

What do the advanced metrics say about this matchup?

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons will host the Syracuse Orange on Saturday at noon at BB&T Field. The Deacs are coming off a bye and the Orange just faced Florida State, both of which set up well for Wake Forest. What do the advanced statistics tell us about Saturday's contest?

Wake Forest Offense vs. Syracuse Defense
Wake Forest Offense Syracuse Defense
S&P+ Overall 127th 77th
Rushing S&P+ 128th 53rd
Passing S&P+ 115th 84th
Standard Downs S&P+ 126th 51st
Passing Downs S&P+ 125th 102nd

Oh boy, well Wake's offense is not good. In fact, we're second worst in the country, and have the worst rushing attack by a mile. Dez Wortham impressed against Florida State, and Coach Clawson said he would play more this week, so hopefully he can give Wake a much-needed rushing attack. Far too many times the Deacs face 2nd-10 and 2nd-9 situations.

Syracuse's passing defense is 84th, so with a bye week I expect quarterback John Wolford to have his best performance since the Army game. He will need to limit turnovers, and the offensive line will need to protect him.

Syracuse Offense vs. Wake Forest Defense

Syracuse Offense Wake Forest Defense
S&P+ Overall 73rd 49th
Rushing S&P+ 27th 64th
Passing S&P+ 66th 29th
Standard Downs S&P+ 57th 43rd
Passing Downs S&P+ 40th 51st

Syracuse's rushing attack is legitimately good. It's probably not as good as the numbers indicate due to Terrel Hunt being out with a broken fibula, but running back Prince-Tyson Gulley averages 5.97 yards/carry. Wake's defense is going to have to stop Syracuse on 1st and 2nd downs, and force Syracuse into passing situations and give their secondary a chance to force interceptions. Syracuse will probably be starting freshman A.J. Long, so Wake's defense can hopefully have a few picks and maybe even take one to the house.

Special Teams

Wake Forest is currently 14th according to Football Outsiders' F/+ ratings. Syracuse is 72nd. Wake Forest's Mike Weaver is a perfect 8-8 on field goals and has converted 10 of 10 extra points. Yes, we've had just 10 PAT's in 6 games. Punter Alex Kinal already has 40 punts this season, and is averaging more than 43 yards/punt. Syracuse has replaced Ryan Norton with Cole Murphy, and Murphy is now 6 for 7 on the year. Punter Riley Dixon averages nearly 43 yards/punt.

This game should be very competitive, so Deacon fans be loud and proud on Saturday afternoon!