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Wake Forest vs. Syracuse: Roundtable Preview

What does the BSD staff think is going to happen in tomorrow's contest?

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

What is the one thing that you hope got better during the bye week? For the sake of eliminating the same answer I will exclude run blocking/run game as an answer overall.

Robert: Can I say everything? I'm not taking a shot at Wolford here, but I hope quarterback play got better. He's a true freshman, who is playing in one of the worst situations imaginable. I hope he used the bye week to go over improvement opportunities with the coaching staff and continue developing pocket presence and timing with his receivers.

Chris: Clawson said turnovers, and I agree. If it means more 3 and outs, and fewer hits on the QB, fewer times he has to scramble and make a bad decision or a worse one, I'm all for more disappointing 3rd down draw plays.

Shayn: We have to get something going through the air. FSU had their whole team, including boosters, in the box. I know we don't have a down field threat but you have to take some shots, even if it’s just to show something different. Cuse is going to be playing our screen and TE post routes all day, maybe we can get Orville out of the backfield into space.

Bart: I hope some of the decisions we're making on offense as a coaching staff shift a little bit. We have brutal blocking (as noted by the original exclusion of run blocking) but I would like to see us take a couple shots down field. After turnovers in particular it would be great to see us take a stab at a home run shot and try to keep the "momentum" (so to speak) after getting a turnover. I was disappointed we didn't take any deep shots against Louisville following some forced turnovers around midfield.

Syracuse is starting a true freshman at QB against the Deacs in his first game. What are your expectations defensively to be content with how Wake performs against him and the Cuse offense overall?

RR: Well I'm more concerned with the run game to be honest, but I want to limit any big plays, and I want us to send some pressure and force him to throw before he's ready and feel uncomfortable in the pocket.

CW: I expect sacks and turnovers and a defensive score. Our defense should absolutely roll tomorrow.

SF: Again, the defense is going to have to do the majority of the work if our offensive is going to score. We will need our defense/special teams to get us close to field goal range at least 4-5 times to put up a decent amount of points. That being said I think it's going to Pick City for the Deacs. I think we will blow up Cuse’s O-line and cause a decent amount of turnovers. I would also be surprised iff Cuse was able to rush for over 100 yards.

BJ: I expect Wake to bring some blitz packages and mix up the coverage to ensure Long cannot get comfortable in the pocket. I think they will try to bring a run-first mindset into the game and it is incumbent that our front six gets consistent pressure into the backfield.

Offensively what type of changes are you looking for the staff to institute for the game tomorrow?

RR: I'm hoping to see some more quick-hitting plays and I also am hoping to see better blitz pickup from our line and tailbacks. I don't know if this is necessarily a change, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some trickery tomorrow to get a few big plays. But that's just #PureSpeculation

CW: Playcalling on 1st and 2nd down. This should be our easiest or second easiest game of the season.

SF: Orville has to get out into space and become a bigger part of the passing game. I would also like to see Dez get some reps back there. The biggest thing is to take some shots downfield.

BJ: Well I guess I should have read all the questions first so this wasn't my answer to number one, but I think that we should try to stretch the field a little bit more to the best of our ability but also we should implement some very fast one-step dropback quick hitters for E.J. in the slot and some slants for Serigne across the middle. I also never want to see that shovel pass play again and I can't fathom why with this offensive line we would run any delayed handoffs. So I hope those are gone.

What's your prediction for the game?

RR: Perhaps it's because I didn't have to watch play this past weekend, but I'm taking the Deacs to win 17-13. We're coming off a bye week, playing at home and are against a true freshman quarterback. I truly believe our team senses how important this game is for our program and we will find a way to get this thing done.

CW: 21-10 Wake.

SF: We should beat Cuse about as badly as we have or are going to beat anyone all year. I’ll go 23-9 Deacs.

BJ: This is basically a tossup. I have no doubt that our offense is the worst unit on the field in this game (and will be all year in every game we play) but if we can force some turnovers and make Syracuse press a little bit on their defensive side I think we can probably get into the end zone once or twice with our offense. We have something like seven offensive touchdowns in six games so scoring more than one in a game might be a tall task. We also haven't scored a touchdown on offense in over 125 game minutes. I can't in good conscience pick a team this bad on offense to win any one individual game so I'm going to go Orange 17-13. The over/under opened at 43 and the under looks like a good bet as long as there aren't many defensive touchdowns.