The Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-1,1-1) host the Syracuse Orange (2-3,0-1) on Saturday night at 7 p.m. at BB&T Field. The Deacs are back at home for the first time since week three, and they are favorites in Vegas. What does the staff think is going to happen in Saturday’s contest?
Adam: Wake Forest wins 31-28
This game really worries me because Syracuse throws the ball so much and our secondary has not been great so far this year. With the Orange missing several starters on the O-line, hopefully the Wake Forest front 4 can get in the backfield and help out the secondary by putting pressure on Eric Dungey. Thankfully, the Syracuse defense has not been very good this year against the run, which should allow the Deacs to move the ball on offense and sustain some nice, long drives.
Bart: Wake Forest wins 23-20
Coming off a loss against N.C. State where the defense again showed that it had no real answer for a strong passing attack, Wake returns home to square off in a night game against Syracuse with as a favorite - with a great shot at getting to five wins and needing just one more to become bowl eligible for the first time in four years. Syracuse's passing game is a serious concern, but all aspects of running the football (offensively and defensively) indicate a dire shortcoming for the Orange up to this point of the season. As far I recall, Wake's lone win against Syracuse came during the 2006 season when Wake made the Orange Bowl and I expect vindication for the past few matchups.
Riley: Wake Forest wins 34-24
Unless the weather is really bad for kickoff, I expect this one to be a pretty fun affair. We should be able to run all day against their front seven, and they will likely take pretty big advantage of our secondary.
Since Syracuse has some injuries on their offensive line it will interesting to see if they can generate any run game at all. They have been pretty good in pass protection, but extremely underwhelming in run blocking.
Assuming Carney is back, I think he will pair with Colburn well enough to provide over 200 yards on the ground.
I'll take the Deacs 34-24, as the defense finds ways to stop the Orange after a shaky first quarter.
Rob: Wake Forest wins 27-24
This is an interesting matchup because Vegas and the advanced metrics have Wake Forest as a favorite in this one, yet Syracuse's passing attack is legitimate matchup problem for Wake's secondary. Still, Wake Forest is playing at home and Syracuse will be without three starting offensive linemen. I'd feel a lot better about this game if Wake had Kendall Hinton, but at least Cade Carney should be back. I'll take Wake Forest to make just enough plays in this one.
We’ve made our picks. What do you all think?