Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-5, 3-4) vs. Boston College Eagles (5-6, 1-6)
November 26, 2016
Winston-Salem, North Carolina (BB&T Field)
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
Online Streaming: Watch ESPN (Subject to Blackout)
Odds: Wake Forest is favored by 3 points. Over/Under is 36.5 points.
After months of anticipation, #therivalry is finally here. Wake Forest enters Saturday's contest against Boston College with a 6-5 record and an opportunity to send its seniors out with a win in their last game at BB&T Field. The Demon Deacons will take on a Boston College team that is coming off a 30-0 victory over the Connecticut Huskies and is in search of a sixth win to secure bowl eligibility. Due to Boston College's APR, however, they are already likely to make a bowl game even with a loss.
This is an interesting matchup for the Deacs, and I'm curious how the coaching staff will choose to attack the Eagles. If you look at the S&P numbers, then Boston College has a very stout defense. They have the 24th best defense, including the 4th best rush defense and the 47th best passing defense. Specifically, their biggest problem in pass defense is giving up Wake plays.
Against Army, Wake Forest really went away from the run and tried to pass on them with the deep ball, and we all know how well that turned out. Will Wake Forest continue to pound the rock with Cade Carney and Matt Colburn, or will they let John Wolford air it out some and get it to receivers like Tabari Hines and Cortez Lewis? Personally, I'd like to see us focus on running the ball, but also mixing in some shorter passes that allow us to get Tabari Hines and Chuck Wade the ball in space.
Defensively, Wake Forest should be in fine shape. Boston College's offense is truly anemic (there's a reason the over/under is 36.5), and Patrick Towles is a very poor quarterback. He's completing just over 50% of his passes, and while he has thrown 9 touchdowns to 6 interceptions, the majority of his touchdowns came against inferior competition. The key receiving threat to be aware of is Jeff Smith, who is averaging nearly 17 yards per reception. Towles can occasionally take off and run, as he ran for more than 100 yards against Syracuse. That said, he's certainly no Lamar Jackson, and he has also been fumble thrown. Duke Ejiofor needs to look for the strip sack. Wake will also be concerned with Boston College's Jon Hilliman and Davon Jones, who have combined for 7 touchdowns on the year. Hilliman has carried it 60 more times than Jones, yet he averages 1 yards fewer per carry. An area of concern on special teams is that Boston College has a good punt returner in Tyler Rouse, and Wake's punt coverage has been awful this season.
I'm expecting a very competitive game that will come down to the end, and will probably be determined by who commits the fewest turnovers and who executes in the red zone.
I hope you'll join us throughout the go. Go Deacs!