It’s hard to believe that we are now just over 50 hours until the Demon Deacons kickoff their 2016 campaign against AAC opponent Tulane. Many college football analysts have begun to predict Wake as a surprise bowl team this season out of the ACC, but that is all dependent on taking care of business Thursday night and starting off the season right. Below are some quick facts, social media posts, and miscellaneous information about the Green Wave before they come into town later this week.
Five Fast Facts:
1. The Deacs have been decently successful in the past 10 years in openers, coming into 2016 6-4 in Week 1 since 2006. Tulane, on the other hand, has struggled in season openers in the last decade, going 3-7 in that span with the only wins being against SE Louisiana (2x) and Jackson State.
2. Tulane is also looking to snap its losing streak against Power 5 opponents that is now up to 10 games dating back to 2010. Last year, the Green Wave were defeated by two ACC opponents in Duke and Georgia Tech by a combined score of 102-17. Tulane does lead the all-time series against Wake Forest 2-0, however, with the most recent victory being a 35-9 throbbing in 1995.
3. The Green Wave certainly struggled to move the ball last year ranking 119th in Total Offense with 317.0 YPG. Their Total Defense was only marginally better, slotting in at #80 and letting up 5.8 Yards Per Play. For comparison, the Deacs were 113th and 38th in 2015 in these respective categories.
4. Keeping opponents out of the end zone was somewhat of a problem last year for Tulane, allowing 30+ points in 10 of their games in 2015. 6 teams hung up 40+ on them including SMU in the middle of one of its worst seasons in program history. I’m pretty sure the Mustangs didn’t even have a defensive playbook last season and they still beat Tulane by 28 points for their lone AAC win of the season. On top of that, Tulane’s secondary features three new starters in 2016, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Wake takes a couple deep looks early in the game to see if they can hold their own.
Wake Forest football is back! Initial thoughts on the season opener against the Tulane Green Wave. https://t.co/Wdvra6CIa2— Jake (@BloggerSoDear) August 30, 2016
5. Despite matching 3-9 records, Tulane took far better care of the ball than Wake Forest did in 2015, turning it over just 1.25 times a game. The Deacs had the 8th worst Turnover Margin in the country last year at -13, while their Week 1 opponents were a net positive at +1 in 2015.
Tulane’s New Look:
Our visitors from New Orleans will be rocking one of the more unique helmets in Week 1 with their return of the “Angry Wave” logo. I’ve subsequently sent in a request for Wake Forest to bring out their long-lost Deacon themed helmet this Thursday to create one of the best helmet battles in college football history, but have yet to hear back from the athletic department. I’ll keep you updated if I get some good news.
A Week 1 Hype Video?
Is it me or is Tulane treating this visit to Winston-Salem like a trip to the College Football Playoff? All jokes aside, props to them for attempting to reinvigorate their fan base behind the arrival of a new head coach and some sharp looking apparel changes. After all, everybody could use more hype videos.
What Vegas Thinks: Wake -17. In last year’s opener against FCS foe Elon the line was -27 and Wake covered by 11 points.
Tweets of the Week: The guys over at Yahoo are just as excited as we are for this Thursday.
ONLY FOUR DAYS AND LIKE 19 HOURS TIL WAKE FOREST VS TULANE— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) August 28, 2016
And Former Wake Forest star Safety Josh Gattis voiced his support of the 2016 campaign this past week as well.
Good luck this season! 10 yrs ago we were determined the WF stood for We Finish! 2016 team it's your time now!Do It✊ https://t.co/fNUImInZlx— Josh Gattis (@Coach_Gattis) August 27, 2016
A quick reminder that the game is set to kickoff at 7PM Thursday night at BB&T Field and will be available to watch on ESPN3 for those that can’t make it to the game. Looking forward to discussing a whole new season of Demon Deacon football with all of you in just a couple of days. Go Deacs!