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Game Preview: Wake Forest @ Boston College

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The Demon Deacons head north to take on Atlantic Division foe Boston College in #therivalry

NCAA Football: Presbyterian at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons will look to get to 2-0 in back-to-back years for the first time since the 1987-1988 football seasons when it takes on Boston College tomorrow in Chestnut Hill at 1 PM E.T.

The game will air online at WatchESPN/ACC Network Extra, but is not available on television other than whatever local channels will provide it.

Boston College started its season with a 23-20 victory on the road against Northern Illinois behind a 26-42, 191 yard effort from freshman quarterback Anthony Brown. The Eagles were limited to 339 yards against the 83rd ranked defense in the country according to the S&P Rankings. According to those same metrics Wake Forest has the 25th ranked defense.

The Eagles opened as a three point favorite in Vegas, but has since been bet down to a pick’em. The over/under has seen a fun ride, as it started at 42.5, made it up to 47.5, but now sits back at 43.5.

We all know that the past few games between these two teams have not exactly been events to write home about from the purest from of Football, but they have certainly been entertaining. The last time these two teams got together in Boston, Wake Forest won 3-0, securing the victory after BC took over inside the 10 after a Matt Colburn fumble, but the Demon Deacon defense was able to stop the Eagles from punching it in to set off a raucous celebration.

That description doesn’t really do it justice, but here is the entire clip below for the sake of posterity:

Like most of the other recent games between the Eagles and Demon Deacons, I believe this will be a hard fought affair where one or two plays, especially on special teams, could be the difference in the football game.

Last week Wake Forest performed extremely well in field positioning, coming out with a +21 yard advantage on average throughout the game. The Deacs averaged starting on its own 40 yard line, while Presbyterian averaged starting on its own 19 yard line. This usually indicates really good special teams, and Wake ranked in the top 5 of all games last week in each category.

Both defensive lines are better than the opposing offensive line, and to make matters slightly worse for Boston College, its senior starting center Jon Baker will miss the game with a knee injury sustained late in last week’s win over NIU. It will snap his streak of 27 consecutive games and will thrust either true freshman Alec Lindstrom or sophomore Shane Leonard into that role.

Aside from the QB position the center role is one of the most important on the offense, and maybe the team. They touch the ball on every single play, and in a lot of offenses call out blitzes and blocks within the line. In a game that is slated to be as close as this one, every little thing counts, so that is certainly something to look for.

The Deacs will have to find a way to block 2018 projected top ten NFL Draft pick Harold Landry. Landry was an AP All-America Second Team member last season, setting a school record in sacks with 16.5. The Deacs got to witness this up close and personally in Winston-Salem last year when Landry had 3 sacks in the Boston College 17-14 victory.

Personally I believe Wake Forest will win this game, and I am taking the Deacs 28-24 in a higher scoring game than most think. Both teams showed flashes of a new up-tempo offense, so it will be interesting to see which defense wears down first. The game will be won or lost with three things: the line of scrimmage, the turnover battle, and special teams.

I think Greg Dortch will have a big play that could determine the outcome of the game. I also believe that Arkeem Byrd could be the difference maker out of the backfield if he can get to the perimeter and break a couple of plays.