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BSD Staff Predictions for Pitt

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Can Wake Forest pull out a win on Senior Day to become bowl eligible?

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Wake Forest takes on Pitt on Saturday at BB&T Field on Senior Day for the Deacs. Wake will be trying for a sixth win to become bowl eligible, while Pitt will be trying to lock up the ACC Coastal division.

The BSD staff give their picks for this game after no one predicted Wake Forest to upset NC State last week. We were all, obviously, gladly incorrect.

Andrew (6 correct-Tulane, Towson, Notre Dame, Rice, Clemson & Louisville, 4 incorrect-BC, Florida State, Syracuse & NC State)

Pitt 38-Wake Forest 31

I expect an entertaining game throughout. The Panthers running attack should be a major problem as the Deacons still haven’t able to become a consist run stopping tandem this season. The pairing of Ollison and Hall in the backfield should lead to high success in this one.

But, I have the feeling that the Deacons come-from-behind victory last Thursday does carry over in some sense. Quarterback Jamie Newman looks, especially later in that game, to be poised under center at the collegiate level, and should mirror his results from last time. Their running attack should also be considered an asset in that area has been a mainstay of the offense recently. I don’t see a major wrinkle with the absence of Sam Hartman in the lineup.

With the chance of clinching the coastal division on the line, I see Pitt pulling away in a close one.

Riley (8 correct-Tulane, Towson, BC, Rice, Clemson, Florida State, Louisville & Syracuse, 2 incorrect-Notre Dame & NC State)

Pitt 34-Wake Forest 24

I hate to be the Negative Nancy again and I hope the team continues to prove me wrong, but we are running into Pitt at the wrong time in my opinion. The Panthers are clicking on all cylinders on the offensive side of the ball, which showed in its 52-22 win over Virginia Tech when it averaged nearly 14 yards per play (the most by an FBS team against an FBS team in 15 years). The Deacs looked good up on the defensive front against the Pack and will need another stellar performance from the D-Line if it wants to try to limit the powerful Pitt rushing attack. Ultimately I think the offense of the Panthers will be too much to overcome and the Deacs will need a win in Durham next week to get to 6 wins on the year.

Grumpy (6 correct-Tulane, Towson, BC, Rice, Clemson & Florida State, 2 incorrect-Notre Dame & NC State)

Pitt 28-Wake Forest 24

Unless Pitt has been playing the long con to ultimately defeat Wake by switching up their style for us, this will come down to how effectively Wake can stop the run. The good news is that’s been a relative strength for the Deacfense, but “relative” is the key term. Overall, our defense does seem to be trending up in the last few weeks. I think it’ll be key for our offense to stay on the field longer (i.e. by using slower tempo, like last week) if we want to give the D a chance against the rushing attack. I certainly think Wake has a good chance in this one, but Pitt will be playing for the division title and I’m just not sure we can get it done here. Totally not a reverse jinx.

Adam (8 correct-Tulane, Towson, BC, Notre Dame, Rice, Clemson, Florida State & Syracuse, 2 incorrect-Louisville & NC State)

Pitt 38-Wake Forest 31

I’m going to go ahead and admit that this pick is probably 100% due to recency bias. At the midway point in the season I had Pitt as a win for the Deacs, but after watching the Panthers absolutely dismantle Virginia Tech 52-22 last week while racking up almost 500 yards rushing (13.7 yards per carry!), my confidence is shaken. I know what you’re going to say: VT isn’t good this year. And I know that. I just can’t get it out of my head.

Elijah (7 correct-Tulane, Towson, Notre Dame, Rice, Clemson, Florida State & Louisville, 3 incorrect-BC, Syracuse & NC State)

Wake Forest 31-Pitt 27

The Deacs look to become bowl eligible for the third time in three years. A win against Pitt for Senior Day could get them to their goal.

Wake Forest has a couple of key players banged up (like Matt Colburn II) but the good mojo from the NC State game continues on as Jamie Newman plays well in his home debut.

Samurai (5 correct-Tulane, Towson, Rice, Clemson & Louisville, 5 incorrect-BC, Notre Dame, Florida State, Syracuse & NC State)

Wake Forest 24-Pitt 13

The defense does enough to stop the run and the offense refuses to lose on Senior Day, getting us to 6 wins and bowl eligibility.

Edward (8 correct-Tulane, Towson, BC, Notre Dame, Rice, Clemson, Florida State & Syracuse, 2 incorrect-Louisville & NC State)

Pitt 35-Wake Forest 27

Pitt is going for its first ever Coastal Division title in this one. It will be close, but in the end Pitt’s strong run game is too strong for Wake. They spoil Senior Day, and the Deacs have to look for one last win at Duke to become bowl eligible.

Rafael (4 correct-Tulane, Rice, Clemson & Florida State, 1 incorrect-BC)

Wake Forest 34-Pitt 33

This is a pivotal one for both teams. Pittsburgh’s running game will inevitably get theirs, but it is still very important to not allow good breaking loose into long 20+ runs. That’s how Pitt run away with the game against Virginia Tech and something they will definitely rely on against a banged-up Wake Forest defense. For as good as Newman was, I still would expect a heavy dose of the running game to open up some easy RPO opportunities for Newman. The outcome of this game will hinge in one or two plays on the fourth quarter.

Bart (7 correct-Tulane, Towson, BC, Notre Dame, Rice, Clemson, & Florida State, 3 incorrect-Louisville, Syracuse & NC State)

Pitt 34-Wake Forest 23

Pitt’s run game proved to be extremely successful last week against VPI in what was one of the most dominant FBS v. FBS performances in years. Wake is coming off a massive win as well and both teams have plenty to play for but ultimately I think Wake’s defense struggles to get timely stops and Pitt does enough to get the win.

Rob (8 correct-Tulane, Towson, BC, Notre Dame, Rice, Clemson, Florida State & Syracuse, 2 incorrect-Louisville & NC State)

Cam (4 correct-Tulane, Towson, Clemson & Louisville, 5 incorrect-BC, Notre Dame, Florida State, Syracuse & NC State)

Ned (2 correct-Tulane & Rice, 1 incorrect-Notre Dame)

How do you all think the Deacs will do? Do you think they get to six wins in this one and become bowl eligible?