Wake Forest has elected to go ahead and try to play the game against Boston College by kicking off at 5:30 on Thursday. But though Hurricane Florence won't be here yet, the effects of its winds blowing in will surely be felt in this game.
Having said that, here are the staff’s predictions for this game.
Boston College 23-Wake Forest 20
I think Wake’s defense struggles to slow a dominant AJ Dillon throughout the game. Wake is going to keep moving the ball well on offense and the question is whether Hartman and company can put enough on the board to top BC. Unfortunately, I think BC is slightly better than the Deacs and take care of business on the road. This will be close throughout but the Eagles take it 23-20.
Wake Forest 31-Boston College 28
Wake gets their first big test with some terrible weather heading in. BC has gotten a ton of love entering the season with the experienced offensive line and great running back in A.J. Dillon. The Deacs will try to counter with their strength as well, which ironically is their experienced offensive line. Look for this game to really benefit the victor in the ACC race along with the rest of the season. Although BC opens up with the five point advantage as the favorite, look for the Deacs to edge the Eagles with a victory led by freshman quarterback Sam Hartman. Deacs win a close one, 31-28.
Wake Forest 24-Boston College 21
Wake wins a wet one 24-21. This screams the Syracuse hurricane during parents weekend I toughed out in the stands all over again. This one does play more to BC’s strengths than it does ours but this is one where honestly i think the RB by committee approach helps a ton. Tackling in that weather is a nightmare and if you always have fresh legs going whether it be Colburn doing his thing, Carney running over you or Beal somehow finding a hole, could play in Wake’s favor. There will be miscues all over the place but i think Wake capitalizes overall and guts one out
Wake Forest 24-Boston College 21
Buncha non-believers up in here. SMH. Not saying I don’t see why, but our rush defense is way better than our pass defense, and I genuinely think the BC Hype Train is running just a bit fast. Not saying they’re not good, just not really Matt Ryan era good. Besides, it’s still Clawson vs. Addazio. Jussayin’.
Boston College 27-Wake Forest 21
This game will almost certainly be in sub-par conditions for Wake Forest. Boston College loves to pound the ball on the ground to All-American candidate AJ Dillon, and the Deacs are the second fastest team in the country. The rain and wind is bad for Wake and good for BC, which isn’t a good combination in a game that is already favoring Boston College by 4-5 points. This game certainly favors the Eagles in those circumstances, and because of that I think BC will unfortunately take this one 27-21. I obviously hope that I am incorrect in this assessment, and if the game were being played at a later date I may think differently about this outcome.
BC wins 24-13
BC has been great so far this year (13th in S&P+ ratings), and Wake has left a lot to be desired on the defensive side of the ball. Our offense has been better than expected, but I worry that our offensive philosophy isn’t perfectly suited for the expected weather. We clearly have talented backs, but this weather will likely reduce the effectiveness of Greg Dortch, who has been nothing short of spectacular this year. I’ll take the Eagles in a sloppy contest.
Boston College 20-Wake Forest 17
I certainly think this one can go either way, and the good news is the biggest defense vulnerabilities we’ve shown this short season have been against big passing plays. The weather and BC’s inherent tendencies suggest their focus will be on the running game. We’ll need our LBs to have a good game, especially on snaps where the young backups are on the field. That said, I expect a grinding affair that gives the edge to BC, which is a really talented team this year. Let’s hope I’m wrong!
Wake wins 20-17
Due to the arrival of Hurricane Florence, expect a low-scoring affair in which field position will be crucial. It helps to have an All-ACC punter in Maggio and a big-time returner like Dortch.
BC wins 34-24
I know I’m being a downer here but I just haven’t seen enough from our secondary lately to warrant very much confidence. I know Boston College is a run first team, but it doesn’t help to stuff the run on 2 plays if you’re just going to give up a 3rd and long through the air. Hopefully I’m wrong.
Boston College 24-Wake Forest 17
The incoming weather will surely have an impact on this game, and will greatly limit the ability to throw the ball effectively. This neutralizes the effect that Greg Dortch can have on the game. Expect Wake to rely heavily on Cade Carney up the middle. With that said, BC has a potential All-American running the ball in AJ Dillon, and with the way our defense has played recently, I just don't see any way we contain him. Wake’s offense isn't designed to be effective in heavy winds, and I’m afraid the Deacs will be overpowered in this one.
I believe that this is the game that all the hype surrounding AJ Dillon finally catches up to him. With the team’s first game against an ACC opponent this year, I expect some coaching adjustments, on Wake’s part in terms of run defense. With two full weeks of film on Dillion, I believe that Jay Sawvel will help man the team’s attack on stacking the line in order to prevent another godly performance by Dillion.
I also believe that Sam Hartman has shown us over these last two games that he’s ready for the tougher opponents. He looks modestly poised in the pocket and doesn’t look like he will have those “big game jitters” that other quarterbacks have had in the past.
In terms of the ground game, I predict that the one-two duo of Matt Colburn II and Cade Carney will be in great condition to succeed, especially if the weather is expected to be the way it’s predicted.
Expect Wake to shock the ACC.
What do you all think will happen? Will you be attending the game if you are in Winston-Salem? Comment below with any thoughts on this one.