Wake Forest takes on UVA today in a matchup that both fanbases desperately want to win in order to look at the rest of the schedule differently. Let’s walk through a couple of things Wake needs to do on both sides of the ball in order to get to 2-2 on the year
- Death by 1000 cuts: Wake Forest’s bread and butter this year has been a complete 180 from what kept it chugging along last year. Instead of being a threat for 20+ yard bombs down the field, this team has turned into one that is just going to methodically working its way down the field. UVA is built like a team that is tough against the run and it looked that way to open against Duke. However, with Clemson(LOL) they gave up 4.42 yards per carry, and against NC State, gave up 4.26 yards per carry. UVA is also giving up 266 yards per game through out the air. If Wake can keep the offense chugging along with the “Thunder and Lightning” duo that’s Kenneth Walker III and Christian Beal-Smith, while when needed let Sam Hartman continue to be as deathly efficient as he’s been all year, should make it a long day at the office for the Cavaliers.
- Stay on their necks: We’ll get to the bigger part of this in the defense but UVA has not been good when it comes to starting games. However, once they get started they can start putting some real numbers on the board. If Wake can jump out to an early lead and not take off series here and there just going through the motions or allowed to be taken off schedule, it’ll force (presumably) Lindell Stone to have to throw 50 times again and take away from UVA’s run game(which attacks the most suspect part of Wake’s defense right now)
- Capitalize: UVA has been horrendous at holding onto the football, they AVERAGE 3 turnovers a game on offense. Wake seems to be turning back into a defense that will want to bend but not break and be a bit more havoc that the stout group we thought would be from the beginning of the season. When UVA puts it on the ground/when Stone throws the wobbly passes he did against NC State, Wake HAS to take advantage of those and not let them get away with it.
- Force droughts: It would be... disheartening to see Wake be the team that UVA breaks its cold streak of starting out games terribly. UVA has been outscored 34-0 in the first quarter. If Wake can continue this streak and elongate it to the second half, it’ll be the biggest confidence boost for a defense that, outside of Campbell, has been scuffling.