Wake Forest’s undefeated season unfortunately came to end last weekend as the Deacs suffered their first loss of the year to the North Carolina Tar Heels. Everyone missed the winner and the spread, as everyone had picked Wake Forest to outright win the game. There is no time to dwell on the loss as the Deacs have a massive game against the NC State Wolfpack for the driver seat of the Atlantic Division this weekend. Let’s see if last week’s loss will convince anyone to pick against the Deacs for the first time this year.
- Opponent: North Carolina State Wolfpack
- Spread: Wake -2
- Over/Under: 66.5
Adam: Wake 35—NC State 31 | Wake -2 | Under
This is the Atlantic Division version of unstoppable force vs. immovable object. The Wake Forest offense is currently 2nd in the nation in points per game with 44.7 and 6th in the nation in yards per game with 509. On the flip side, the Wolfpack defense is 7th in the nation in points allowed, giving up just 16 points per game, and 18th in the nation in yards allowed with just 321 yards allowed per game. This will be by far the best defense Wake Forest has faced all season and by far the best offense NC State has faced this season. Something has got to give.
The heartbreaking loss last week at North Carolina will have one of two outcomes: the Deacs are still thinking about it and come out flat, fall into an early hole and have to spend the game playing catch up, or the loss makes Wake Forest refocus and takes away the pressure of a perfect season and making the playoffs, and the Deacs come out sharp and get right to work. I think Dave Clawson probably made sure this week that the latter scenario is the one that comes to fruition. I think Wake will be back to playing disciplined football this week.
The big question is, as always, Wake’s defense. NC State does not present the same challenges as many of the teams Wake has faced so far this season, in that the Wolfpack are not really a big play offense. The pack are 58th in the nation in yards per game and 49th in the nation in points per game. They average just 387 yards per game against power 5 opponents, and in their last 2 games they have run for a combined 135 yards on 60 attempts (2.3 ypc). Devin Leary is playing as good as any QB in the ACC right now, but unlike every other QB Wake has faced this year, he is not mobile and does not run the ball at all. That should help the defense tremendously.
Ultimately, the game is at home, so I give the advantage to the Deacs. Let’s go win this thing.
Elijah: Wake 48—NC State 45 | Wake -2 | Over
The Deacs look to regroup after a heartbreaking non-conference loss to UNC, giving up 24 points in the fourth quarter.
The goals of a perfect season may be gone but conference play remains and the Deacs get their highest rated opponent of the season with instate rival NC State Wolfpack.
Wake Forest may have to rely on the offense and find more opportunities to be aggressive to score, score, and score. With the Deacs having an opportunity to still cap one of the best seasons of program history, I’m hopeful the team can rally to finish the season strong.
Wake Forest regroups and hangs on at home against a tough NC State team, 48-45.
Cam: Wake 41—NC State 35| Wake -2 | Over
Wake 41 State 35. I trust Leary to hit his shots down field slightly less than I trust the defense to get a few stops if they aren’t healthy enough. Sam Hartman, let’s make a difference this week and the state defense that’s been pretty damn good all year finally gets a competent offense and cracks.
SF: Wake 35—NC State 14 | Wake -2 | Under
Wake 35 State 14. Y’all might think I’m nuts but I genuinely don’t think State is as good as some of the raw stats would seem to indicate (and I think UNC is considerably better than their record, so the fact that we lost to UNC doesn’t mean a ton). The main reason I think Wake wins comfortably is that State is cursed in Winston.
Average: Wake 40—NC State 32 | Wake -2 | Over
It appears last week loss did not affect anyone’s outlook on the Wake Forest Football team. Let’s hope the Deacs get back on track this week. Go Deacs!