What a week of college football. With all the top 25 matchups and upsets this weekend, it truly was the perfect week for a Wake Forest bye. Every time slot had an absolutely terrific game, and I feel like that was the best overall Saturday of football in quite some time. While the Deacs were off, most of their opponents were not, so let’s check in and see how they fared this week.
Opponent Combined Record in Week 7: 5-4
Opponent Combined Overall Record: 48-25
(5-2) NC State 9—Syracuse 24 (6-0)
The biggest thing from this game was the announcement that Devin Leary is out for the rest of the season with a torn pec. The Wolfpack offense did not look great even with Leary, so it’s no shock that they still have not scored a touchdown since he got injured in the FSU game. Backup Jack Chambers didn’t have a terrible game, finishing 18-30 for 160 yards, but NC State finished with just 255 yards and that’s not going to win many games. The Pack have now played four Power 5 teams this season and have hit 300 yards against just one of them with 307 yards against FSU. On the other side, Syracuse got another big day from the duo of Tucker and Shrader, who combined for 179 yards on the ground. Receiver Oronde Gadsden caught 8 of Shrader’s 16 completions for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns to help Syracuse stay undefeated.
(6-1) North Carolina 38—Duke 35 (4-3)
This was another great game in the Duke-UNC rivalry. It looked like the Blue Devils had this game won after a touchdown pass from Riley Leonard to Jalon Calhoun would have put Duke up 42-31 with 2:20 left, but a chop block erased the touchdown and caused Duke to miss the ensuing field goal, giving UNC the ball back with 2 minutes down just 35-31. Drake Maye drove the Heels down the field with relative ease to win the game on a touchdown pass to Antoine Green. Maye has put up ridiculous numbers all season and is definitely going to be a nightmare for the ACC for the next few years.
(3-4) Vanderbilt 0—Georgia 55
That went as expected.
(6-1) Liberty 21—Gardner-Webb 20
When Kaidon Salter plays, Liberty looks like they could win the Coastal. When he doesn’t, they look a whole lot more like UConn.
(7-0) Clemson 34—Florida State 28 (4-3)
After declaring themselves “back” and talking a whole bunch of trash, FSU has now lost 3 straight games to Wake, State, and Clemson. The Noles scored on 2 of their first 3 possessions of the game to take the lead, but then didn’t score again until their final 2 possessions when the game was pretty much decided. While FSU had 10 more first downs, almost 100 more yards, and 5 fewer penalties, three of their drives ended in unsuccessful 4th down attempts—including a fake punt on their own 30-yard line. Obviously, Clemson probably would have played the end of the game a little differently, but having a couple of field goals sure does look like it would have helped FSU in this one.
(2-4) Army 42—Colgate 17
Army got a second win of the season, but they still haven’t beaten an FBS team. I won’t knock them too badly for playing two FCS teams, since it is kind of Tennessee’s fault for canceling their game so late. Army will now need 7 wins to get bowl eligible. They should beat UL Monroe, UConn, and UMass to get to 5 wins, so they’ll need to win 2 of Air Force, Troy, and Navy to go bowling. Easier said than done.
The Boston College Eagles come to Winston this week as the Deacs play for bowl eligibility.