Wake Forest Preview and Prediction

Wake Forest Preview and Prediction

Football

Wake Forest Preview and Prediction

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The Tigers will try to get bowl eligible and earn their first road win of the season when they travel to Wake Forest Saturday to face the Deacs.

The Series: 

Saturday’s meeting between Clemson and Wake Forest will be the 72nd meeting for the two ACC teams.  Clemson leads the overall series 57-17-1.  The Tigers lead the series 20-10-1 at Wake Forest.  The Tigers won the last meeting 38-3 at Clemson in 2009.  In 2008 Wake Forest defeated Clemson 12-7. 

Tiger’s Offense vs Deac’s Defense: 

The Clemson offense continued to struggle in the redzone against Florida State.  Once again missed field goals and turnovers kept the Tigers from putting away a game they should have won.

The good news is Wake Forest should provide an opportunity for the Clemson offense to gain some confidence and find the endzone.  Wake Forest is last in the ACC in scoring defense giving up 38.7 points per game.  The Deacs are 11th in total defense giving up 431 yards per game.  Wake Forest is giving up almost 200 yards per game on the ground.

Jamie Harper had the best game of his career last week against the Noles.  Harper rushed for 143 yards and added another 54 in receiving.  Kyle Parker also played one of his best games against the Noles.  Parkers play will be critical to the Tigers earning their first road victory.

Tajh Boyd will get several series this week regardless of how the game is progressing.  The Tigers would like to put this one away early and let Tajh play as much as possible. 

Look for Jamie Harper to have another big day against the Deacons.  The Tigers will try to dominate Wake Forest up front and run the ball down their throat.  The Deacs are very small on the defensive line.  Clemson should also have some success through the air against a very young secondary for the Deacs.  

Edge:  Clemson

Tiger’s Defense vs Deac’s Offense: 

The Clemson defense continues to play well.  For the fifth game in a row Clemson has allowed only one touchdown.  If the Tigers can make it six in a row it should be an easy win for the Tigers.

The Tigers remain 1st in the ACC in scoring defense and 9th in the nation giving up only 17.4 points per game.  Clemson is 4th in the ACC in total defense giving up only 335 yards per game.

Wake Forest is 11th in the ACC in scoring offense averaging 22.9 points per game.  They are also 11th in total offense averaging 312 yards per game.

The Tiger’s defense will need tostop the run first and force the freshman QB to beat them through the air.  The Deacs are averaging 166 yards a game on the ground.  The Clemson defensive line has been dominant as of late.  They will need to play well to help stop the rush.

Expect to see the Deacs move the ball some as the Tigers arent’ likely to bring their A game.  The defense should play well enough to keep the Deacs out of the endzone on most of the drives.   Clemson will win this matchup but they won’t dominate.

Edge:  Tigers 

Special Teams:

Clemson leads the league in punting with a net of 39 yards per punt.  Wake Forest is 12th in the ACC with a net of 30 yards per punt.
 
The Deacons are also last in the ACC in kickoff coverage giving up 40.5 yards per return. 
 
Wake Forest has the advantage in field goals as they are 9-10 on the season, while the Tigers are last in the ACC with 9-18.
 
Marcus Gilchrist continues to be one of the best return guys in the ACC.  Marcus is 3rd in the ACC in punt returns averaging 11.4 yards per return and 2nd in kickoff returns averaging 26 yards per return.
 
Until the Tigers show that they can hit a field goal the advantage has to go to the opponent.
 
Edge:  Wake Forest

Overall Analysis:

Make no mistake this is a game the Tigers should win and win easily.  If the Tigers find a way to lose this road game things will get very ugly.

The Tigers have struggled on the road this season although they have had a chance to win each game. 

The key to this game for the Tigers will be are they focused on the task at hand.  This team has lost some games they should not this year, but the players have fought hard in every loss until the final seconds.  If the Tigers are focused on the task at hand then there is no question about the winner.

BB&T Field has been a house of horrors for the Tigers for the past decade.  Look for this game to be closer than it should, but the Tigers are simply much more talented than the Deacs and they will become bowl eligible with a win Saturday afternoon.

Clemson 27  Wake Forest 17

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