Why Wake Forest Will Win | Syracusefan.com

Why Wake Forest Will Win

SWC75

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Why Wake Forest will win

- When we entered the ACC, Wake Forest was presumed to be a bottom feeder, a team we could expect to beat even in bad years. But, under Dave Clawson, they’ve become quite respectable and a thorn in our sides. In fact, they’ve essentially be our best rivals during our tenure in the ACC. We opened in 2013 by shutting them out 13-0 and topped them 30-7 the next year and 30-17 in 2015. Yes, Scott Shafer was unbeaten against them. But Dino had all kinds of problems with them, losing 9-28 in 2016 and 43-64 in the Dome in 2017, a game we led 38-24 at halftime, (the second half was an amazing 5-40). We beat them in our great year of 2018, 41-24 and won another amazing game in the Dome in 2019, 39-30 on Trill William’s famous overtime play. They were back in the Dome in the COVID year and pounded us 14-38. The next year they beat us again, 37-40 in their place, (the second of those three straight games we lost by a field goal), another wild Dome game. Last year they beat us 35-45. This will be a much lower scoring game but it should be close. We haven’t beaten them in this decade. They’ve been in a bowl in every year that Dino was here, while we’ve been to two of them. Who is the bottom feeder?

- We’ve run the ball very well in these last two games but nobody wins based on just their running game any more and we are unlikely to do so, either.

- We’ve lost our head coach. Some people are happy about that but the players on this team likely aren’t. They had come together to beat Pitt and give Georgia tech a battle. With Dino in the recycle bin, what will their attitude be?

- Their attitude might be “Let’s get out of here!” In this era of the transfer portal and NIL and without the motivation of winning one for Dino, this roster might be about to fall apart.

Stats that favor Wake Forest:
OFFENSIVE FIRST DOWNS SU- 200 WF - 217
OFFENSIVE PASSING YARDS SU- 169.09 WF – 191.36
OFFENSIVE PASSING YARDS PER COMPLETION SU- 10.94 WF – 11.96
OFFENSIVE PASSING YARDS PER ATTEMPT SU- 6.76 WF – 7.09
DEFENSIVE FIRST DOWNS SU- 234 WF - 200
DEFENSIVE RUSHING YARDS SU- 149.50 WF – 141.20
DEFENSIVE COMPLETION PERCENTAGE SU- 61.99 WF – 61.13
DEFENSIVE 3RD AND 4TH DOWN PERCENTAGE SU- 41.12 WF – 39.08
KICKOFF RETURNS SU- 20.19 WF – 22.96
OPPONENT PUNT RETURNS SU- 14.71 WF – 6.44
PUNTS RETURNED SU- 17/52 = 32.69% WF – 25/51 = 49.02%
OPPONENT PUNTS RETURNED SU- 25/51 = 49.02% WF - 16/57 = 28.07%
FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE SU- 10/16 = 62.50% WF – 14/20 = 70.00%
(Opponents have made 17 of 18 field goals against us: 94.44%)
40 YARDS + SU- 3/7 = 42.86% WF – 1/2 = 50.00%
EXTRA POINTS MISSED SU- 3 WF - 1
PENALTIES SU- 82/691yds WF - 45/436yds
TIME OF POSSESSION SU- 27:31 WF – 29:27
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE SU- #67 WF - #62
(Everybody has their own system for this: I used this page as a source: NCAA College Football Strength of Schedule Rankings & Ratings )
COMMON OPPONENTS:
CLEMSON We lost to them 14-31. They lost to them 12-17.
SU Rushing: 100-126 Passing: 181-263 Total: 281-389 Turnovers: 3-1
WF Rushing: 102-207 Passing: 137-131 Total: 229-338 Turnovers: 1-2
FLORIDA STATE We lost to them 3-41. They lost to them 16-41.
SU Rushing: 100-126 Passing: 181-263 Total: 281-389 Turnovers: 3-1
WF Rushing: 128-126 Passing: 82-382 Total: 210-508 Turnovers: 0-0
VIRGINIA TECH We lost to them 10-38. They lost to them 13-30.
SU Rushing: 100-126 Passing: 181-263 Total: 281-389 Turnovers: 3-1
WF Rushing: 35-141 Passing: 227-321 Total: 262-462 Turnovers: 3-1
PITTSBURGH We beat them 28-13. They beat them 21-17.
SU Rushing: 100-126 Passing: 181-263 Total: 281-389 Turnovers: 3-1
GEORGIA TECH We lost to them 22-31. They lost to them 16-30.
SU Rushing: 100-126 Passing: 181-263 Total: 281-389 Turnovers: 3-1
WF Rushing: 224-158 Passing: 176-222 Total: 400-380 Turnovers: 5-1
Totals:
Syracuse points: 77-154 rushing: 822-901 passing: 516-1,164 total yards: 1,338-2,065 turnovers: 8-4 = -4
Wake Forest: points: 78-135 rushing: 661-744 passing: 773-1,358 total yards: 1,958-2,102 turnovers: 11-4 = -7

Wake Forest passes the ball better than we do, (who doesn’t?). They lack a rushing attack but have used their passing to accumulate more first downs than their opponents while doing a better job of getting off the field on defense than we have. Their rushing defense is a little better than ours. Their punt return coverage is a lot better than ours. Neither team is good at place kicking but we are a little worse than the Deacons are. They commit far fewer penalties. The two teams have had basically the same results against common opponents with a very slight edge to the Deacs. The biggest problem for both of them was pass defense.
 
I think the question “Who’s the bottom dweller?” would make for an OK game show
 

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