Syracuse will try to win its first conference game of the season when it hosts Wake Forest on Saturday. Here’s a quick look at the game:
OFFENSE AWAKENS: All spring, Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson said that his offense was going to be more explosive this season. The reality is, nearly anything would be an improvement on last season’s woeful offense, which ranked 118th overall in the FBS. But if Wake Forest’s 41-3 win against Elon in its opener was any indication, the Deacons will indeed be more explosive this season. Wake Forest exploded for 591 yards of total offense, with 388 through the air. One play in particular seemed to catch Clawson’s attention: A 70-yard highlight reel touchdown scramble by quarterback John Wolford. “How about Wolford’s run?” Clawson said. “I don’t think anybody would have expected him a year ago to ever make a run like that.” That statement rings especially true since Wake Forest averaged a paltry 1.25 per carry in 2014.
SCOUTING THE DEAMON DEACONS: Linebacker Brandon Chubb was one of two Preseason All-ACC selections for Wake Forest. Chubb was second on the team with 109 tackles and led the team with six quarterback hurries in 2014. He recorded four tackles in the win over Elon. The other preseason selection was punter Alex Kinal, who punted for 3,535 yards last season, and has his own cult following among Deacons fans in the same way that Riley Dixon does among the SU community.
HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: The two teams met last season in what would turn out to be a battle of ACC doormats. The Orange won 30-7 behind AJ Long’s 171 passing yards and a rushing TD. SU is 3-1 all time against Wake, with the other two wins in 2013 (13-0) and 2011 (36-29). Wake Forest won the first meeting in 2006 (20-10).
GAME INFORMATION: Saturday, Sept. 12 at 12:30 p.m. at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY. TV: ACC Network.