Syracuse (2-3, 0-1 ACC) is looking for its first ACC win of the Dino Babers era when it travels to North Carolina to take on Wake Forest on Saturday. Here is a quick look at the game:
WAKE FOREST REVIVAL: After two straight 3-9 seasons at Wake Forest, Dave Clawson appears to be turning around the fortunes with the Demon Deacons. Wake Forest won its first four games of the season, with impressive road wins on the road against Power 5 teams Duke and Indiana. The Deacons have done it with a vastly improved defense that is ranked 38th nationally, allowing just 363.8 yards per game. But Wake Forest also allowed an uncharacteristic 527 yards against NC State in a 33-16 loss. Too often, the Deacons settled for field goals in the red zone. “I think if we scored more touchdowns it would’ve been a different game,” Clawson said following the loss. “They stopped us when they had to.”
SCOUTING THE DEMON DEACONS: Quarterback John Wolford has thrown for 686 yards and three touchdowns this season in relief of Kendall Hinton, who suffered a sprained PCL in Wake Forest’s game against Delaware. Despite Wake Forest’s offensive struggles against NC State, the one bright spot was Tabari Hines. The sophomore wide receiver hauled in nine passes for 125 yards, both career highs. On defense, watch out for junior defensive end Duke Ejiofor. He already has nine tackles for loss this season, and also leads Wake Forest with 5.5 sacks.
HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: Syracuse is 4-1 all time against Wake Forest, including last season’s 30-17 win at the Carrier Dome. Then-true freshman quarterback Eric Dungey threw two second-half touchdown passes to rally the Orange past the Deacons. Wake Forest won the first meeting in 2006 (20-10).
GAME INFORMATION: Saturday, Oct. 8 at 7:00 p.m. in Winston Salem, N.C. TV: ACC Regional Sports Network.