Wake Forest and North Carolina State will meet on Saturday in what is projected to be one of the closest ACC games of the week. The Demon Deacons are coming off a blowout loss to No. 1 Clemson, while the Wolfpack will be playing in their first game of the year.
Demon Deacons in sandwich spotWake Forest will be hoping to take advantage of this winnable game. The Demon Deacons are coming off a blowout loss to the top team in the country and have another tough game against Notre Dame coming up. They did not score a point in the first half against Clemson, but they did have almost 300 passing yards. Starting quarterback Sam Hartman completed 11 of 21 for 182 yards. They could not get anything going on the ground, rushing for just 37 yards on 34 attempts against the Tigers’ tough interior.
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The Demon Deacons will be hoping to replicate last year’s 44-10 win against North Carolina State. They will need more productivity than what they had against Clemson last week. Christian Beal-Smith was the leading rusher in the loss, carrying the ball 11 times for 29 yards. Wake Forest was down 27-0 at halftime and 37-3 heading to the fourth quarter. Taylor Morin led the receiving corps with 93 yards and a touchdown on nine catches. They have won their last three games against North Carolina State.
Wolfpack coming off disappointing seasonNorth Carolina State is coming off a disappointing 4-8 campaign in 2019. This will be the team’s first contest of the 2020 season. They return a young group of running backs and veteran wide receivers. The offense was an issue last season, as they finished No. 11 in the ACC in total yards and were No. 12 in scoring offense. They struggled with turnovers and did not score more than 26 points in any of their last eight games, losing seven of those contests. North Carolina State had gone 9-4 in each of the previous two seasons and it was just the second losing season under head coach Dave Doeren since he took over in 2013.
Sophomore quarterback Devin Leary will be the starter again this season. He threw for 1,219 yards and touchdowns last year, also throwing five interceptions. Starting running back Zonovan Knight rushed for 745 yards and five touchdowns on 136 carries during his freshman season in 2019. Sophomore Jordan Houston was second on the team with 526 yards and two touchdowns, while Ricky Persons Jr. added 229 yards and three scores. Persons Jr. missed half of the year with an ankle injury. North Carolina State will hope for a better output on the defensive side of the ball. The Wolfpack struggled to stop teams from passing all over them, despite having a decent pass rush. The two interceptions came from senior cornerback Chris Ingram and the pass defense ranked No. 103 in the country.
Wake Forest is:
- 2-4 ATS in its last six games
- 1-5 ATS in its last six road games at NC State
North Carolina State is:
- 5-1 ATS in its last six home games vs. Wake Forest