Sports

Wake Forest vs. Duke Rivalry Week Preview

Duke’s Anthony Nash (83) reaches for a pass as Wake Forest’s Brad Watson (25) defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. Watson was called or pass interference on the play. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Date: Saturday, November 25th

Kickoff: 12:30 PM

Location: BB&T Field, Winston-Salem, NC

Watch:  ACC Network (Affiliates)

Preview

Wake Forest takes on in-state opponent Duke this Saturday at 12:30 at BB&T field. Wake is coming off of a huge upset win that came down to the last play against NC State, who was ranked at the time. Wake’s play was very impressive to put up 30 points against the 19th best team in the nation. This week Wake will be trying to stop Duke from hitting the 6 wins needed to be Bowl Eligible. Duke is currently sitting 2nd to last in ACC play (conference record of 2-5), ahead of the University of North Carolina (conference record of 1-6).

Wake did not have the best stats on paper, but they still looked good out on the field and walked away with a win. Wake had 19 minutes of possession compared to NC State’s 41 minutes. I believe this is because Wake’s offense capitalized quickly against NC State’s defense whereas NC State tried to wear down the Deacon’s defense. Junior Wide Receiver Tabari Hines had an amazing game with 8 receptions for 139 yards and 3 touchdowns. Hines will be a player to watch against Duke as he tries to fill the role of injured Greg Dortch. Wake has been averaging 461 yards per game, but Duke has only been giving up 335 yards per game. I believe the Demon Deacons Defense will turn things around this week and keep Duke to fewer than 400 yards.

Duke is currently 5-6 and as mentioned before need this win to be bowl eligible so they will be coming with everything they have. Duke’s defense has been rather strong this season, but they will need a much stronger defensive performance to come out of BB&T Stadium with a win. Duke recently had an impressive 43-20 win over Georgia Tech, who Wake lost to 38-24 a few games ago. For the Blue Devils: keep an eye on their running game as they have 3 different running backs with 5 touchdowns apiece. Duke’s offense has not been playing at the same level as John Wolford and the Demon Deacons, averaging just 372 yards per game (89 yards less than Wake Forest).

Prediction

Although Duke needs this game, I still think the Demon Deacons will be able to ward off the Blue Devils at home. John Wolford has been connecting with just about all of the receivers and putting up some nice rushing stats of his own. ESPN predicts that Wake Forest has a 70% chance of coming out victorious and I think this is an accurate prediction based on Wake’s recent level of play.

Final Score: Wake Forest 28 – Duke 14

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