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Wake Forest Opponents Recap: Week 1

The Deacs went 1-0 this week after knocking out the VMI Keydets, but how did the Wake’s other future opponents fare in the first week of college football? Let’s see which teams in the schedule might be stronger than expected and which teams might be slightly overrated.

Opponent’s combined record in Week 1: 7-3

Combined opponent’s record: 10-3

Games

Vanderbilt 42—Elon 31

I noticed a lot of fans started getting worried about this game in Week 0 when Vanderbilt absolutely knocked Hawaii 62-10, but it turns out it could be more of an indictment against the Rainbows Warriors. The Commodores returned home to take on the Elon Pheonix this week and struggled a bit, allowing Elon to pass them 495-424 and averaging over 6 yards per carry. If an FCS team is close to 500 yards on the Vandy defense, the Deacs should be able to get at least 600. Quarterback Mike Wright could be a problem for the Wake Forest defense, as the junior has already had 10 touchdowns in 2 matches. (even though they were against Hawaii and Elon).

Liberty 29—Southern Miss 27 (4 OT)

Liberty came away with a road win over Southern Miss in a 4 OT thriller where both teams missed field goals in the 1st overtime, scored field goals in the 2nd OT, then went to the new 2pt conversion shootout until the Golden Eagles arrive. one meter less to lose the game. The biggest news from this game is that Liberty starting QB Charlie Brewer has broken his hand and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, which means he won’t play the Deacs in Week 3. The Flames initially turned to Jonathan Bennett, but after throwing out 2 picks he was replaced by Kaidon Salter. Salter was a 4-star recruit transferred from Tennessee in 2021.

Clemson—Georgia Technology

TBD, I’ll update after tonight’s game. I’ll be shocked if Clemson doesn’t win by 30

state of florida 24—USL 23

The Noles look pretty good. Jordan Travis seems to have taken the next step at QB, completing 63% of his passes for 260 and 2 touchdowns against the Tigers. I’m not sure if LSU is supposed to be good this season, but going to Louisiana and beating LSU even at a neutral site is pretty awesome. Sure, the Tigers shot themselves in the foot multiple times on special teams with 2 missed punts and 2 blocked kicks and the Noles let LSU walk 99 yards in about a minute late in the game after a questionable play call on goal. line resulted in a fumble. Florida State could be back, or LSU just might not be as good this year – hard to tell after just 1 game.

Army 28 – Coastal Carolina 38

This one was kind of a weird game for the army in that they were rushed by the Chanticleers and wasted time in the possession battle. The Black Knights only rushed for 202 yards in that game and 70 of them came on a touchdown from Tyrell Robinson in the 1st quarter. I’m not sure how good Coastal’s defense is supposed to be this season, but it looks like they’ve done a pretty good job of slowing down the army’s triple option offense.

Boston College 21—Rutgers 22

I have no idea what happened in that game, but the Eagles only passed for 312 total yards and Phil Jurkovec looked horrible – he finished the game completing 56% of his passes for 283 yards, 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. BC’s ground game was somehow worse, running the ball 28 times for a whopping 29 yards. The team’s only bright spot was Zay Flowers, who caught 10 passes for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns. It was a very bad loss for Boston College, especially since they were at home and Rutgers were missing 3 of their best players.

Louisville 7—Syracuse 31

The Deacs will face both of these teams this season, and Syracuse definitely looked like the team we should be most worried about. What was supposed to be a pretty powerful offense for the Cardinals only passed 334 total yards and only found the end zone once. Quarterback Malik Cunningham didn’t look too good with 2 picks and just 34 rushing yards. Syracuse, on the other hand, looked like a team that could make some noise in the Atlantic Division. Garrett Shrader and Sean Tucker have always been great on the court, but now it looks like the duo will be a big threat in the passing game as well. Tucker caught 6 passes for 85 yards and a touchdown while Shrader completed 72% of his passes for 272 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tucker left the game with an injury, but returned later, and it looks like he’ll be fine.

NC status 21—20 ecus

The Wolfpack was incredibly lucky to win this match. The ECU kicker first missed an extra point to tie the game, then missed a basket to win with seconds remaining. The Pack passed just 344 total yards and was 4-13 on 3rd down, while also failing to score from inside the 2-yard line TWICE. Leary didn’t look like one of the best QBs in the country with a 52% completion rate and 36.8 QBR, but that was just the first game of the season. Was the offseason hype misplaced or did NC State just have a bad first game? We will know soon.

UNC 63—Application Status 61

UNC was also very lucky with a road win over App State. The Tar Heels managed to give up 40 points in the 4th quarter – you read that right, 40 – to lose a 20-point lead and move closer to their first loss of the season. After scoring a touchdown with 30 seconds left, App went for 2 to try to take the lead. The Mountaineers had great play call and a very open running back in the end zone for an easy 2 points – he stumbled and failed to catch the ball which you think would be the end of it Match. The Heels then got the kick in play and for some reason decided to throw it back for a touchdown, literally the only thing they could do in this situation to give App a chance. The app followed with a 2 play 10 second drive that resulted in a touchdown and a chance to tie the game with a 2 point conversion. The app again missed the 2-point conversion, giving UNC the win. The takeaways for me in this game are that the UNC defense seems to be as bad as it was last year, and Drake Maye could be the QB guy.

Duke 30—Temple 0

Duke looked pretty solid against the Owls, although Temple’s most/minus wins this season was 2.5, so I don’t think they expect to be good. That being said, Duke racked up 500 total rushing yards and held the Owls to just 179 yards. A Game 1 shutout is a pretty solid way for Mike Elko to start his tenure as Blue Devils head coach. Duke plays Northwestern next week, so we’ll see how the defense holds up against a P5 opponent.

Vanderbilt is next. Go deacons!