College Football Predictions – Wake Forest Demon Deacons 2019 College Football Preview
Record – 7-6
ATS – 5-8
The Demon Deacons made a third consecutive bowl game for just the second time in school history and didn’t waste the opportunity to shine. Again. HC Dave Clawson led the team to another bowl win by beating a tough Memphis Tigers team by a score of 37-34 in the Birmingham Bowl. These guys are definitely on the right track.
That makes three winning seasons in a row and let’s see if they have the MINERALS to make it a FOUR-BAGGER.
2019 MEGALOCKS Opening Power Rating
Atlantic Division – TBD
ACC – TBD
Wake Forest Demon Deacons 2019 Outlook
The Wake Forest offense was a HIDEOUS MESS for a long time but have really got it going lately under the leadership of Dave Clawson and OC William Ruggiero. The Deacons have averaged more than 30 PPG in each of the past two season (32.8 LY) and are almost certain to have another fine season when you look at the talent coming back.
We love the QB situation. There are two solid options in Sam Hartman and Jamie Newman who each do a good job in the THROW GAME whilst providing mobility and a running threat. Seemingly 12th-year senior RB Cade Carney is coming off a 1,000-yard campaign and the WR and TE groups are sound even with the departure of WR (and special teams ace) Greg Dortch. Three starters are back on the offensive line including LT Justin Herron who missed almost the entire 2018 season due to injury. Expect another very good performance out of the offense.
Wake is in a bit of a freefall after allowing 33.3 PPG LY (#12 ACC) and have now regressed significantly in each of the past two years. The Deacons return just five starters to the mix although they have some talent at each level of the defense. The appropriately-named DE Carlos Basham led the team in TFL (11) last year, LB Justin Strnad led the team in tackles and both starting senior CBs are back, including 2nd Team ACC honoree Essang Bassey (15 PBU LY). Wake scooped up a fine DL in transfer Miles Fox (ODU) but he tore his Achilles in the spring.
The Demon Deacons have allowed 450+ YPG in each of the past two seasons. The most we can expect this year in mild improvement, and they most certainly cannot afford any injuries to the small handful of really good players they have on defense.
The kicking game is in really good shape, particularly with the return of ace PK Nico Sciba (19/22 FG LY). The explosive Greg Dortch (2 PR TD LY) will be missed.
Overall – The first half of the slate looks pretty easy and it’s not impossible to think they could have four or five wins at the midpoint of the season. We recommend that they get a lot of wins early because they finish with tough road tests in three of their final four games (at Virginia Tech, at Clemson, at Syracuse).
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Rice (September 7)
The Deacons will be in the unfamiliar role of road chalk and have a tussle with in-state rival North Carolina on deck.
Season Win Total
Over 7 +130
Under 7 -170
LEANAGE to the under. Not crazy about the extra juice, but it would be a surprisingly good regular season if they bagged more than seven wins.
Wake Forest is the sixth-smallest school in the FBS in terms of undergraduate enrollment (Rice, Tulsa, service academies).
The Demon Deacons and Clemson Tigers played in the 1982 MIRAGE BOWL in front of 80,000 fans in Tokyo Japan. Half of the spectators where given orange pom-poms (Clemson) while the other half were issued black and gold so they could cheer for Wake Forest. The Grambling University Band provided the halftime entertainment. Clemson walked away with a 21-17 win. Amaze the BURLY STATE TROOPER with those trivia nuggets next time you get pulled over for speeding.
MEGALOCKS ATS Outlook: Neutral
It’s good to see the Demon Deacons playing such solid football. This team should provide fans with plenty of excitement this season as the offense won’t have too many problems scoring points. Then, there is that defense. The early schedule is pretty favorable and it wouldn’t surprise us to see them get off to a hot start.
Wake Forest suffered their first ATS losing season of the Dave Clawson era ATS last year (5-8) but they have been profitable overall since he grabbed the reins. They don’t draw a lot of public support and often provide value vs the number. It’s just hard to trust that defense. Taking a neutral view for now.
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