We continue our week-by-week series of mini-previews for the upcoming Boston College Football season with our look at Week 5 against Wake Forest. Elijah Kim of our SB Nation sister site Blogger So Dear took the time to answer a few questions for us to look ahead to the game.
BC Interruption: BC (7-5, 4-4 ACC) and Wake (7-6, 3-5 ACC) didn’t seem all that far off from each other last season, with the difference between the two teams ending up being only BC’s 41-34 win in Winston-Salem back in September. To me it kind of feels like we’ve been peer programs for a while now. Do you see it that way?
Blogger So Dear: From someone that got a major surprise when getting to Wake and finding out how many kids are from the Northeast and/or applied to both Wake and BC I would put us in the same boat. We also both get criminally underrated year after year but hey what else is new? In addition, we’re essentially the forgotten teams of the ACC as we constantly get lost after the other Carolina schools.
BCI: Optimism was pretty high for the Eagles last year and we ended up being... fine. The early “feels” around these parts are that optimism isn’t quite as up there as last season but it still feels like BC should be... well, fine again. Is the feeling down south that Wake should be up or down relative to last season and why?
BSD: For Wake I think it’s a bit underneath “The sky is the limit” but it’s definitely high. You can start to see it from comments from fans, coaches, players, etc that 7 wins and a bowl game win are what’s starting to be expected of this team so it’s time for that next step and this year could be a good one.
Yeah, the back end of the schedule is brutal but if this team stays healthy and we don’t see atrocious performances, getting to 8-9 wins before the bowl game is a VERY reasonable thing for this team this year. All about executing.
BCI: AJ Dillon’s the big name here in Boston. What’s the one name BC fans will know well by the time our game ends on September 28th?
BSD: I think this offense this year will be insanely good and since I don’t have a QB to choose from (yet) [Ed. Note: Jamie Newman was named starting QB for the Deacs this week, shortly after we put together this Q&A with Blogger So Dear] I’ll go with Sage Surratt. The guy just seems to catch everything that comes his way and he is primed for a huge year in my eyes. While I don’t think the Deacs will have anyone with the “star” power of AJ Dillon, the Deacs do have a decent 1,000 yard rusher in Cade Carney back as well.
BCI: Analyze this picture for its artistic merit:
BSD: DAVE CLAWSON THE GOAT (but on a serious note, this was a game that is only satisfying because the Deacs won)
BCI: Give us an idea of Wake’s offensive and defensive identity. Last year, you allowed Anthony Brown to get 5 touchdowns through the air, which, with respect, is honestly pretty amazing. But you also put up almost 300 yards on us on the ground. Was that out of character last year and what should we expect this time around?
BSD: Offensively this team will be fast and put up points. The QB battle is something to watch because, well, they’re both really good. Sam Hartman was progressing as a starting freshman QB before he went down to an injury and Jamie Newman stepped in, beat a top 25 team on the road, absolutely destroyed Duke on the road, and led a fantastic comeback in the bowl game against a very good Memphis team. There are so many GOOD wideouts on this team (even after losing Greg Dortch and Alex Bachman), the offensive line is still solid and a healthy Cade Carney at RB is really really good.
Defensively is where the questions lie for this team. Essang Bassey is one of the best corners in the nation, Boogie Basham [Ed. Note: What a TREMENDOUS name that is] is one of the best pass rushers, and Justin Strnad is just solid at linebacker. Will this team be able to get off the field on third downs is the real question. The pass rush would just disappear on 3rd down and when it early last year (having flashbacks of that BC game) an assignment was blown so poorly that there wouldn’t be someone within 10 yards of a receiver. After the coaching change, the blown assignments seemed to be fixed but the pass rush issues still remained. From reading practice notes and such it seems like this team will be flying around and trying to cause havoc which I love but there will be some questions they need to answer.
BCI: What do Wake Forest fans think of BC off the field? Are we still the “you northerners don’t belong in the ACC” guys? Do you all look forward to going to BC for a road game at all? Or are we just another game and no one cares either way?
BSD: You guys aren’t Louisville so trust me we don’t think of you guys as someone to kick out. Shoutout to @NotStanCotten for spearheading the Wake/BC tailgate.
I’ve thought about it for future games but it is #TheRivalry so it’s always a bit more fun than other games on the schedule. As mentioned earlier, it’s interesting because a lot of Northeast kids do go to ACC schools so in a unique way, BC is great but Louisville isn’t for our conference.
BCI: Super, way, ridiculously early prediction time — does Wake get the better of us this year? What do you have for a final score, and what does the result of this game set Wake up for towards its full season record?
BSD: I have gone on record saying that I think Wake wins 8-9 games this year and haven’t really budged. This is one of the games that I think Wake wins but by no means will it be easy. I’ll be glad when Dillon is playing on Sundays instead of Saturdays because that guy is a monster.
It was a good game last year that really got blown open by miscues and letting Anthony Brown go full video game on us. I don’t think that happens again but I do think that on the ground A.J. Dillon gets his. I’ll go with Wake 31-27.
Thanks again to Elijah Wood for taking the time to answer some questions for us! You can follow Blogger So Dear on Twitter to keep tabs on our fellow ACC Atlantic brethren. BC vs. Wake Forest will be Week 5, September 28th at Alumni Stadium!