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Boston College Football Opponents Preview: Wake Forest

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NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Boston College Adam Richins-USA TODAY Sports

#TheRivalry is back after a one-year hiatus. The final regular season game of the season sees Wake Forest travel to BC on Thanksgiving Weekend.

Previous Results

Wake is coming off a 4-5 season which included a loss at the Duke’s Mayo Bowl.

The Eagles are 14-11-2 all time against the Demon Deacons.

Wake Forest has won three straight games at Chestnut Hill beginning with this masterpiece, while BC won the past three at Winston-Salem. Rich Gunnell coached the 24-27 loss in 2019.

Coaching

Dave Clawson is entering his 8th season in charge of the Deacs, and is 3-3 against the Eagles (as seen in such previous results as above). He is 40-45 as the Wake Forest head coach.

Offense

Wake Forest’s offense has the potential to light it up. Sam Hartman returns for what seems as his millionth season despite being *checks notes* . . . a redshirt sophomore?? Hartman was the starter in 2018 and 2020. He finished with over 2,000 yards passing and a 13-5 touchdown to interception ratio although four picks were in the bowl game (tough day at the office). They return all five starters on the offensive line leading to tons of experience. Three may have NFL potential and they figure to excel in the running game, but struggled in pass protection last season. The backfield returns their leading rusher in Christian Beal-Smith and throw in Michigan transfer Christian Turner into the mix.

The Demon Deacons had some big time receiving threats last time our two programs met, but it’s a new crop this time. Jaquarri Roberson and Donavan Greene still are plenty talented names to watch. Wake Forest has really increased their scoring output these past four seasons. They averaged 36.0 points and 444 yards per game. The offensive line being the strongest it’s been, the offense should be the team’s driving force. Their biggest issues last season stemmed from consistency and clock management, but returning a lot of starters could be reason for a tide shift.

Defense

The defense overall will look to make a bigger leap despite losing their 2x All-ACC DE in Carlos Basham. They’ll have seven defensive lineman with starting experiences with a couple of transfers in the mix. They surprisingly struggled to generate much pressure, and will hope to rectify that. Miles Fox entered the fold in earnest last season after coming off injury. He registered 24 tackles with 3.5 sacks and led the team with 11 TFLs. The linebacking corps loses its top playmaker as well. Pass defense should improve since they are returning most of their unit along with those that battled injuries.

Overall, the team surrendered a lot of points last season (32.8 ppg and 436 ypg). Nine starters do return, but I see a number of question marks. They’ll need some folks to step up big time for them to properly flip the script from their first losing season in five years.

Forecast

It’s time to buck the trend the home-losing streak. This one could be reminiscent of that electric 41-34 showdown in 2018. BC should take this game, but the defense will have its work cut out for them. Clawson is a solid coach, though they will be coming off road trips to North Carolina and Clemson, and visit from the Wolfpack in between. That might make for a worn down team showing up to Chestnut Hill. They will be hungry for a win, but they won’t have the stamina to keep up. BC wins it and gets it’s first 7+ win season since 2009 (if the feat isn’t already reached).