<![CDATA[College Sports in North Carolina - Wake Forest]]>Mon, 16 Nov 2015 22:48:03 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Wake Forest Heads into Conference Play with a Young Team Looking to Keep Improving]]>Sat, 03 Jan 2015 02:51:01 GMThttp://www.nccollegesports.com/wake-forest/wake-forest-heads-into-conference-play-with-a-young-team-looking-to-keep-improvingWake Forest fans knew it would be a rough year for the Deacs, and so far they have gotten what they have expected. Under Jeff Bzdelik, recent Wake teams have shown high ceilings with absurdly low floors, this year’s team has been more consistent. With only one bad loss on the schedule and having won 4 of their last 5 games, the Deacons will look to continue improving as they take on ACC play.

The Deacs have gotten solid production from Devin Thomas and Codi Miller-McIntyre, as expected. Thomas is averaging nearly a double-double at 10.7 and 9.6 and McIntyre is leading the Deacons in scoring with 13 PPG. Wake also has a solid core of freshmen playing well in Dinos Mitiglou, Mitchell Wilbekin, and Cornelius Hudson. If this group continues to grow Wake could pull off a few upsets in conference play.

Wake Forest rebounds the ball well and shoots pretty decently from long range, but they have a few glaring weaknesses holding them back. The first is free throw shooting. This has haunted them a few times this year, particularly against Minnesota when the Deacs lost by 15 while shooting 18-31 from the line. They do a good job of consistently getting to the line, with the second most free throw attempts in the nation this season, but leave too many points there to stay in games.  Defensively their biggest problem is that they give up too many easy baskets. Despite holding opponents to under 29% shooting from 3-point range, the Deacon’s defense allows 52% shooting inside the arc. Most of their losses are a product of getting behind early and not being able to make key stops, and Wake has allowed 78 or more points in 4 of their 6 defeats.

The Demon Deacons have an almost comically difficult start to ACC play, with their first five games featuring matchups against Louisville, Duke, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, and UNC. These 5 games will potentially determine what kind of season Wake can have. The tournament is a long shot at this point, but wins against GT and Syracuse can establish a pattern of consistency in ACC play, and the Deacs typically pull off one upset a year, which could happen in this stretch. A 2-3 start to conference play would be satisfactory for Wake fans, although they are already in a 0-1 hole due to an early conference game against NC State on December 6th.

This is a Wake Forest team with a lot of potential. Veterans are playing well and young players are emerging. As Danny Manning continues to recruit well the Deacons are still a year away from making a splash, but during this ACC campaign they have a chance to prove that they aren’t another Jeff Bzdelik team and they need to be taken seriously. 


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<![CDATA[Wake Forest vs. Boston College Recap and Analysis]]>Sat, 25 Oct 2014 23:51:26 GMThttp://www.nccollegesports.com/wake-forest/wake-forest-vs-boston-college-recap-and-analysis
                Wake Forest lost a heart breaker today against the Boston College Eagles, 23-17. The game started ugly for the Deacs but turned around in the second half.

Early on it was the same old story for Wake. Boston College looked sound offensively, scoring 10 points in their first 2 drives. The Deacon offense looked, as usual, horrid. The first 6 drives of the game for Wake ended in 5 punts and the end of the first half. BC scored again near halftime on Jon Hilliman’s second TD of the game and the Deacs went into the half down 17-0 with only one drive that produced any first downs.

The second half actually produced an entertaining football game. The Wake defense stepped up, forcing 2 punts to start the half for BC while the offense sustained 2 long drives, one leading to a field goal and the other ending with a turnover on downs. Shortly after the start of the 4th, Tyler Murphy hit Shakim Phillips for a 37 yard TD to put the Eagles up 23-3. At this point it looked over, but the Deacs responded with a 15 play, 75 yard TD drive finished off by an E.J. Scott TD run on a jet sweep. BC return man Myles Willis fumbled the ensuing kickoff, setting Wake up with a 1st down at the Eagles 15 yard line. 4 plays later, Wake found the endzone again and cut the lead down to 6 with 6:26 remaining. After another Eagle punt, Freshman QB John Wolford threw an interception that sealed the game.

Overall, this might’ve been Wake’s best game of the season. It was the only time they’ve really competed with a high quality opponent, the other being against Louisville in a game where the Cardinals tried to give it away. The defense showed up as always, holding BC to 202 rushing yards, nearly 100 yards south of their season average. Playmaking QB Tyler Murphy was held in check, throwing for only 165 yards and rushing for 77. The difference in this contest was the Wake offense. While it certainly wasn’t an all-star performance, it was more than we’re accustomed to. The Demon Deacons managed 17 first downs, and Wolford completed 22 of 30 passes for 242 yards. The problem still remained with the offensive line however, as Wolford was sacked 4 times and the rushing game was non-existent, totaling only 19 yards. Although there were signs of life, no offense will be sustainable in the final 4 games if the young offensive line can’t make strides. In the end, it was a disappointing outing for the kids but encouraging at the same time. BB&T Field was nearly empty, but you could see passion on the Wake Forest sideline as they scratched and clawed for a win. It’s gut-wrenching to be so close to success and still come up short when you haven’t found any all year, but if Wake comes out like this again, they have a shot to snag at least 1 ACC win in their 4 remaining contests. 


KEY STATS- 

Total Yards- BC 367, WFU 261
Turnovers- BC 1, WFU 1
Penalties- BC 7 for 54 yards, WFU 6 for 49 yards
Time of Possession- BC 29:38, WFU 30:22

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<![CDATA[Wake Forest vs. Boston College Preview]]>Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:18:52 GMThttp://www.nccollegesports.com/wake-forest/wake-forest-vs-boston-college-preview
Realistically speaking, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons have two winnable games remaining. The last time they underwent a winless conference season was during the 1995 season, when the Deacs went 1-11 with their only win being against Navy, a year in which they also scored no home victories. If Wake can’t come up with a win against Boston College this Saturday, then it likely all comes down to a matchup with the NC State Wolfpack to try and avoid the schools worst season in nearly two decades.

                Possibly the most frustrating part about the Wake Forest season thus far is that they seem so close yet so far away from being a quality team. The defense has been outstanding this year, only allowing 25 points a game, a number inflated by a horrendous amount of turnovers and lack of ball control from the offense. A great example is last week, when the Deacs went down 30-7 against Syracuse. 14 of those points came off of defensive touchdowns for the orange. This sets up an interesting matchup with the Eagles, who come in boasting the 9th best rushing attack in the nation, averaging nearly 290 yards per game on the ground. After losing Heisman finalist and Doak Walker award winner Andre Williams to the NFL, the Eagles rushing attack has been carried by senior dual threat QB Tyler Murphy, a Florida transfer who has rushed for 766 yards and 8 TD’s this season.

                Boston College has quite a defense of their own, however, and will come into this game with a lot of confidence after holding Clemson to just 17 points in a narrow loss last week. The Eagles defense ranks in the top 20 in points allowed in the nation and has only allowed more than 17 points once in ACC play this season. This is bad news for the Deacons, who come in with possibly the worst offense in FBS college football. Wake Forest ranks LAST- yes, LAST in rushing among FBS teams, with a dismal 36.7 yards per game on the ground. They also rank 126th in the nation in scoring with only 14 points per game. In case you aren’t counting at home, that is third to last. Freshman QB John Wolford hasn’t been bad, but the offensive line leaves a lot to be desired and if you can’t block you can’t move the ball.

                So to sum it all up, what we have here is a Wake Forest team who can stop people and kick the ball (they rank in the top 5 in the ACC in almost every kicking stat), against a team from Boston who runs it well and also stops people. This is one of only two realistically winnable games left for the Deacons this season. But will they get over the hump?

                PREDICTION- Boston College- 20, Wake Forest- 10. This one is pretty simple, the Eagles are just the better team. While they haven’t been overly impressive, they have a win over USC and a close loss to Clemson. The Deacons defense will hold the BC rushing attack in check as well as anyone else has this season, but they’ll get enough points to just squeak by as Wake’s offense once again struggles to keep up. 


GAME INFO- 


TV- Regional Coverage
Radio- Wake Forest IMG Network
Start Time- 3:30
Date- October 25th
Location- Winston Salem, NC
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