Syracuse football opponent preview: What to know about Wake Forest

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 9, 2017 at 11:43 pm Contact Tomer: tdlanger@syr.edu | @tomer_langer Syracuse (4-5, 2-3 Atlantic Coast) faces Wake Forest (5-4, 2-3) at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Carrier Dome. The Orange is coming off a tough 27-24 loss to Florida State in which it had the chance to tie the game with a field goal at the end. The Demon Deacons last game was a loss to then-No. 5 Notre Dame.This will be SU’s first home game since it upset then-No. 2 Clemson on Oct. 13. Here’s what to know about WFU.All-time series: Syracuse leads, 4-2Last time they played: The Orange fell to the Demon Deacons in the first weekend of October last year in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Syracuse’s offense struggled having to contend with rainy and windy conditions brought on by a hurricane. The Orange had just 326 yards of offense, more than 100 fewer than its season average.The Wake Forest Report: In his fourth year at the helm, WFU head coach Dave Clawson has turned the program around from a bottom-feeder (six wins in his first two years) too a respectable side (12 wins in these last two years with three games left this season).AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe offense ranks inside the top 50 in both rushing and passing and averages 31.9 points per game. Senior quarterback John Wolford helms the air attack and he’s aided by his top receiving option, Greg Dortch. Dortch ranks fifth in the conference in catches per game (6.6) and receiving yards (722). His nine touchdowns leads the conference.Lead running back Matt Colburn II has run for 437 yards this season, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. Additionally, Wolford has added 400 yards on the ground this season. WFU also ranks 16th in red zone offense.The strength of the Demon Deacons’ defense is its pass rush, as WFU ranks fourth in the conference with 2.56 sacks per game. That unit is led by redshirt senior Duke Ejiofor, who has 6.5 sacks this season.How Syracuse beats Wake Forest: Protect Eric Dungey. SU’s starting quarterback missed an early portion of last week’s game against FSU after being knocked out briefly with an injury. Postgame, he was spotted wearing a boot on his foot. The Orange offense struggled to get anything going without him against the Seminoles. Head coach Dino Babers said that Dungey would be ready to go for Saturday, but the Orange has to ensure that he can finish the game and keep Wake Forest’s tough pass rush away.Stat to know: 27-24Three of Syracuse’s last four games have ended with this score, including two home wins against Pittsburgh and Clemson. If the Orange defense can hold WFU under 30 points, it should have a decent shot to win.Player to watch: John Wolford, quarterback, No. 10Wolford leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in passing efficiency (161.2) and has racked up 1,991 yards and 17 passing touchdowns while completing 65 percent of his passes. Additionally, he’s picked up 327 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. He’s a dual-threat who is the key to Wake Forest’s high-powered offense. Commentslast_img read more