North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Wake Forest Demon Decons
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons take on the North Carolina Tar Heels on the road in a crucial ACC match up. The Demon Deacons squeezed past Duke 24-23 in week eight action while the Tar Heels fell to Clemson 59-38. The Tar Heels are -8.5 point favorites over the Demon Decons with an over/under point total set at 52.
After opening the season with an overtime defeat at the hands of Syracuse, Wake Forest has ripped off wins in five of six after nipping Duke in a game that nearly got away. WF finished with 305 yards with much of the production taking place in the first half with the Demon Deacons storming out to a 17-0 lead before the Blue Devils stormed back to take a 23-17 lead before eventually falling. Wake was only 2 of 12 on third down and held the ball less than 22 minutes as the Demon Deacons had trouble sustaining drives and running the football with less than 100 yards and a 3 12 yard average. The passing of quarterback Tanner Price was the saving grace as he completed 15 of 25 throws for 215 yards with a pair of touchdowns against no interceptions. Chris Givens was the star of the receiving corps with 147 yards on six receptions with two scores including the game winner covering 66 yards with seven minutes left. The Wake defense allowed 272 yards in a bend but don’t break performance as Duke didn’t trample this unit but did move the ball.
The only thing positive that North Carolina can draw from their match up with Clemson is that they don’t have to play them again. The offense did have a big day on the scoreboard but 14 points came in the fourth quarter when the game had already been decided. Overall the Tar Heels totaled 418 yards but were severely mistake prone with three lost fumbles and three interceptions to go along with nine penalties for 62 yards. UNC didn’t have a productive rushing attack with barely over 100 yards with Ryan Houston leading the way with 63 yards on 12 carries with a pair of touchdowns. The problem was North Carolina needed points and real estate in chunks in a short amount of time. The team turned to Bryn Renner and the air attack but Renner didn’t connect with the receiving corps often enough and made too many bad decisions. He was 19 of 33 for 264 and a pair of scores but also tossed three picks. The defense allowed 450 yards and didn’t play well but realistically had little chance with an error prone offense that saw two giveaways end up in their own end zone.
When I look at Wake Forest I see a pretty good squad that certainly has competitive numbers but also is one that needs to play a full 60 minutes to be successful and that doesn’t always happen. I guess the same thing could be said of North Carolina who is about on par with Wake when looking at the overall numbers. Another loss and the Tar Heels are out of the conference race and on the brink of taking themselves out of a Bowl as well and I’m hoping they respond in a positive manner.
North Carolina Tar Heels -6.5 Wake Forest Demon Decons