Friday night will feature an ACC showdown as the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-0) square off with the Virginia Cavaliers (2-1). The Cavaliers will host this one at Scott Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 7:00 pm ET.
Last week, the Demon Deacons were able to stay unbeaten with a 35-14 home win over Florida State. In the win, Sam Hartman threw for 259 yards and two touchdowns while Christian Beal-Smith ran for 95 yards and a score.
For Virginia, they dropped their first game of the season last week to No. 21 UNC, 59-39. In the loss, Brennan Armstrong threw for an amazing 554 yards and four touchdowns, but the Cavaliers’ defense had no answer for UNC.
Virginia comes into this one as the favorite playing at home. They are -180 to win while the Demon Deacons’ moneyline sits at +146. The spread features Wake Forest +3.5 (-110), and the over/under for total points is 68.5 (-110).
Despite their strong starts, neither team is expected to really compete for the ACC championship. Virginia is currently +6000 to win the conference, while Wake Forest is +8000.
In terms of the National Championship, Wake Forest is +50000 to win while the Cavaliers are +100000.
By The Numbers
Wake Forest is currently 7-3 in their last ten games, and they are 6-0 against the spread in their last six against the Cavaliers.
For Virginia, they are 6-2 in their last eight games, and they are 6-0 against the spread in their last six when playing at Scott Stadium.
Wake Forest Looks For Huge Conference Road Win
Head coach Dave Clawson has to be thrilled with his Demon Deacons’ start to the season, but he would love to add a road conference win this weekend.
Leading the way under center for Clewson’s offense is Sam Hartman. On the season, he is 57 for 83 (68.7 passing percentage) for 691 yards, six touchdowns, and just one interception.
His leading receivers to this point are A.T. Perry (13 receptions, 255 yards, two touchdowns) and Jaquarii Roberson (12 receptions, 154 yards, two touchdowns).
On the ground, Wake Forest has been led by Christian Beal-Smith, who has rushed 39 times this season for 229 yards and four scores. Christian Turner has also had a good start rushing 32 times for 120 yards and two scores.
Wake Forest’s defense currently ranks ninth in the nation as they are allowing just 12 points per game, although this will be their first road game of the season.
Virginia Rolls With Juggernaut Offense
Despite their loss to UNC last week, Virginia continues to prove that they have one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Brennan Armstrong and one of the best offenses all the way around.
For Armstrong, he has thrown for 1,298 yards, 11 touchdowns, and two interceptions through just three games. He also has two rushing touchdowns.
Armstrong does a nice job of spreading the ball around as he has five receivers with over 170 yards receiving each. The top receivers are Dontayvion Wicks (346 yards, three touchdowns) and Billy Kemp IV (216 yards, three touchdowns).
While the passing game is elite, the Cavaliers have not really established a run game. Currently, Wayne Taulapapa leads the team in rushing with just 81 yards.
Defensively, Virginia currently ranks 103rd in the nation in scoring defense, allowing opponents an average of 36.5 points per game.
Taking Wake Forest And The Points
This has the potential to be a fantastic matchup. On the one hand, you have a Virginia team that has an amazing offensive attack, but their defense, especially against the run, has suffered.
On the other hand, you have the Demon Deacons, who have one of the better defenses thus far in the country and a solid running attack.
If Brennan Armstrong is able to be undisturbed in the pocket, this game is over, and the Cavaliers will win easily.
With that in mind, expect Wake Forest to load up on the pass and make Virginia beat them with the run. Furthermore, the Demon Deacons will lean heavily on a running attack that is averaging 183.3 yards and will force Virginia to stop them.
This one could go either way, which is why taking the points is the best bet. In this case, that means taking Wake Forest +3.5.