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Wake Forest (1-0) at Boston College (1-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, September 6, 8 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alumni Stadium (44,500) -- Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: WF 1-0, BC 1-0. Away Record: WF 0-0, BC 0-0. Neutral Record: WF 0-0, BC 0-0. Conference Record: WF 0-0, BC 0-0. Series Record: BC leads, 10-8-2.
GAME NOTES: The Boston College Eagles and Wake Forest Demon Deacons are set to open their respective Atlantic Coast Conference schedules against one another in a Friday night showdown at Alumni Stadium.
Boston College scored 17 unanswered points to notch a 24-14 home win over Villanova this past Saturday. It was the team's first game under new coach Steve Addazio, who replaced Frank Spaziani after last year's 2-10 finish that marked BC's worst season in 34 years. BC will look to start 2-0 entering a tough road bout at USC next week.
Jim Grobe is in his 13th season as the head coach at Wake Forest, and pressure is high to atone for last year's disappointing finish. Despite 10 true freshman seeing the field in their opener, the Demon Deacons kicked off their season with a 31-7 win over Presbyterian on Thursday. Following this tilt, they'll return home to resume their non-conference schedule against ULM next week.
BC leads the all-time series, 10-8-2. However, the Demon Deacons have won each of the last two meetings, including a 27-19 victory in their last trip to Alumni Stadium in 2011.
Eagles senior wideout and Biletnikoff Award candidate Alex Amidon piled up 13 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown against Villanova. Senior Chase Retting completed 23-of-30 passes for 285 yards and two scores. Redshirt freshman fullback Bobby Wolford, a converted linebacker, also got involved in the passing game and finished with six catches for 84 yards and a TD. Andre Williams powered the ground game with 114 yards on 23 carries. While they ultimately came away with a win, the Eagles were a bit slow to get going, particularly on the offensive side of the ball as they trailed for virtually the entire first half. They finished with a 19-17 edge in first downs for the game.
The Eagles defense notched three interceptions against Villanova, and those takeaways were a key difference in an otherwise tightly-contested ball game. A fourth-quarter sack by linebacker Josh Keyes and subsequent fumble recovery by defensive end Kasim Edebali effectively cemented the outcome in BC's favor. However, the Eagles can ill-afford to make a habit of such slow starts. The Wildcats put together 75-yard touchdown drives on each of their first two possessions, as the BC defense appeared to be caught off guard with Villanova's offensive attack. Ultimately, the Eagles were able to make some adjustments and tighten up as the game progressed. Kevin Pierre-Louis had a team-high 10 tackles (2.5 TFL), while Edebali finished with three tackles for loss to go along with a fumble recovery and forced fumble.
Wake Forest posted 25 first downs and 408 yards of total offense against Presbyterian. Redshirt freshman Jonathan Williams headlined the attack with five receptions for 143 yards, which represents the most receiving yards by a Wake Forest player in his first career game. Tanner Price, coming off an inconsistent junior campaign, completed 14-of-25 passes for 219 yards. He did not get a whole lot of help from the rushing attack, as Josh Harris finished with only 29 yards on 11 carries. Harris, who led the team in rushing last season, was ruled academically ineligible for the bulk of summer camp and did not quite appear to have his game legs under him.
The Wake Forest defense got off to a shaky start last week, as Presbyterian set the tone with a 66-yard run on its first play from scrimmage. Three plays later, the Blue Hose were in the end zone for an early 7-0 lead. Fortunately for the Demon Deacons, they were able to quickly regroup and went on to allow just one more first down the rest of the game. WF forced six turnovers, with three interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Brandon Chubb found pay dirt on a 29-yard interception return early in the third quarter to make it a 24-7 game. With one game in the books, the Demon Deacons defense currently leads the nation in first downs allowed (2.0), yards allowed (151.0) and passing yards allowed (49.0).
Both of these teams had some shaky moments in their season debuts, and both had some positive plays, as well. The Eagles will have a slight edge playing on their home field, but on paper this is a fairly even matchup.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boston College 24, Wake Forest 17
09/04 10:39:40 ET