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Baylor Looks to Payback Wake Forest in Season Opener

Wake Forest A Small Favorite In Opener

 

9/5/09

It has been just one year since the Wake Forest Demon Deacons traveled to play the Baylor Bears on the road in their opener. It turned out to be a laugher, as the Demon Deacons won that game by a score of 41-13. This time it will be Baylorís turn to play on the road, but donít think that will make this an easy win for Wake Forest. It will be far from easy. You can expect a knock down drag out fight to the finish. Oddsmakers have Wake Forest as a -2.5 Favorite with a total of 53.

Baylor is returning 8 starters on each side of the ball. Pundits and fans are expecting improvement during Coach Art Briles second year with the school. He believes this team is good enough to make it to a bowl, and I have a hard time arguing with him. While they arenít going to set the world on fire, you can bank on the Bears upsetting a few good teams this year. They have a gritty defense and an offense that will see to it.

If Baylor is to win this game they will depend heavily on QB Robert Griffin. He had an amazing year as a true freshman last season, racking up 2,091 yards and 15 touchdowns in the air. He also ran for 843 yards and 13 touchdowns. He will only get better this year. This guy has the potential to be one of the best in the entire country, and opposing defenses had better prepare for him or pay the piper on game day.

The Bears bring a strong running attack to the table with the combined effect of QB Griffin and RB Jay Finley. The latter is a strong RB with a knack for finding the end zone. He led the team in rushing yards last year with 865. Kendall Wright did well in his freshman year and should be even better this season at WR. Wake Forest has a depleted defense, so if the Bears are able to score early and score often they could have this game.

Wake Forest has a very strong passing game led by QB Riley Skinner. The senior is the most accurate passer in the history of the ACC conference, completing 639 of 949 career passes. He is the general on the field for the Demon Deacons. The running game is also strong with Josh Adams and Brandon Pendergrass. Adams has been slowed by injuries, but when playing his best football he is capable of racking up over 1,000 yards on the ground.

Problems could arise for Wake Forest on defense. Four players from last yearís team were selected in the first four rounds of the NFL Draft. Boo Robinson and John Russell will be tough on the defensive line, but I expect them to have their hands full trying to contain Griffin and Finley. Other problems could arise at WR. While Skinner will do an excellent job at QB, most of his targets are inexperienced and unproven. If the defense is up to the task and the WRs do their job then Wake Forest will beat Baylor; but those are big tasks.

The fact that Baylor didnít win a single game on the road last year isnít encouraging. However, Wake Forestís home record of 5-2 from last season doesnít exactly inspire confidence either. Keep an eye on this line. We'll take a shot with Baylor if it climbs to +3 or higher. At -2.5 or less, we'll stay away.

 

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