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Wake Forest vs. Stanford

Pointspread: Stanford -17 o/u 59.5

9/18/10

The last time Stanford and Wake Forest met on the football field, the Demon Deacons escaped with a 24-17 win. Stanford went on to have a much better season. They meet this year as undefeated 2-0 teams. The Cardinal delivered a beat down to UCLA, and Wake Forest narrowly edged out Duke last week. Revenge will be on the mind of Stanford who surged to #19 in the rankings this week. Both HC Jim Grobe and HC Jim Harbaugh know how to win football games. Stanford is a huge 17 point favorite to win at Stanford Stadium.

Wake Forest was 1-4 on the road last year, and 1-2 as a road underdog. In the last 10 years they are 20-16-1 as underdogs on the road. Stanford was 7-1 at home last year and 4-2 as a home favorite. They are 16-10 as home favorites in the last 10 years. Wake Forest is 5-16 in road openers. Stanford doesn't fare well against ACC teams, with a record of 4-8.

Freshman Tanner Price grabbed the reigns of the offense against Duke and led his team to a 54-48 victory while tossing 3 TDs passes and picking up 194 yards. He also rushed for 56 yards and a TD. Picking up 4 TDs in a debut is quite impressive! This kid obviously has talent and will be the starter against Stanford. The running game had no single hero, but picked up a combined 229 yards using a mix of three RBs and QB Price. Scoring on Stanford wont be easy, but if Price plays out of his mind anything is possible. You have to think the freshman could come back to Earth this week though.

Wake Forest's defense returns 7 starters from last years team. The leading tackler from 2009 is SS Cyhl Quarles. The junior had 62 tackles, and a single INT. Matt Woodlief picked up 52 tackles and broke up three passes last year playing MLB. The secondary is solid all over. Michael Williams broke up 4 passes last year playing CB. CB Kenny Okoro had a great freshman campaign breaking up 1 passes and intercepting opposing QBs 3 times. They will need to be on their toes against Stanford top notch QB. 

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Stanford has had three QBs drafted #1 overall, and could have a fourth with Andrew Luck. The sophomore was phenomenal last year, and will be even better in 2010. He had 151 yards and 2 TDs in Stanford's 35-0 crushing of UCLA. His best target is senior WR Ryan Whalen. He was named 2nd Team All Pacific 10 last year after catching 57 passes and 4 TDs. The running game is solid, but losing Toby Gerhart slows the Cardinal in this area. Andrew Luck can scramble for yardage when needed. The offensive line is among the best in the Pac-10 thanks to 2nd Team FR All American David DeCastro, and C Chase Beeler who was 2nd Team All-Pac 10.

The best part of Stanfords offense is OLB Thomas Keiser. He is a QB killer and he had 9 sacks last year en route to 1st Team All-Pac 10 honors. He also had 47 tackles and 6 tackles for a loss. SS Delano Howell is the top returning tackler with 78 and 2 INTs. He also broke up 3 passes and 2 tackles for a loss in 2009. Stanford's defense is solid and will give green horn QB Tanner Price a warm welcome to NCAA football.

Last week we went against Stanford with UCLA. Ouch. Not the smartest play we ever made. We also went against Wake Forest, which we got a push out of. We feel we have Wake Forest pegged. We're just not sure about Stanford yet. We're not sure how good they might be. They may just live up to the high expectations this year. With that in mind, we have to stay away from this one. The Wake Forest defense, as Duke proved, is non existent. We can't imagine there's all that much difference between UCLA and Wake Forest there. In fact we'd expect UCLA to be a tad better, and look what happened to them.

So for us, it's a pass. But we can tell you this. This game opened up Stanford -18.5 and has dropped to -17, even -16.5 at one of the sportsbooks we monitor, despite well over 70% of the action so far on this game coming in on Stanford. This is generally an indication of some sharp money on the other side. Bottom line - Some folks out there that have a pretty good opinion feel the number is too high. Opinion Only Wake Forest +17


 

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