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Wake Forest

vs.

Duke

ACC

College Football Pick

9/10/16

The Wake Forest-Duke matchup in Week 2 tells the tale of two very different 1-0 football teams. David Cutcliffe has built his Duke team into relative respectability. Dave Clawson is struggling to find any facet of quality football, outside of fairly good defensive play. As the two teams prepare for their first game in conference play, it'll be the Demon Deacons needing good defensive play to hang with Duke.

Duke defeated North Carolina Central last weekend 49-6. It was worse than that. The Blue Devils led 49-0 at halftime. Complete and utter domination. Duke gained 535 yards, compared to only 112 by the Eagles. Duke gained 29 first downs; NCCU only reached the first-down marker 4 times. The only part of the game that North Carolina Central controlled was the turnover battle. Duke lost five -- FIVE! -- fumbles. The Eagles only turned it over twice.

Daniel Jones is starting at quarterback for Duke as a redshirt freshman. Jones went 10-for-15 for 189 yards and two touchdowns. Parker Boehme also completed 6-of-8 passes off the bench and ran for 68 yards on seven carries.

An interesting takeaway from Game 1 was that, despite good quarterback play, there wasn't a single Duke receiver with more than two receptions in the game. Johnathan Lloyd led the way with two catches for 62 yards and a touchdown. The quarterbacks had good performances, but a question that stands to be answered is whether or not the Blue Devils have a consistent go-to option at wide receiver.

At running back, senior Jela Duncan had arguably his best performance in a Duke uniform. He hit the century mark for just the third time as a Blue Devil. Duncan ran for 115 yards and two touchdowns on just 15 carries. It was just North Carolina Central, but Duke is at least showing hope with the potential offensively.

All that can be said about Duke's first-game performance, the opposite can be said of Wake Forest. Duke didn't score in the second half, because they had already blown out North Carolina Central. Wake Forest didn't score in the second half, because they don't have any offense. They did defeat Tulane 7-3, but, as the score indicates, it was not pretty.

The Demon Deacons only gained 10 first downs, 175 yards (compared to Tulane's 280) and didn't reach 100 yards passing or rushing. It was downright forgettable all the way around. At least Clawson and company got the win.

The uninspiring John Wolford is starting for his third consecutive season in Winston-Salem. Wolford completed only 9-of-17 passes for 79 yards. If you're looking for a positive, while innefective, he did not throw an interception.

Another issue for the Demon Deacons is that the problems don't stop there. There wasn't a single skill player who reached 30 measly yards against Tulane. Kendall Hinton ran the ball eight times for 24 yards (he did score the lone touchdown of the game). Matt Colburn caught two passes for 29 yards.

Prediction: Surely Wake Forest will create more than 175 total yards of offense when they play Duke, right? Wake Forest does pose a much more difficult defense for Jones to go up against than did NCCU. That being said, Duke has some weapons and some understanding of how to move the ball. They are better coached and have home-field advantage. Score: Duke 24, Wake Forest 10 (Duke -5)

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