Wake Forest vs. Tulane fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Thursday, August 30
Game Time: 8:00 ET
Venue: Yulman Stadium, New Orleans, LA
Network: CBS Sports Network
Wake Forest (0-0) vs. Tulane (0-0) Game Preview
You are more than forgiven for not remembering the 2016 season opener for both of these teams – a scintillating 7-3 Wake Forest win over Tulane. This time around, each team needs this win with some nasty games to come.
Tulane needs a good season to get the option offense going and make the program a factor in the American Athletic Conference chase. But to come up with a non-conference game against a Power Five game at home would be the big splash needed in the Willie Fritz era. Win, and with Nicholls State and UAB to follow, a 3-0 start it likely before going to Ohio State.
Wake Forest should blow past Towson before hosting Boston College, Notre Dame, and with Clemson, Florida State, and Louisville coming up before November. There can’t be a whiff here.
One Reason Why Wake Forest Will Win
The Demon Deacons might have a fun offensive style that can do a lot of things right, but against the Green Wave, powering away with the ground game as much as possible is a must.
They aren’t built to control the clock or own the time of possession, and the run defense is going to be a tad shaky at times. But against a Tulane defensive front that had issues against good ground games, the formula will be simple.
Run, run, and then run some more behind a terrific line that gets all five starters back.
And why does a team built around a quick-hitting passing game need to run?
One Reason Why Tulane Will Win
Expected starting quarterback Kendall Hinton was suspended for the first few games for a violation of team rules. He’s out for the first three games of the season, meaning it’s most likely up to sophomore Jamie Newman to handle the offense. If it’s not him, it’ll be true freshman Sam Hartman. That’s not a plus.
Also not a positive is how the linebacking corps in the 4-2-5 alignment needs work. Losing key tacklers Jaboree Williams and Grant Dawson is a problem for a defense that has to deal with the dangerous Green Wave running game.
For a defense that had massive problems at getting off the field on third downs, Tulane should be able to find a groove, but …
What’s Going To Happen
Here’s the problem for Tulane – Wake Forest’s defense will be able to get into the backfield.
At least, if it can keep the style from last year going into this year, it will be able to. There are some lost parts up front, but the Demon Deacons like to bring the effort behind the line, and it showed averaging more than eight tackles for loss per game. They won’t be able to do that again, but they’ll come close.
Get into the backfield, stop the option. Or, at least slow it down. To beat the Wake Forest defense, offenses have to be able to throw, and Tulane’s passing attack will be sketchy.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Wake Forest 26, Tulane 17
Line: Wake Forest -6.5, o/u: COMING
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3.5
Must See Rating: 2.5
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