Forest a 13-point favorite over East Carolina? You've got to be kidding
me! I guess it's time for the Pirate players to put that chip back on
their shoulders and time for me to contact a bookie.
Let's take a look at the scenario. Wake Forest heads into the game with
an 0-2 record having lost the season opener to Vanderbilt at home
followed by a road loss at Nebraska. East Carolina is 1-0 after beating
Duke in their opener and the Pirates head to Winston-Salem this weekend
on the heels of an off week. Sure, Duke is a bad football team. The
Blue Devils were slapped around by Virginia Tech at home last Saturday
but the bottom line for the Pirates is that a win is a win. And yes,
Vanderbilt is better than anyone expected having followed up their win
at Wake Forest with an even bigger win at Arkansas.
It just doesn't add up to 13 points for Wake Forest. Let's take a
Wake Forest has moved the ball very well in their first two games of
the season. The Demon Deacons currently lead the ACC in rushing, are
third in first downs and rank in the middle of the pack in total
offense. All-ACC running back Chris Barclay is back from his suspension
and Micah Andrews leads the league in rushing but of course that's to
be expected after he hung 254 yards on Vandy. Andrews came back down to
Earth last week with 64 yards against Nebraska and Barclay didn't
exactly light up the scoreboard in his season debut. As for the ECU
running game, there's lots of potential but still a lot to be desired.
ECU racked up just 103 yards on the ground against Duke. Advantage Wake
Forest. That's worth about 3 points.
Defensively the Pirates played great against Duke. Granted they did
give up 21 points to a bad team but they created four turnovers and
should have had at least a couple more. As for Wake Forest, they are
giving up an average of 27 and a half points a game but that number is
very misleading. Wake's offense allowed Nebraska's defense to score
21 points. The Demon Deacons have a very good defensive line,
serviceable linebackers and an above average secondary. I give a slight
advantage to Wake's defense and for the sake of somehow figuring out
where 13 points comes from, I give the Wake "D" 1 point.
Wake Forest leads the overall series 5-2 having won the last four
meetings. The confidence factor by the Wake Forest players alone is
worth 1 point. East Carolina has never won in Winston-Salem but every
time they've played Wake west of I-95 the Pirates have managed to bring
a very large number of fans. I would give a team like West Virginia 2
points for the home field advantage but in this case it will almost be
like playing the game on a neutral field. Wake gets 0 points for
playing at home.
So that adds up to 5 points. I could continue to break down the two
teams and find a strengths and weaknesses on both side of the ball, but
the bottom line is that no matter how you break it down it just doesn't
add up to 13 points!
That's the good news for Pirate fans. The bad news is that the odds
makers are never that far off and they always seem to find a way to
I never bet against the Pirates and I won't start this weekend. I'm
taking ECU and I want the 13 points!