Week 14 - Wake Forest at Vanderbilt

Posted Nov 27, 2013

Week 14 Fearless Prediction & Preview - Wake Forest at Vanderbilt

Wake Forest (4-7) at Vanderbilt (7-4) Nov. 30, 12:21, ESPN3

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Wake Forest and Vanderbilt enter the final weekend of the regular season with polar opposite mindsets. On the one hand, the Commodores are riding high, returning to the postseason for a third straight year and fresh off back-to-back wins over rival Tennessee for the first time since 1925-26. Now all Vandy needs to make 2013 complete is to win their bowl game and retain their head coach, James Franklin. The Demon Deacons, on the other hand, squandered their final chance to earn a December bonus game, blowing a great start against Duke in a 28-21 loss in Winston-Salem. Encouraged at 4-3 on Oct. 19, Wake has slumped to three consecutive losses.

Why Wake Forest Might Win: Last weekend provided evidence that the Deacons have not quit on head coach Jim Grobe. They played a red-hot Blue Devil squad tough for four quarters. Their defense, which has played very well against teams not named Clemson or Florida State, matches well with the Commodores. Vanderbilt can't run the ball, and the passing game has produced more picks than touchdowns. Wake is solid on the first and final lines of defense, spearheaded by linemen Nikita Whitlock and Zach Thompson and corners Kevin Johnson and Merrill Noel.

Why Vanderbilt Might Win: The Deacons won't score enough to get out of Nashville with the upset. Wake Forest has averaged just 11 points over the last four games, a situation aggravated by the loss of WR Michael Campanaro to injury. The challenge of moving the sticks gets even tougher this week against the SEC's fifth-ranked defense. Vandy has been stifling this month, led by CB Andre Hal, S Kenny Ladler and the rest of an outstanding defensive backfield.

Who To Watch Out For: Few teams have stopped Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews in the last two years. Wake Forest will try with Johnson and Noel, setting the stage for the best in-game matchup of the afternoon.

- Wake Forest competed with Duke last week, but with little help from the offense. The Deacons generated just 248 yards, and were sacked four times, a likely harbinger of things to come this weekend at Vanderbilt Stadium.

- Injured DE Caleb Azubike is not listed on the Vanderbilt depth chart, which means Walker May and Kyle Woestmann will have to pick up more of the pass rushing slack.

What Will Happen: Wake Forest will have all kinds of problems moving the ball this weekend, a familiar stumbling block to success in 2013. P Alexander Kinal will be busy, as the Deacons fight to locate pockets in the Vanderbilt defense. The Commodores will get just enough on offense out of the quarterback duo of Austyn Carta-Samuels and Patton Robinette to avoid a post-Tennessee letdown.

Prediction: Vanderbilt 24 … Wake Forest 13
Line: Vanderbilt -14 o/u: 43.5
Must See Rating: (5 American Hustle – 1 The Sound of Music Live!) … 2.5
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