Georgia Tech at Wake Forest, Saturday, Noon, FSS

While Coach O'Leary and his staff will be emphasizing finishing games in practice this week, they better focus plenty of attention on Wake Forest. Under first-year head coach Jim Grobe, these Demon Deacons have won two in a row and are still bowl eligible.

Now that the dream season possibilities are exhausted and the nightmare season possibilities are still on the table, the Georgia Tech coaches and players have got to focus on a Wake Forest team that has 16 starters back from a year ago and is only a few plays away from an 7-2 record. The Deacons, of course, have beaten East Carolina, Virginia, and North Carolina this year, and their comeback win last week versus the Tar Heels was eerily similar to Tech's game against Virginia. But again, on paper, this appears to be a huge mismatch in Tech's favor.

Wake Forest's Offense Vs. Tech's Defense:

Coach Grobe has chosen to go against the pass-happy grain of college football by installing an option attack, and the Deacons are 11th in the nation rushing, with an average of 231.75 yards a game. This goes right at a Yellow Jacket strength, of course, because Tech is still 12th in the nation in rushing defense. Wake is 93rd in pass offense, but Jr.QB James MacPherson has thrown the ball well the past two games when he's had to. Jr. TB Tarence Williams is a Bruce Perry-sized back (5-10, 178) with similar stats. He's very dangerous.

Wake Forest's Defense Vs. Tech's Offense.

There was nothing wrong with the Tech offense last week. They scored TDs to overtake a Virginia lead three times in the fourth quarter. Against Wake, they face a team ranked nationaly 64th against the rush, 80th against the pass, 69th in total defense, and 68th in scoring defense.So the Jackets should put their 30-plus points on the board. The trick will be avoiding another second-half defensive collapse.

Special Teams

Wake has veteran kickers and a dangerous return man in John Stone. Tech needs to atone for that TD they gave up on kickoff coverage last week, the first they have surrendered in three years.

Final Thoughts

The last three games in Groves Stadium have been very close including a painful loss in 1999. Be forewarned: This is not a bad Wake Forest team.


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