Wake visits for Homecoming at Kenan

This weekend is "Homecoming Weekend" for North Carolina football. What exactly does that mean?

It means, at a minimum, that whatever UNC affiliated group you happen to belong to will make a big push to get you there. Be it your sorority, fraternity, former band members, former players, the General Alumni Association, the Educational Foundation, or any other of dozens of other organizations -- they are all going to make their big pitch to bring you back to North Carolina.

Of course, in football terms, it means more than that. It means that if you are on the schedule for an opponent's homecoming weekend, you are viewed as a sacrificial victim destined to lose.

That can be a problem. It can give the invitee a bit of an attitude. In today's parlance, it is called, "Disrespect."

As if this the visiting Wake Forest club needed any more incentive, the Las Vegas crowd has made the team from Winston-Salem a 14-point underdog.

It is enough to make a Demon Deacon mad – well – very mad.

For years, we have heard that these two teams, North Carolina and Wake Forest, don't like each other very much. Former Wake Forest wide receiver Jamie Deese said as much a couple of years ago, and he added a few more choice remarks for good measure.

That was 1999, and the Deacons beat the Tar Heels on their home field, 19-3, breaking a nine-game losing streak against North Carolina. It also broke a 19-game winning streak the Heels enjoyed over in-state ACC foes, Wake Forest, Duke, and NC State.

Carolina got back on track last season over a Jim Caldwell-coached Deacon squad, 35-14.

There is now a new man at the helm in Winston-Salem, Jim Grobe.

Grobe brought a different style of offense to Wake Forest and that offense has rolled up some impressive numbers. Last season, the Deacons averaged 326 yards of total offense per outing. On Saturday, the Tar Heels will face an offense that averages 400 yards per game.

Wake's offense features an option-style attack that is difficult to defend.

Ask Virginia.

The Demon Deacons are coming off a win in Charlottesville in which they torched the Cavaliers for 482 yards. Those yards were almost evenly split on the ground and through the air.

Of particular concern to the Tar Heels are the 248 yards rushing gained by Wake. The Heels can't be feeling too confident in their rush defense, having yielded 236 yards to Georgia Tech last Thursday night.

North Carolina had its ACC title hopes all but crushed by Georgia Tech, and might be a tad angry about it. Wake Forest might also bring something of an attitude about being the designated loser for homecoming, and being a 14-point underdog.

And, again, the teams already don't like each other.

It should make for a hard-hitting, no holds-barred, physical football game. So while you are catching up with old friends on Saturday, you might want to keep at least one eye peeled on the action on the field.


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