Three numbers to track as the Deacs take on Duke Saturday afternoon at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham.
175 or 450
There's no escaping the elephant in the room — the Deacs have to move past their anemic offensive performance in the season opener against Tulane if they have any hope of having a successful season. There's no reason to believe, however, that the 175 yards gained against Tulane last Thursday is the new normal. The Deacs averaged 333.4 yards a game in 2015, a 54 percent increase against their previous year production. Heck, against Duke in the season finale last season, the Deacs posted their second-best offensive production, gaining 450 yards, behind quarterback John Wolford's 338 yards in the air and running back Tyler Bell's season-high 94 yards on the ground.
If the offense sputters again Saturday and puts together less than 250 yards of offense, there's little chance of a road victory. However, if the Demon Deacon offense can generate something in the neighborhood of the 450 yards posted against the Dukies last year, Wake could move to 2-0 on the season.
That's the number of tackles last season by the Duke starting front seven. In comparison, the Tulane front seven the Deacs faced last week had 296 previous-year tackles. The Duke defensive front is young and untested. According to Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson, they're also strong and talented, but the Deacs will likely put them to the test early.
The Blue Devils start redshirt freshman Joe Giles-Harris at linebacker. They start Dominic McDonald, a redshirt junior, and Marquies Price (sophomore) at defensive end. Those two have combined for just three starts and 14 tackles in their Duke careers.
It's Wake quarterback Kendall Hinton's first chance to play against his hometown Duke Blue Devils, as he missed last year's season finale with a bout of mononucleosis. Though Wolford has had a wealth of success against Duke the last two years, don't be surprised to see heavy doses of Hinton sprinkled in early Saturday. From there, Clawson will likely go with the hot hand, which could be either of these two signal callers. Factor in the youth and inexperience of the Duke front seven, Hinton's versatility could be just the secret weapon the Deacs need to pull off the upset win at Wallace Wade Stadium Saturday.