A pair of teams that have languished near the bottom of the ACC in recent years will try to get an early boost in conference play when Wake Forest visits Boston College on Saturday in the league opener for both teams. Both squads opened the season with victories, although the Demon Deacons cruised past an FCS team at home while the Eagles had to survive a road affair with a freshman quarterback at an FBS school in Northern Illinois.
Anthony Brown - the first freshman to start under center for Boston College since 2009 - threw for two touchdowns in the 23-20 victory, which showcased a quicker tempo for a program that has struggled offensively for years. “Yeah, we’re going to push it,” Eagles coach Steve Addazio said in his weekly press conference about his team running 92 plays. “Obviously, that’s going to be dictated by how many times you can get first downs. You get three and outs, you’re not going to ratchet up very many plays. That’s part of the deal of that whole thing. One thing we were able to do was get first downs.” While Brown was getting his feet wet, senior John Wolford was playing his 36th career game at quarterback for the Demon Deacons and he accounted for four TDs (three passing) in a 51-7 rout of Presbyterian before resting down the stretch. Wolford completed less than half his passes and tossed a pair of interceptions in a 17-14 loss to Boston College last year.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, ACC Network Extra. LINE: Boston College -1
ABOUT WAKE FOREST (1-0): Sophomore Kendall Hinton relieved Wofford late in last week’s victory and flashed his potential by going 7-for-8 with two TDs. Eleven different players had a catch and seven gained yards on the ground as the Demon Deacons were able to give virtually the entire roster a solid warm-up, utilizing loads of freshmen in the second half. “One of our goals was starting fast in that game and we did exactly that,” Wolford told reporters. “Move the chains, a lot of first downs, hit some big plays, all the things you want to do on offense, we did.”
ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE (1-0): Jon Hilliman led the Eagles’ ground game with 58 yards but just behind him was wide receiver Thadd Smith (55 yards), who was part of a rushing attack that featured 10 runs by wideouts. “We want to stretch the field right now, horizontally and vertically,” Addazio told the media. “In fact, I really felt like we probably needed a few more vertical throws down the field in that game. So we want you to defend us horizontally, vertically, and interiorly.” Smith and fellow wide receivers Jeff Smith and Ben Glines averaged 8.4 yards on their 10 combined carries.
1. Wake Forest had five first downs but forced four turnovers in an ugly 3-0 victory in its previous trip to Chestnut Hill, Mass. two years ago.
2. Eagles DE Harold Landry, a preseason All-American and the nation’s sack leader with 16.5 last year, had six tackles but was unable to get to the quarterback against Northern Illinois.
3. Demon Deacons TE Cam Serigne had two TD grabs against Presbyterian to extend his school record at the position to 14.
PREDICTION: Boston College 24, Wake Forest 23