Wake Forest will try to begin 3-0 for the second straight year and exact a measure of revenge when it hosts Utah State on Saturday. The Demon Deacons have utilized a solid defense that has allowed 17 points in the first two games and forced four turnovers in last Saturday’s 34-10 win at Boston College.
Coach Dave Clawson has been impressed with that side of the ball, but is just as happy with a clean offensive effort thus far. “It was a great a job by the defense creating the turnovers, but also a good job by the offense to not have any turnovers,” he told reporters. “That has to be part of our plan to win. It is something we emphasize.” If that needs any more emphasis, Clawson can show footage of a 36-24 loss at Utah State in 2014, when the Aggies scored twice off Wake Forest turnovers to pick up their first win over an ACC team. Utah State followed up a lopsided loss at Wisconsin to start the year with a 51-13 rout of Idaho State on Sept. 7.
TV: 3 p.m. ET, ACC Network. LINE: Wake Forest -13.5
ABOUT UTAH STATE (1-1): The Aggies ran for 255 yards in their most recent effort, led by Eltoro Allen’s 103 yards on 19 attempts. Senior quarterback Kent Myers threw one interception in the victory but was otherwise nearly perfect, completing 24-of-26 passes for 323 yards and two touchdowns and running eight times for 85 yards and a pair of scores. The dual threat needs 253 passing yards to move into seventh place on the school’s all-time list and can reach the top 20 among career rushers at Utah Sate with another 28 yards on the ground.
ABOUT WAKE FOREST (2-0): Senior John Wolford has thrown for just 258 yards through two games but he has four TD passes against zero interceptions and is the team’s top rusher with 139 yards and a pair of scores. His top target has been freshman Greg Dortch (10 catches, 111 yards and three TDs) while star tight end Cam Serigne (two TDs in season-opening win over Presbyterian) is looking to get back in the act after having his streak of consecutive games with a reception snapped at 37. Essang Bassey had an interception return for a TD and five tackles against Boston College and earned ACC Defensive Back of the Week honors.
1. Wolford completed 20 of a career-high 50 passing attempts in the previous loss to the Aggies.
2. WRs Jordan Nathan and Ron’quavion Tarver lead Utah State with nine catches apiece and have the team’s only two TD receptions.
3. Wake Forest was held to minus-25 yards rushing in its loss at Utah State three years ago.
PREDICTION: Wake Forest 31, Utah State 14