Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Tulane Green Wave - 9/1/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Tulane Green Wave (3-9) at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-9)
College Football: Thursday, September 1, 2016 at 7:00 pm (BB&T Field)
The Line: Wake Forest Demon Deacons -16 -- Over/Under: 47 See the Latest Odds
Over at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem, the Tulane Green Wave will be visiting the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Thursday, September 1 in opening-week college football activity.
Tulane is coming off a pretty ugly 3-9 season, going just 1-7 in the American Athletic Conference. First-year head coach Willie Fritz will be looking to better that mark in 2016.
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On the offensive side of the ball, Tulane was pretty stagnant last year. The squad put up 201.3 passing yards per game and 115.8 rush yards per game. Redshirt sophomore QB Glen Cuiellette steps into the field general role, while the Green Wave retains lead rusher Dontrell Hillard. In 2015, Hillard posted 115 rushes for 646 yards and six touchdowns. Lead receiver Teddy Veal is gone, giving Devon Breaux a prime opportunity to improve on his 25 receptions and 431 yards last season for Tulane.
As far as defense, the Green Wave were a little better but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. The Tulane D allowed an average of 233.4 passing yards per game last season alongside 178.8 rushing yards per game. The good news is that Tulane’s leading tackler Nico Marley will be back once again, and he’s coming off 82 total tackles, a forced fumble and an interception.
Over on the Wake Forest side, they’re fresh off a disappointing season as well, going 3-9 and 1-7 in the ACC. The Demon Deacons are led by Dave Clawson, who is heading into his third year at the helm.
QB John Wolford returns to Wake Forest this season. Walford is coming off 1,791 yards passing with a 9:11 TD:INT ratio last year. As a whole, the Deacons offense put up 228.3 yards per game passing and a tepid 105.7 yards per game on the ground in 2015. Tyler Bell will be back to manage the carries at RB this season, following his 2015 in which he put up 129 carries for 451 yards and one score for Wake Forest. Leading receiver Cortez Lewis will be back again as well. Lewis posted 47 grabs for 611 yards and four touchdowns in his last campaign.
The Wake Forest defense loses leading tackler Brandon Chubb (94 tackles) this year, but does retain the services of CB Brad Watson, who accounted for 72 tackles in 2015. As a unit, the Wake Forest defense struggled to contain the rush, allowing 161.8 YPG last year. The Demon Deacons were better against the opposing passes, allowing 202.5 YPG in 2015.
The Green Wave are 2-5 ATS in their last seven Thursday games, and 1-4 ATS in their last five games in September. Tulane is also 0-6 ATS in their last six against the ACC, and the over is 5-1 in their last six against the ACC.
Meanwhile, Wake Forest is 2-5 ATS in their last seven Thursday games, and the under is 3-1-1 in their last five non-conference games. The under is also 12-5-1 in the Demon Deacons’ last 18 home games, and the under is also 18-8-1 in their last 27 games on fieldturf.
There’s not a lot to get excited about in this game, but I think with the returning talent on the offensive side of the ball, Wake Forest will cover—if barely. That said, 16 doesn’t seem like too bad of a number for the spread in this game. I’ll somewhat begrudgingly take the Demon Deacons here.