Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Wake Forest Demon Deacons 9/26/20: Early Look College Football GOY free preview, analysis, prediction, odds and pick against the spread.
2020-05-18 20:00:00 EDT
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons meet Saturday, September 26 in college football action from Bank of America Stadium.
Notre Dame is coming off another really great season, finishing 11-2 overall and making the Camping World Bowl, where they took out Iowa State 33-9. As for the Demon Deacons, they did pretty well for themselves in a competitive ACC, going 8-5 overall and 4-4 in the conference. That .500 record in ACC sounds even better when you consider that only four teams had higher conference records last year. Wake Forest made the Pinstripe Bowl but fell to Michigan State 27-21. Get Free College Football Picks and College Football Predictions for every game all season long at Sports Chat Place.
Let’s take a closer look at this matchup and see if we can get an early idea of how things might play out on September 26 between the Deacons and the Irish.
Wake Forest came out of the gate strong last year, ripping off seven wins over their first eight games. The Demon Deacons were looking very strong but fell out of the top 25 rankings with a loss at Virginia Tech, and went 1-4 over their final five games in 2019. Wake Forest lost last year’s starting QB in Jamie Newman due to transfer, but do have an experienced Sam Hartman on the roster who should be able to help continue the team’s offensive output. The Demon Deacons do have some holes to fill this season, but overall the talent is there. If Wake gets an impact RB to emerge and can keep their receiving corps healthy, the team should put up some solid points totals in 2020.
As for Notre Dame, there’s really not much to complain about when it comes to last season’s campaign. The Irish’s two losses came to Georgia and Michigan, and the Wolverines game was the only blowout Notre Dame suffered all year. In 2020, the Irish should be set with a good offense once again, but there are some notable absences like Chase Claypool, Chris Finke and Cole Kmet—all those losses will be felt heavily in the passing game. Defensively, Notre Dame could use some tweaks with defensive end depth and cornerback play, but all things considered the team should be primed to contend with the best teams in the country.
Pick: I like Wake here. I’m not going to pretend the Deacons are likely to win the game; barring a miracle they won’t. That said, there are enough weapons on that offense to potentially take advantage of Notre Dame’s relative few defensive flaws. If Wake Forest can put together a competent passing game over their first few games they should be able to move the ball effectively enough to keep this Notre Dame matchup close. If the line were another 3-5 points thinner I’d likely change my mind, but for now three touchdowns seems like a realistic gap for Wake Forest to manage. I think they can get in there.