Nov 6, 2021; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons head coach Dave Clawson reacts in the third quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Dave Clawson inks long-term extension at Wake Forest

In the midst of one of the best seasons in school history, Wake Forest announced a long-term contract extension with coach Dave Clawson on Friday.

Clawson owns a 49-47 record over eight seasons as coach of the Demon Deacons, who are 9-2 this year and can secure a berth in the ACC title game with a win over Boston College on Saturday.

He has guided Wake Forest to a bowl game in each of the past five seasons — this will be the sixth — and recently led the team to its highest ever spots in the Top 25 poll (10th) and the College Football Playoff rankings (ninth).

“Our team is excited to be headed to a program-record sixth straight bowl game,” Clawson said in a statement, “and I look forward to working with our staff, student-athletes and recruiting more young men that will continue to elevate our program in everything we do.”

On the Demon Deacons’ career wins list, Clawson trails only Peahead Walker (1937-50) and Jim Grobe (2001-13), each of whom recorded 77 career victories at Wake Forest.

“Dave Clawson is an elite coach, leader and program builder and we are excited to announce this reaffirmation of his long-term commitment to Wake Forest University,” athletic director John Currie said in a statement. “Our desire is for him to finish his coaching career as Wake Forest’s all-time winningest coach.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2021; Clemson, South Carolina, USA;  Wake Forest running back Christian Turner (0) is tackled by Clemson linebacker Baylon Spector (10) during their game at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Josh Morgan-USA TODAY Sports

No. 18 Wake Forest visits BC, bids for berth in ACC title game

No. 18 Wake Forest will look to punch its ticket to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game with a win over Boston College in the regular-season finale for both teams on Saturday in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

The Demon Deacons (9-2, 6-1 ACC) control their own destiny as a win over the Eagles would secure their first trip to the conference title game since 2006.

However, Wake Forest has been trending in the wrong direction with losses in two of its last three games.

Last Saturday, the Demon Deacons were blown out in a 48-27 defeat at Atlantic Division rival Clemson. The loss dropped the Demon Deacons eight spots in the College Football Playoff rankings released on Tuesday.

Clemson would qualify for the ACC title game with a win and losses by both Wake Forest and North Carolina State. The Wolfpack would earn a spot in the championship matchup with a win and a Demon Deacons’ loss.

“You tell me that we’re 9-2 going into Boston College, playing for an ACC championship, I can’t tell you that I wouldn’t be excited and fired up — so that’s got to be the mentality,” Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman said.

Hartman completed 27 of 43 passes for 312 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the loss to the Tigers. A.T. Perry reeled in five catches for 113 yards and Jaquarii Roberson had six receptions for 93 yards.

Wake Forest ranks second in the ACC in scoring, averaging 43.1 points through 11 games. Defensively, the Demon Deacons have allowed the fourth-most total yards in the ACC at 449.4 per game.

“You can’t do anything to change what happened last week,” defensive lineman Miles Fox said Tuesday. “Practice has been good, (BC is) a very good team, and we just have to make sure that we correct those mistakes.”

Boston College (6-5, 2-5) had its momentum halted in a 26-23 home loss to Florida State last Saturday. The Eagles had won two straight since the surprise return of starting quarterback Phil Jurkovec from a potential season-ending hand injury.

Jurkovec was held to 148 yards passing (10-of-24) with a touchdown and an interception while rushing for 59 yards and a score against the Seminoles.

BC fell behind 26-3 early in the third quarter before mounting a comeback. Jurkovec led a 14-play, 64-yard drive spanning 6:18 to drive the Eagles into Florida State territory before tossing a pick on fourth-and-9 to end the rally.

Once a season filled with ACC title game aspirations of its own before Jurkovec’s injury, BC will now be looking to avoid a .500 season while bettering its bowl standings in the finale against Wake Forest.

“For a lot of people, it’s their final (regular season) game. So we want to make it a good one,” Jurkovec said Tuesday. “We want to send people off with a win.”

Jurkovec said he isn’t quite back to full health, but that his grip strength “feels good” heading into Saturday’s game.

Eagles coach Jeff Hafley knows his team will have to be ready for a quarterback playing the best football of his career in Hartman.

“Very explosive offense,” Hafley said. “They want to throw the ball more than anybody that we’ve played down the field, which in my opinion starts with the quarterback.”

–Field Level Media

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney celebrates a fumble recovery by Clemson safety Andrew Mukuba (1) during the fourth quarter Oct 30, 2021 in Clemson, South Carolina.

Ncaa Football Florida State At Clemson

Clemson rips No. 10 Wake Forest to keep ACC hopes alive

Kobe Pace and Will Shipley both rushed for more than 100 yards as Clemson kept its hopes alive for a seventh consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference championship with a 48-27 victory Saturday against No. 10 Wake Forest on Senior Day in Clemson, S.C.

The Tigers (8-3, 6-2 ACC) could win their seventh straight Atlantic Division title if Wake Forest loses at Boston College next week and NC State loses either of its remaining two games against Syracuse and North Carolina.

Wake Forest (9-2, 6-1) will win the division for the first time since 2006 if it defeats Boston College.

The victory continued Clemson’s recent domination against Wake Forest. The Tigers have won 13 in a row against the Demon Deacons dating back to 2009 — Clemson coach Dabo Swinney’s first season as the team’s head coach.

The win, which came on Swinney’s 52nd birthday, also extended Clemson’s home winning streak to a school-record 34 straight games, the longest active home winning streak in the nation.

Pace rushed for a career-high 191 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries while Shipley added 112 yards and two scores as part of a season-high 333-yard rushing attack by the Tigers. Clemson averaged 6.2 yards per rush.

Shipley also completed a 2-yard jump pass to tight end Davis Allen for a touchdown.

Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei completed 11 of 19 passes for 208 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown strike to Beaux Collins, as Clemson amassed 543 yards of offense.

But it was Clemson’s defense that set the tone for the day early. The Tigers sacked Sam Hartman three times on Wake Forest’s first two possessions and held the Deacons to 10 yards in the opening quarter.

The Tigers finished with seven sacks and held the Deacons to 36 yards on the ground.

Wake Forest bounced back to score 10 points in the second quarter and close its halftime deficit to 17-10, but Clemson began pulling away in the third quarter as Pace scored on a pair of short-yardage runs to boost the Tigers’ lead to 38-13 entering the fourth quarter.

Collins led Clemson’s receivers with four receptions for 137 yards.

Hartman completed 27 of 43 passes for 312 yards with one touchdown and one interception. A.T. Perry had five receptions for 113 yards.

Nick Sciba had field goals of 23 and 31 yards for Wake Forest while Clemson’s B.T. Potter had two field goals, including a 50-yarder that opened the scoring and gave him a school-record six field goals of 50 yards or more for his career.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2021; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons running back Justice Ellison (14) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the North Carolina State Wolfpack during the first half at Truist Field. Mandatory Credit: William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

No. 12 Wake Forest edges No. 16 NC State

Sam Hartman threw three touchdown passes, shaking off a trio of interceptions, as No. 12 Wake Forest edged No. 16 North Carolina State 45-42 in an Atlantic Coast Conference showdown Saturday night in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Running back Justice Ellison scored Wake Forest’s final two touchdowns as the Demon Deacons never trailed for the last 26 minutes. Hartman completed 20 of 47 passes for 290 yards.

Wake Forest (9-1, 6-0 ACC) took control of the Atlantic Division, needing to win at Clemson next week or at Boston College in the regular-season finale to advance to the league championship game for the second time. Wake Forest’s lone divisional title since the league broke into divisions came in 2006.

NC State quarterback Devin Leary threw for 408 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions, while running back Zonovan Knight had a big impact on kickoff returns.

Wake Forest went ahead in the third quarter on Hartman’s 5-yard pass to Brandon Chapman. It marked the first career touchdown for Chapman, a fifth-year senior tight end.

Hartman connected with Ellison for a 4-yard touchdown with 10:05 to play, putting the score at 38-27.

NC State (7-3, 4-2) responded less than two minutes later on Leary’s second touchdown throw to Emeka Emezie. The same duo combined for the two-point conversion. Emezie finished with 133 receiving yards on 10 catches and two touchdowns.

But Wake Forest controlled the ball for more than six minutes, scoring a touchdown on Ellison’s 4-yard run with 1:47 remaining. Leary threw 8 yards to Devin Carter (7 catches, 132 yards, 2 TDs) at the 45-second mark.

Yet it was a relatively calm second half compared with the second quarter.

Knight returned the second-half kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown after the teams combined for 24 points in the final 2 1/2 minutes of the first half.

NC State struck first on Christopher Dunn’s 28-yard field goal to cap its first possession.

Wake Forest notched the first touchdown on Hartman’s 24-yard pass to A.T. Perry later in the first quarter.

Leading 14-6, the Demon Deacons nearly expanded the edge, but Nick Sciba’s attempt on a 53-yard field goal hit the crossbar.

But a fumble by NC State’s Carter was costly, with Hartman running 5 yards for a touchdown on the next snap.

The momentum turned again quickly, with Knight’s 72-yard kickoff return setting up Leary’s 28-yard scoring pass to Emezie. The Wolfpack got the ball back and Leary hooked up with Carter for a 21-yard touchdown play.

Wake Forest wasn’t done, stretching its lead to 24-20 on Sciba’s 45-yarder on the last play of the half.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2021; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA;  Wake Forest Demon Deacons quarterback Sam Hartman (10) looks to pass in the fourth quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Rare matchup of ranked Wake Forest, NC State has ACC title ties

North Carolina State and Wake Forest have been frequent opponents for more than a century.

It would be difficult to find a more important matchup between the teams than the one on tap for Saturday night in Winston-Salem, N.C., however.

“We’re still 5-0 in the ACC, and in my mind we have a championship game to play next,” Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said.

The No. 12 Demon Deacons (8-1, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) are coming off their first loss of the season. No. 16 NC State (7-2, 4-1) can take control of the Atlantic Division by winning this road game.

“Since we lost that game to Miami, we’ve been approaching every game as a must-win game,” NC State coach Dave Doeren said, referring to a result three weeks ago. “We’ve been in a playoff mode for the last two games. The difference in this one is it’s an in-state team. Outside of that, there isn’t a difference. We have to win this game, the next game and then the next game to be in Charlotte (for the ACC championship game).”

A Wake Forest victory would mean it would advance to the ACC championship game with a victory next week at Clemson or in the regular-season finale at Boston College

NC State goes to the ACC title game as the Atlantic Division representative by defeating Wake Forest and then topping Syracuse and North Carolina (or with defeating one of those teams with another Wake Forest loss). Clemson could factor in as well, but that would require two Wake Forest losses and two NC State defeats.

“It’s just exciting to see where NC State football is at this point,” Wolfpack safety Tanner Ingle said.

This will be the 115th meeting between the in-state foes, though just the second time both have been ranked. The Wolfpack won the first such matchup in 1992.

“Bouncing back from a loss, the adversity and not playing well on defense again,” Clawson said, referring to last week’s 58-55 loss to North Carolina in a non-league collision between ACC members. “Those are the real problems we have to fix. We’re facing adversity for the first time this season. Everything we did is fixable.”

While Wake Forest’s hopes of reaching the College Football Playoff have been dashed, the Demon Deacons know there’s plenty at stake.

“Holding onto that game (with North Carolina), we’ve got to let it go,” Wake Forest defensive lineman Miles Fox said. “It’s going to test our character a lot, but we should be good.”

Both teams have quarterbacks — Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman and NC State’s Devin Leary – putting up big numbers.

“You’ve got two really good quarterbacks competing against each other in this one,” Doeren said. “It’s going to be a really fun game to be a part of.”

Since 2001, NC State is 2-8 in road games vs. Wake Forest.

The Demon Deacons are ranked for just the fifth time when facing NC State. Wake Forest is 1-2-1 in previous such matchups.

This marks Wake Forest’s home finale and it’s NC State’s last road game — and its fourth road assignment across a five-game stretch.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2021; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA;  Wake Forest Demon Deacons quarterback Sam Hartman (10) smiles before the game against the Duke Blue Devils at Truist Field. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

No. 10 Wake Forest continues playoff push at North Carolina

Just when it seems like things couldn’t get much better for No. 10 Wake Forest, along comes Saturday afternoon’s game at North Carolina.

Even though two Atlantic Coast Conference teams are colliding, this is a non-conference game in Chapel Hill, N.C. The stakes are high nonetheless.

“Right now we’re 8-0 and on top of the world,” Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said. “If we don’t refocus, we’ll get humbled.”

Wake Forest holds a Top 10 ranking for the first time in program history. The Demon Deacons are 8-0 for the first time.

“I don’t think we get the respect we deserve,” receiver Jaquarii Roberson said. “We just have to keep pushing.”

North Carolina (4-4) began the season with a No. 10 national ranking. The Tar Heels have been inconsistent, though they led then-No. 11 Notre Dame in the second half last week before falling.

“You don’t salvage a season,” North Carolina coach Mack Brown said. “You do the best you can.”

Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman has been on a roll as he has been named ACC Quarterback of the Week the past two weeks. He’s the first quarterback in Wake Forest history to have four straight games with 300 or more passing yards. In those four games, he has totaled 13 touchdown throws with two interceptions.

Keeping it going is the task. Wake Forest is 7-11 in November the last five seasons. The Demon Deacons have never won more than two games in November under Clawson.

“I think we’re a good football team, but can still play better,” Clawson said. “That’s part of what makes it exciting.”

North Carolina’s Sam Howell is on a record pace for the Tar Heels. The junior quarterback became the program’s all-time leader in passing yards in Saturday night’s loss at Notre Dame.

“It was one of the best performances he’s ever had,” Brown said. “He had the one bad play. So he’s the all-time passing leader now in North Carolina history, he’s the all-time leader in touchdowns responsible for (with 101), and he only needs 239 yards the rest of the season to surpass Marquise Williams as the all-time leader in total yards.”

Howell had a huge outing last year against Wake Forest in a comeback from 21 points down in the second half. He threw for 550 yards and six touchdowns in North Carolina’s 59-53 home victory.

With its non-league tag, this game is a tricky assignment for both teams.

Wake Forest will need to win in order to enter the conversation for a College Football Playoff bid. Yet its quest for an ACC title might hinge on the result next week in the home finale against North Carolina State.

North Carolina could be in danger of failing to qualify for a bowl, so this outcome is vital. But the Tar Heels still have a chance to win the ACC’s Coastal Division, with a quick turnaround coming for Thursday night’s game at Pittsburgh.

The teams also met in a 2019 non-league game in order to avoid gaps in the series between in-state teams that aren’t in the same ACC divisions. They weren’t supposed to meet last year, but a revised pandemic-related schedule created an ACC matchup.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2021; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA;  Wake Forest Demon Deacons head coach Dave Clawson and Wake Forest Demon Deacons defensive back Cody Cater (49) come out onto the field before the game against the Duke Blue Devils at Truist Field. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Wake Forest makes first Top 10 appearance in AP poll

Undefeated Wake Forest moved into the Top 10 of the Associated Press Top 25 poll, released Sunday, for the first time in school history after its 45-7 rout of Duke.

The Demon Deacons (8-0) are the only ACC team in the Top 25, which again is topped by No. 1 Georgia (8-0). The Bulldogs captured all 63 first-place votes after a convincing 34-7 win over Florida on Saturday.

The top four remained unchanged, with the Bulldogs followed by No. 2 Cincinnati (8-0). Alabama (7-1) and Oklahoma (9-0), with No. 5 Michigan State (8-0) moving into the Top 5 for the first time since the Spartans reached No. 2 in 2015.

Michigan State, with its 37-33 win over Michigan on Saturday, jumped over fellow Big Ten team Ohio State (7-1), which fell to No. 6. Oregon State, Notre Dame and Michigan, all 7-1, plus Wake Forest rounded out the Top 10.

No. 11 Oklahoma State (7-1) and No. 12 Auburn (6-2) jumped five and six spots, respectively. The week’s biggest climbers were UTSA (8-0), which rose seven places to No. 16, and BYU, which moved up eight slots to No. 17.

Iowa plunged from No. 9 to 19 with its 27-7 loss to Wisconsin. Despite falling to Ohio State, Penn State remained in the poll at No. 22 — the only three-loss team in the Top 25.

Moving into the Top 25 were No. 20 Houston (7-1), No. 24 Louisiana (7-1) and No. 25 Fresno State (7-2). Falling out were Pitt, San Diego State and Iowa State.

The first College Football Playoff rankings will be released Tuesday night. Georgia is expected to stand at No. 1, but the teams that follow could look quite different.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2021; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA;  Wake Forest Demon Deacons tight end Blake Whiteheart (85) run s with the ball after his catch during the first half against the Duke Blue Devils at Truist Field. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

No. 13 Wake Forest wallops Duke to stay undefeated

Sam Hartman threw three touchdown passes and ran for two scores in another huge offensive performance as No. 13 Wake Forest drubbed visiting Duke 45-7 on Saturday in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Demon Deacons are 8-0 for the first time in program history.

Hartman completed 24-of-37 passes for 402 yards without an interception. A.T. Perry caught seven passes for 116 yards.

Those numbers were part of Wake Forest’s 677 yards of total offense. Christian Turner was the team’s top rusher with 75 yards on 10 carries, with Hartman next with 61 yards on six rushing attempts.

Wake Forest (5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) led 28-0 at halftime. This was the Demon Deacons’ lone conference game across a four-week period, and it came on homecoming.

Duke (3-5, 0-4), which lost its fourth game in a row, nearly went two full games without scoring. The Blue Devils were shut out two weeks earlier at Virginia in their most recent game.

Wake Forest lost its shutout bid when Duke’s Riley Leonard scored on a 2-yard run with 7:17 to play.

Running back Mataeo Durant gained 103 yards on 20 carries for Duke. Quarterback Gunnar Holmberg was 10-for-18 for 110 yards.

The Demon Deacons seemed to pick up where they left off from a 70-56 victory a week earlier at Army. It took just 91 seconds for the Demon Deacons to go 75 yards, with Hartman connecting with Jaquarii Roberson for a 38-yard scoring play.

Hartman then scored on runs of 26 and 4 yards before a 3-yard pass to Ke’Shawn Williams.

About the only thing that went wrong for Wake Forest was that Nick Sciba, who’s bidding to become the all-time most accurate kicker in NCAA history, missed a field goal on a 26-yard attempt. He later was good from 26 yards out.

Duke moved into Wake Forest territory on three of its first four possessions, but came up empty each time.

–Field Level Media

Oct 9, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons head coach Dave Clawson leads his team on the field prior to the game against the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Duke has history, running game to worry No. 13 Wake Forest

It’s not about producing an encore performance for No. 13 Wake Forest’s offense, but a repeat would be a plus for the Demon Deacons.

More pressing matters await Wake in attempting to stay atop the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Atlantic Division. Wake Forest will play its lone conference game across a four-week period when Duke arrives Saturday for the homecoming game in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Wake Forest (7-0, 4-0 ACC) has been 7-0 just once before. That came in 1944, when Duke was the next opponent and ended the Demon Deacons’ bid for an unbeaten season.

“We’re 7-0, but that wasn’t the goal for the season,” Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman said. “It’s to do bigger things.”

The Demon Deacons haven’t been ranked this high since 1947 (at No. 11).

“It’s a huge challenge, but with huge challenges come huge opportunities,” coach David Cutcliffe said. “Wake is not going to give you anything. What it means is that you’re going to have to go get it done. I hope that’s the impact it has on our team. Don’t sit back and wait on anybody to give you anything. You have to go get the job done.”

The chatter this week is bound to be on Wake Forest’s eye-opening 70-56 victory last week at Army.

The statistics were staggering for the program’s third-largest point total in history, a figure that was achieved despite only 17 minutes, 17 seconds of possession time.

“That was about as clean as a performance as I’ve ever seen,” Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said. “And every time we had to make a play, we made a play — 70 points, no turnovers, 638 yards.”

The accolades have been pouring in for Hartman. He has 2,073 passing yards with 19 touchdown tosses this season.

“A lot of people don’t talk about us,” Clawson said. “They don’t talk about him. But he’s 7-0 as our starting QB this year.”

Duke (3-4, 0-3) has lost three consecutive games, hoping to regroup as it comes off an open date.

“We have all run through these times. We have seen them,” Cutcliffe said. “We’re all accountable. Every one of us. We own this. None of us individually have all the answers.”

Most recently, Duke was blanked in a 48-0 loss at Virginia on Oct. 16. The Blue Devils have been outscored by a combined 117-34 margin in three October games.

“When you’re in the middle of a three-game losing streak, I think it’s kind of good to let your mind reset a little bit,” Duke quarterback Gunnar Holmberg said.

Duke doesn’t have to dig too deep to find a ground attack can be disruptive after seeing what Army did to the Demon Deacons. The Blue Devils, who are third in the ACC in rushing with 202.9 yards per game on the ground, are led by running back Mataeo Durant’s 124.3 rushing yards per game.

Yet contending with Wake Forest is a challenge.

“They’ve played some close games, but that tells you they can win in the fourth quarter,” Cutcliffe said. “They’ve blown some people out. An offense and a quarterback that’s playing as good, if not better, than anybody else in the country.”

Wake Forest had some shifting parts on defense last week, largely dictated by injuries. Chase Jones moved from linebacker to safety, a juggling act that the Demon Deacons expect to benefit from if health challenges resurface.

“We were down five or six players on defense,” Clawson said, pointing out uncertainty for the Duke game. “I have some concerns. I’d rather have these concerns (at) 7-0 than 6-1.”

Duke is moving Charlie Ham back to a first-string role as kicker, a spot he lost early in the season.

The teams didn’t meet last season because a scheduled November meeting was wiped off the slate due to COVID-19 protocols involving the Wake Forest team.

The Demon Deacons have won two meetings in a row, though the teams have split the past 10 matchups. They’ve met 100 times, with Duke holding a 58-40-2 series lead.

–Field Level Media

Sep 8, 2018; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons place kicker Nick Sciba (96) attempts a field goal in the second quarter against the Towson Tigers at BB&T Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

No. 19 Wake tries to stay unbeaten, visits Syracuse

Two teams that know plenty about the importance of a field goal meet Saturday when No. 19 Wake Forest takes on host Syracuse in an Atlantic Coast Conference game.

Wake Forest (5-0, 3-0 ACC) is trying to build on one of the best starts in the program’s history.

“If you’re going to have a special season, you’re going to find a way to win your share,” Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said.

The Demon Deacons had their only close call of the season last week, when a last-minute field goal by Nick Sciba boosted them to a 37-34 victory over visiting Louisville.

A few hours later, Syracuse (3-2, 0-1) experienced the other end of a late field goal, when host Florida State broke a tie on the game’s final play in a 33-30 decision in Tallahassee, Fla.

“We’ll stay together,” Orange coach Dino Babers said. “We’ll get another opportunity. I think we’re doing some good things.”

This marks the third year in a row that the Demon Deacons visit Syracuse, losing at the Carrier Dome 39-30 in 2019 in overtime and then winning last year 38-14.

“We’ve got basically the No. 1 team in the ACC coming into our house,” Syracuse fullback Chris Elmore said. “Wake Forest, they’re not a pushover.”

The Demon Deacons, who hold the highest national ranking among ACC teams, are 3-0 in conference play for the first time in a decade.

Sciba made three field goals in the Louisville game, pushing his career total to 67 of 74 for the highest percentage (.905) in NCAA history.

Syracuse kicker Andre Szmyt, who is 6-for-8 on field goals this season, has strong credentials as well. He was the 2018 Lou Groza Award winner as a freshman, when he led the NCAA with 30 field goals, and has made 62 of 73 of attempts in his career — an 84.9 percentage.

Significant contributions keep coming from across the Wake Forest roster. Safety Traveon Redd was the ACC Defensive Back of the Week after making 11 tackles and forcing a fumble in the Louisville game, while running back Justice Ellison was the ACC Rookie of the Week owing to his team-high 67 rushing yards. Ellison has scored a touchdown in each of the past three games.

“He’s very reliable, dependable,” Clawson said.

That’s a good thing, because running back Christian Beal-Smith has been “nicked up,” Clawson said.

Quarterback Sam Hartman of Wake Forest eclipsed the 300-yard mark for passing yards for the first time this season in the Louisville game.

Quarterback Garrett Shrader tied a Syracuse record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with three against Florida State. It was the Mississippi State transfer’s second start with the Orange.

“We’ve got to score in the red zone,” Shrader said. “We’ve got to score more touchdowns. … I felt like we had a lot more confidence in the offense, that we’re going to be able to go make plays.”

Syracuse is retooling a bit after Taj Harris, who had been the team’s top receiver through four games, entered the transfer portal. He didn’t play at Florida State. At least the Orange has Elmore back after he missed the first four games.

The winning team in this matchup has scored at least 38 points in four straight meetings, beginning with Wake Forest’s 64-43 road win in 2017.

–Field Level Media