COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTES: ACC FOOTBALL WEEK 3
SYRACUSE AT PITT
SYRACUSE HITS THE ROAD FOR THE SECOND-STRAIGHT WEEK • Syracuse plays its second-straight road contest at Pittsburgh on Saturday. • Syracuse and Pittsburgh is the Orange’s most frequent series, with Saturday’s matchup vs. the Panthers set to be the 76th between the two programs. • This is the seventh time in program history that SU has started with back-to-back true road games, joining 2019, 2010, 2004,1984, 1956 and 1895. The Orange also started away from home in consecutive weeks in 1962, 2001 and 2013 after playing neutral site contests to open the year, followed by a road game. • Saturday’s game will be the second-straight matchup vs. a ranked team, the first time Syracuse has played two-straight ranked opponents since the 2017 season (W, 27-24 vs. #2 Clemson; L, 27-19 at #8 Miami). Syracuse hasn’t opened the season against back-to-back ranked teams since 2001, when the team finished 10-3 and won the Insight.com Bowl after opening with losses to No. 10 Georgia Tech and No. 8 Tennessee. • The game will air on ACC Network, with Chris Cotter (PxP), Mark Herzlich (analyst) and Kelsey Riggs (reporter) on the call. PICK-CISCO • With his interception in the season opener, DB Andre Cisco moved into a tie for fourth all-time at Syracuse with 13 career interceptions. • Markus Paul (1985-88) leads the group with 19, followed by Tommy Myers (1969-71) with 18. Anthony Smith (2002-05) is the only player with more than Cisco in the last-30 years with 14, followed by Cisco and Walt Slovenski (1946-48) in a tie with 13. • Perhaps more impressive than the total is the speed at which he’s climbed the ranks. The North Carolina game was Cisco’s 23rd game played at Syracuse. For comparison, Paul amassed his 19 INTs over 44 career games. • Cisco also moved into a tie for 10th in program history with 29 passes defended after his interception in the opener. • The AP Preseason First Team All-American S Andre Cisco led the conference in interceptions (5) for the second year in a row in 2019 and ranked fourth nationally in in interceptions per game (0.6). • He enters Saturday’s game vs. Pittsburgh with an interception in four-straight games dating back to last season. • Cisco is the FBS active leader with 13 interceptions and is No. 2 in passes defended per game (1.26) behind Stanford’s Paulson Adebo (1.73), although Stanford is not playing this fall.
√ No. 25 Pitt opens a stretch of 10 consecutive ACC contests when it hosts Syracuse at Heinz Field. The Panthers are coming off a 55-0 season-opening win over Austin Peay. The Orange lost 31-6 at North Carolina. √ Pitt and Syracuse have played every year since 1955, when both schools were independents. The Panthers and Orange were Big East football conference members from 1993-2012 before entering the ACC in 2013. √ The Panthers have won 15 of the past 18 games in the series. However, tight games are commonplace. Six of the past eight contests have been decided by single digits, including Pitt’s 27-20 win last year in the Dome. √ Pitt is 8-1 against the Orange at Heinz Field. Syracuse’s lone win at Heinz occurred in 2001, the venue’s inaugural year.
√ Since 2015, Pat Narduzzi has directed the Panthers to 24 victories in ACC play, tied for the third-highest win total (with Virginia Tech) during that span and trailing only Clemson (39) and Miami (25). √ Since joining the ACC in 2013, the Panthers are 3-4 in conference openers. This will be the third consecutive year and fourth time overall that Pitt opens ACC play at home. √ Senior quarterback Kenny Pickett was highly effective in one half of play against Austin Peay. Pickett compiled 300 total yards, throwing for 277 and running for an additional 23. He accounted for two touchdowns (one pass, one rush). √ The heralded Pitt defense surrendered a single rushing yard to Austin Peay on 22 carries. The Panthers gave up only 137 yards overall in producing their first shutout since 2014.
BOSTON COLLEGE AT DUKE
For just the third time since 1970, Boston College opens a season on Sept. 19 as the Eagles visit Duke to begin the 2020 campaign. • The game at Duke marks the beginning of the Jeff Hafley era at BC. Hafley was named the 36th head coach in Boston College history on Dec. 14, 2019. • Saturday’s game will be broadcast on ACC Regional Sports Networks and locally on NESN. Evan Lepler, Dave Archer and Lindsay Rowley will handle the television broadcast. • Coverage on the Boston College Learfield IMG Sports Network begins at 11:30 a.m. with Jon Meterparel, Pete Cronan and Scott Mutryn. Fans can listen to the game locally on WEEI 93.7 FM, nationally on TuneIn and on Sirius channel 134, XM channel 382 and online via SiriusXM channel 973. • BC returns nine starters on defense, five starters on offense, including four of five All-ACC selections on the offensive line from a season ago. In addition, the Eagles return their starting kicker, punter and long snapper on special teams from 2019.
Boston College and Duke meet for the eighth time in series history. • It marks the first game against the Blue Devils since 2015 in a series that began in 1927. BC leads the series 4-3. • BC is 2-2 against Duke in ACC games. The Eagles and Blue Devils met as conference foes in 2006 (BC 28-7), 2010 (BC 21-16), 2011 (Duke 20-19) and 2015 (Duke 9-7). • The game at Duke will be a memorable one for BC defensive line coach Vince Oghobaase. • Oghobaase began his coaching career as a defensive graduate assistant at Duke in 2011, and helped the Blue Devils earn the program’s first bowl game appearance since 1994. • Oghobaase was a four-year starter as a player at Duke from 2006-09, seeing action in 44 games. He registered 165 tackles during his career, and finished his career ranked sixth in school history in both sacks (14.0) and tackles for loss (36.5).
During his college career, Oghobaase earned Freshman All-America honors in 2006 and was twice named honorable mention All-ACC (2008-09). He received third-team All-America honors from The Sporting News in 2009. • A native of Houston, Texas, Oghobaase graduated from Duke in 2010 with a degree in sociology and signed a free agent contract with the Miami Dolphins after attending the NFL Scouting Combine. He later played with the Hartford Colonials in the United Football League and spent time on the Washington Redskins’ practice squad in 2010. • The Sept. 19 start date to open the season for Boston College is the latest since 1981 when the Eagles also started the season on Sept. 19. BC captured a 13-12 win over Texas A&M on Sept. 19, 1981 in the first game for head coach Jack Bicknell.
Duke kicks off its 108th home season of football when it welcomes Boston College on Saturday, September 19 … Kickoff is set for 12:00 p.m. • Under head coach David Cutcliffe, Duke is 10-2 in home openers … Duke enters this week’s Boston College game having won its last eight lid-lifters at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium … the last time the Blue Devils faced an ACC opponent in its home opener was back on Sept. 10, 2005 (Virginia Tech 45, Duke 0). • The defensive line coaches in this week’s contest share a bond as the Blue Devils’ Ben Albert spent three seasons (2013-14-15) on the staff at Boston College while his Eagle counterpart, Vince Oghobaase, lettered four seasons (2006-07-08-09) as a defensive tackle at Duke, twice earning All-ACC honors in addition to an All-America citation from The Sporting News in 2009. • The Blue Devils fell, 27-13, to No. 10 Notre Dame in their season opener last Saturday … In his Duke debut, QB Chase Brice threw for 259 yards while rushing for the Blue Devils’ lone TD … CB Mark Gilbert, playing for the first time since Sept. 8, 2018, and LB Shaka Heyward led the Duke defense with seven tackles each. • This season marks the 75th anniversary of Duke’s 1945 squad which went 6-4, captured its third straight Southern Conference championship and closed the year ranked No. 13 in the final Associated Press poll … Coached by Eddie Cameron, the Blue Devils started the year 3-2 before reeling off three consecutive wins over Georgia Tech, N.C. State and North Carolina. • Duke has made bowl game appearances in six of the past eight seasons … The Blue Devils have won each of their past three bowl games with victories in the 2015 New Era Pinstripe, 2017 Quick Lane & 2018 Walk-On’s Independence bowls.
CENTRAL FLORIDA AT GEORGIA TECH
Since the start of the 2017 season, the Knights have won 35 of their last 39 games overall, which included a school-record streak of 25 straight wins. Since Josh Heupel took over for the 2018 season, UCF is 22-4, the best two-year record for any FBS program that had a new coach start in 2018. 8 The expectations after back-to-back American Athletic Conference championships and two trips to New Year’s Six Bowl games in 2017 and 2018 were at an all-time high, which is the only reason why a 10-3 record felt like a disappointment to some. A 10-win season is nothing to take lightly, but the Knights know they could have been better, losing all three games on the road by a combined seven points. Josh Heupel took his UCF squad back to a bowl in his second season at the helm, winning the 2019 Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl over Marshall to give the Knights their third-straight 10-win campaign. 8 The Knights have gone 13-0, 12-1 and 10-3 the last three seasons, totaling 35 wins during that span, which makes UCF one of just six FBS programs in the nation to do so. The Knights join Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State and Oklahoma in the elite category since 2017. 8 Despite the three losses, something UCF wasn’t used to enduring, the program finished the 2019 season ranked in the top 25 yet again. The Knights ended the year 24th in both the Associated Press Top 25 poll and the Amway Coaches Poll, marking the third straight year finishing in the Top 25 and the fifth time this decade. The Knights improved to 21st in both polls by the time the 2020 preseason lists came out this summer and moved up to 13th prior to their first game of the season. 8 Heading into the 2020 season, UCF has won 21 consecutive games a its home stadium, fondly named the Bounce House this year. That streak is currently the second longest in the nation, behind only Clemson, which has won 22 straight games at home.
UCF and Georgia Tech have met three times in the all-time series between the two teams, with the Yellowjackets winning all three contests. All three games have been played in Atlanta with Georgia Tech winning the first meeting 27-20 in 1996. The Yellowjackets then won 41-10 in 1999 and most recently defeated the Knights 21-17 on Sept. 2, 2000. The 2020 opener for UCF will mark the fourth straight matchup against Georgia Tech to take place in Atlanta. The Knights were scheduled to take on the Yellowjackets in Orlando in 2017, but the game was canceled due to Hurricane Irma.
GEORGIA TECH NOTES:
Coming off a thrilling 16-13 win at Florida State in its season opener, Georgia Tech football lifts the lid on its six-game home schedule with a non-conference showdown versus No. 14/13 UCF. • Georgia Tech and UCF are meeting in the first game of a two-game series that was scheduled to begin in 2017 in Orlando, Fla. but was postponed due to Hurricane Irma. The 2017 contest at UCF will be made up in 2022. • Saturday’s game features a matchup of two dynamic young quarterbacks in Georgia Tech’s Jeff Sims and UCF’s Dillon Gabriel. Sims made his collegiate debut last Saturday at Florida State and became the first true freshman quarterback to ever lead GT to a win in a season opener, racking up 341 yards of total offense in the 16-13 victory. Gabriel, a sophomore, threw for 3,653 yards, 29 touchdowns and just 7 interceptions as a freshman last season. • Saturday’s matchup pits Georgia Tech’s defense, which ranks among the top 20 nationally in scoring, rushing, passing and total defense this season, against a UCF offense that ranked in the top 20 nationally in scoring, rushing, passing and total offense in 2019. • There is a long line of connections between Georgia Tech and UCF on the gridiron. Most notably, Tech head coach Geoff Collins spent two seasons at UCF as linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator under former GT head coach George O’Leary. O’Leary, who spent seven seasons at the helm of the Yellow Jackets (1995-2001) and 12 years at UCF (2004-15), will be honored at Saturday’s game for being selected for induction to Georgia Tech’s Sports Hall of Fame earlier this summer. Other notable GT-UCF connections include Tech athletics director Todd Stansbury, who was A.D. at UCF from 2012-15, assistant coaches Brent Key (UCF – 2005-14) and Andrew Thacker (UCF – 2008-09, 2015) and offensive quality control specialist Will Glover (UCF – 2013-14).
TECH BY THE NUMBERS
Jeff Sims became the first true freshman quarterback in Georgia Tech history to lead Tech to a win in a season opener when
the Yellow Jackets defeated Florida State, 16-13, last Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla.
Two Yellow Jackets were named ACC Players of the Week for their performances in the win over FSU — ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week Curtis Ryans (two sacks, two forced fumbles) and ACC Rookie of the Week Jeff Sims (341 yards of total
offense — 277 passing, game-high 64 rushing — in collegiate debut).
Saturday’s game is the fourth all-time meeting between Georgia Tech and UCF. Tech is 3-0 all-time against the Knights, with
27-20 (1996), 41-10 (1999) and 21-17 (2000) wins, all at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Four members of Georgia Tech’s current football staff — head coach Geoff Collins, assistant head coach Brent Key,
defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker and offensive quality control assistant Will Glover — previously coached at UCF.
Ten different Georgia Tech players caught passes last Saturday at Florida State, which were the most Yellow Jackets to catch
a pass in a game since 2006 versus Samford and the most against an NCAA Division I FBS opponent since 2000 versus
Sims completed 15 passes in the first half of last Saturday’s game at Florida State, which matched the most completions that
any Yellow Jacket had in a game over the past 12 seasons (2008-19).
Georgia Tech had a total of 22 “Money Down” (third/fourth down) stops (defense) plus conversions (offense) against Florida
State. Head coach Geoff Collins has pledged to donate $10 for each Georgia Tech Money Down defensive stop and offensive
conversion this season, meaning that his season-long donation total through one game is $220.
Sims’ 23 total completions against Florida State were the most by a Georgia Tech quarterback since Reggie Ball had 24
completions versus North Carolina in 2005.
CHARLOTTE AT NORTH CAROLINA
Charlotte (0-1) plays its second straight game against a nationally-ranked foe when it faces #12/#11/#13/#12 (AP/Coaches/ESPN Power/CBS) North Carolina (1-0), Saturday at Kenan Stadium. Charlotte faced #20/#25 (ESPN Power/CBS) Appalachian State in its season opener. Both games were added to the 2020 schedule in August to replace games lost due to decisions made by schools and conferences in light of the pandemic. The game at nationally-ranked North Carolina was added Aug. 8. PROGRAM FACTS This is Season 8 of Charlotte 49ers football and year 6 at the FBS level. The 49ers football program began in 2013 and spent two years as an FCS Independent before taking a fast track to FBS as a member of Conference USA in 2015. In 2019, Charlotte enjoyed its first winning season and participated in its first bowl game: 2019 Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl. Head coach Will Healy is the second coach in program history. Brad Lambert guided the 49ers for the program’s first six seasons. BOWL BOUND In Healy’s first season, the 49ers used a school-record five-game win streak to record the best season in school history and advance to its first-ever bowl game. Charlotte won each of its last five regular-season games to become bowl eligible with a 7-5 regular-season record. The 49ers set school records for wins (7), C-USA wins (5), home wins (5), passing TDs (24), rushing yards (2639), sacks (36) and TFL (86). COME BACK Charlotte came back from halftime deficits to claim three wins during 2019’s breakthrough five-game win streak to end the regular season. Charlotte needed second-half comebacks in wins over North Texas, UTEP and Marshall and scored the game-winning TD in the fourth quarter of each. In the decisive fourth quarters, they outscored the Mean Green, Miners and Herd, 39-3. JUNIOR MINT Charlotte boasts a slew of playmaking juniors, including QB Chris Reynolds (Maxwell; Manning Watch Lists), WRs Victor Tucker (Biletnikoff Watch List) and Cam Dollar; OL D’Mitri Emmanuel; DE Markees Watts and LB Tyler Murray. RELOADING Charlotte is replacing two NFL draft picks (DE Alex Highsmith, Steelers; OL Cam Clark, Jets), a two-time 1,000-yard rusher (RB Benny LeMay, Browns practice squad) and the school’s all-time leading tackler (LB Jeff Gemmell). Up steps sixth-year star Tyriq Harris, a DE who received an NCAA waiver after missing all of last season; four-star recruit Ty’kieast Crawford on the O-Line; Northern Illinois transfer Tre Harbison, who had back-to-back 1,000- yard seasons for the Huskies and Troy transfer LB Tyler Murray, who sat out last season as an NCAA transfer, but recorded 14 tackles with an FF; FR and INT in his debut at App State.
TAR HEELS AND 49ERS • North Carolina and Charlotte will meet on the football fi eld for the first time on Saturday, Sept. 19 in Chapel Hill for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on ACC RSN. • The Tar Heels are coming off a season-opening 31-6 victory at home over ACC foe Syracuse. It was UNC’s first win over the Orange since 2002, and the Tar Heels opened a season with an ACC victory for the first time since beati ng Clemson 45-0 in 1996. • Charlotte opened the 2020 campaign with a 35-20 setback on the road at Appalachian State. • The two teams are scheduled to meet two more times over the next five seasons. The 49ers will again visit the Tar Heels in 2024, while Carolina will head to the Queen City the following year in 2025. MOVING UP IN THE POLLS • Carolina jumped six spots to No. 12 in the Associated Press poll this week, while the Tar Heels jumped up eight places to No. 11 in the Amway Coaches Poll. • This marks the highest ranking since December 2015 when Carolina was No. 10 leading into the Camping World Bowl in Orlando. BROWN VS. CHARLOTTE • Mack Brown has never faced Charlotte. • The 49ers program began in 2013, Brown’s final season in charge at the University of Texas. PRESEASON RANKINGS • Carolina began this season ranked nationally for the first time since 2016. The Tar Heels were selected No. 18 in the Associated Press top 25 poll, while the Amway Coaches Poll listed UNC at No. 19. ACC PRESEASON POLL • Carolina is predicted to finish third in the ACC Preseason Poll. The Tar Heels trail only Clemson and Notre Dame in the 15-team poll. ALL-ACC HONORS • Three Tar Heels, Michael Carter (All-Purpose), Dazz Newsome (WR) and Chazz Surratt (LB), were named to the 2020 Preseason All-ACC Football Team. UP NEXT • Carolina has its first of two bye weeks, and will get back to conference action at Boston College on Saturday, Oct. 3 in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
MIAMI AT LOUISVILLE
THE GAME • After a 31-14 win in their season opener, the Miami Hurricanes continue their second season under head coach Manny Diaz with their Atlantic Coast Conference opener at Louisville on Sept. 19. Kickoff for the matchup from Cardinal Stadium, slated for broadcast on ABC, is set for 7:30 p.m. • Miami’s game at Cardinal Stadium, its first visit to the stadium since 2014, could feature up to approximately 18,000 fans due to fan restrictions and regulations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hurricanes announced a capacity of 13,000 fans for Hard Rock Stadium in August. • The game will be broadcast on ABC with Chris Fowler (pxp), Kirk Herbstreit (color) and Allison Williams (sidelines) on the call. Joe Zagacki (pxp) and Don Bailey, Jr. (color) are in the 560 WQAM radio booth for their 19th season together, while Josh Darrow will handle the sideline duty. Alfredo Alvarez (pxp) and Joe Martinez (color) will carry the game on Unanimo Deportes 990AM live from Hard Rock Stadium on Sept. 10. THE SERIES • The Hurricanes carry a commanding 10-3-1 all-time series lead against the Cardinals, including a 4-2 all-time lead in games played in Louisville. • Miami hosted the Cardinals at Hard Rock Stadium in November 2019, emerging with a 52-27 victory to snap a three-game losing streak to Louisville. • Former BIG EAST foes, Miami has dropped two straight games in Louisville, Ky., including the 2014 matchup – Louisville’s first game in the ACC. THE HURRICANES • Miami returns 11 starters and 39 letterwinners from a 2019 team that finished 6-7 in head coach Manny Diaz’s first year at the helm in Coral Gables. • Miami was ranked No. 17 in the latest Associated Press top 25 and No. 18 in the latest Coaches Poll released Sept. 13 – its first ranking since Oct. 2018. • In UM’s season opener, QB D’Eriq King extended his own FBS record to 16 straight games with at least one rushing touchdown and one passing touchdown in a 31-14 win. RB Cam’Ron Harris rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns, while TE Brevin Jordan had a touchdown catch in the win. • Harris contributed to a rushing attack that posted 337 yards – the second-most versus an FBS opponent since Miami joined the ACC in 2004. • The FBS’ active leader in career sacks, DE Quincy Roche made his Miami debut in the season opener and recorded his 27th career sack in the win. • On July 27, Diaz named redshirt senior D’Eriq King Miami’s starting quarterback for the season. King, who announced his decision to transfer to Miami in January 2020, spent the first four seasons of his career at Houston, where he compiled 82 total touchdowns, 4,925 passing yards and 1,421 rushing yards despite starting just 22 games. He was a 2018 Maxwell Award semifinalist honoring the sport’s most outstanding offensive player. • Diaz, who was the defensive coordinator for the Hurricanes from 2016-2018, retooled Miami’s offensive staff this past offseason, hiring Rhett Lashlee as offensive coordinator from Southern Methodist. He also added wide receivers coach Rob Likens, who spent 2019 as offensive coordinator at Arizona State, and offensive line coach Garin Justice, who was offensive coordinator at UNLV. Diaz also added UM legend Ed Reed as Chief of Staff. THE OPPONENT • Louisville is under the direction of second-year head coach Scott Satterfield, who led the Cardinals to an 8-5 record in his first year as head coach. • The Cardinals won their opener, 35-21, over Western Kentucky on Sept. 12; Louisville totaled 487 yards of offense, including 343 passing yards.
The Louisville Cardinals open Atlantic Coast Conference action when #17 Miami visits Cardinal Stadium on Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on ABC in a battle of ranked opponents. ESPN’s College GameDay will also make its third appearance to Louisville — the first since 2017. The Cardinals opened the season with an impressive all-around performance, defeating Western Kentucky 35-21 at Cardinal Stadium. The Cardinals recorded 487 yards of total offense, including three touchdown passes by Micale Cunningham, while defense limited WKU to just 248 yards of offense. The 248 yards allowed by the defense was the fewest yards allowed against an FBS team since the 2017 season when the Cardinals limited Kent to just 150 yards in a 42-3 win over the Golden Flashes. Wide receiver Braden Smith made his first career reception in the first quarter, a deep ball that netted 63 yards. A junior-college transfer, Smith finished with four catches for 110 yards, becoming the first Cardinal to record 100 receiving yards in his UofL debut since Deion Branch tallied 123 yards against Kentucky in the 2000 season opener. The Hurricanes hold a 10-3-1 series advantage over the Cardinals, but UofL has won three of the last four encounters.
WAKE FOREST AT NC STATE
LEADING THE LEAGUE • TACKLING TRIO: After one week of play in the 2020 season, the Demon Deacons have the top three tacklers in the ACC in defensive backs Zion Keith and Luke Masterson and linebacker Ja’Cquez Williams. Each of the three Wake Forest players tallied double-digit tackles. Total, there were just four players in the league that had double-digit tackles in week one. • MAKING THE MOST OF THE OPPORTUNITY: Earning his first collegiate start, Zion Keith made the most of the opportunity totaling an ACC-high 12 total tackles in the season opener. He also leads the league with nine solo tackles. The redshirt sophomore more than doubled his career production on Saturday as he came into the game with eight career tackles. • CAREER PERFORMANCES: Masterson finished the Clemson game with a career-high 11 stops while Williams totaled double-digit tackles for the third time in his last four games played, dating back to the 2019 season. BREAKOUT PERFORMANCES • ELITE HANDS: Taylor Morin finished Saturday’s game with nine catches, leading all ACC wide receivers. He is currently just one of 11 wide outs in the country to have nine or more catches. On his ninth reception of the game, Morin recorded his first career touchdown reception. • EXPLOSIVENESS: After starting one week, both Donavon Greene (25.3 average) and Jaquarii Roberson (23.0 average) rank in the top 20 nationally in yards per reception. Additionally, Roberson’s 55-yard catch is the 11th longest reception in the country.
DEACS AMONG NATION’S BEST • BASHAM UP: One of three returning Wake Forest All-ACC selections from 2019, Carlos “Boogie” Basham Jr. has received plenty of preseason accolades heading into the upcoming season. After a breakout campaign that included 11.0 sacks and 18.0 tackles for loss, has earned preseason All-America honors from a multitude of publications while also being named to the Lott IMPACT Trophy Watchlist, the Chuck Bednarik Award Watchlist and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watchlist. • GOLDEN LEG: In the third phase of the game, Wake Forest might have the best kicker in all of college football according to many. Last season, Nick Sciba converted 24-of-25 attempts while hitting on his first 23 attempts of the season. He also set the school record with 119 points scored. He is on the Lou Groza Award Watchlist to start the season. • PRESEASON WATCH LISTS: Prior to the start of the 2020 season, Wake Forest had players on a total of nine national preseason watch lists. Joining Basham and Sciba were Brandon Chapman on the John Mackey Award Watch List, Sam Hartman on the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Watch List and Kenneth Walker III on the Doak Walker Award Watch List. SET. THE. STANDARD. • IN THE RECORD BOOK: The Demon Deacons have engineered an offense that has rewritten the record books at Wake Forest. The Deacs have set over 300 school records including marks for points scored, total offensive yards, first downs and passing yards over the past three seasons. • OUR HEAD COACH: Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson co-owns the school record for bowl victories, has climbed to the third-most wins in school history, and has led Wake Forest to a four-year period (2016-19) of success that had been unmatched since the 1940s.
- The Wolfpack open the season against Wake Forest after rescheduling it’s Sept. 12 game against Virginia Tech to Sept. 26. • NC State head coach Dave Doeren hired five new coaches, will have two new primary coordinators during the offseason and has only one assistant left from the 2018 staff, when the team posted its second straight nine-win season. • NC State hired Tim Beck as its new offensive coordinator. He previously had spent the last three seasons as the offensive coordinator at Texas. • As a freshman in 2019, Bam Knight led the team with 745 rushing yards and five touchdowns. • NC State switched to a 3-3-5 stack last season, and are expected to be in a 3-3-5 defense again this season. • Punter Trenton Gill finished first in the ACC with a 47.6-yard average per punt. He was named a second-team preseason All-American by Walter Camp • The Wolfpack return it’s leading rusher, passer and receiver from a year ago. This includes starting quarterback Devin Leary, who settled into the starting role midway through the 2019 season.
NC STATE NOTES
THE SERIES vs. WAKE FOREST • NC State has faced Wake Forest more times that any other opponent in its 128 years of football. Saturday’s game will mark the 114th meeting between the two squads, with NC State holding a 66-41-6 advantage. • The Wolfpack has dropped three straight games to the Deacons – the longest losing streak for NC State in the series since 2005-07. • The Wolfpack and the Deacons have held serve on their home fields over the last 20 years. The Wolfpack is 8-2 in its last 10 home games against the Deacons and 2-8 in its last 10 games on the road vs. the Deacs. NOTING THE WOLFPACK • Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren enters his eighth season with the Wolfpack, tying him for second among the longest tenured coaches in NC State history behind Earle Edwards (17, 1954- 70) and Beattie Feathers (8, 1944-51). • Doeren posts a 6-1 record in season openers, but this will mark his first time opening against an ACC foe. The Wolfpack was scheduled to open the season on the road at Virginia Tech, but that 9/12 contest was moved to 9/26. • The Pack started 48 different players last season – the highest total in the Power 5. Although that tally was due to the unprecedented number of injuries, it does give the Wolfpack the advantage of having 25 returning players who started at least one game last season. • After finishing the 2019 season with no senior starters on offense, the opening depth chart for 2020 lists six senior starters. • The Wolfpack’s two kickers – punter Trenton Gill and placekicker Christopher Dunn – were both up for the national awards for their position (the Guy and Groza Awards respectively) last season and are back on those lists for 2020.