CFB: Virginia at Wake Forest (3:30 PM ET, ESPNU)
There is a great set of games on tap for 3:30 PM ET in college football. One of the matchups pits ACC rivals Virginia and Wake Forest.
There is a great set of games on tap for 3:30 PM ET in college football. One of the matchups pits ACC rivals Virginia and Wake Forest. Every team in the conference has at least two losses in league play, and seven have exactly two, including the combatants here. At last check, nearly 60% of Sportsbook players were backing Virginia as the 3-1/2 point road dog.
After losing three of its first four games by a combined total of 108 points, the last thing any ardent Virginia fan would have expected to see is the Cavaliers competing in the ACC Coastal Division. Though they suffered overtime loss to Miami-FL, they are still in the hunt. What changed was coach Al Groh made the team understand about taking ownership together. "This is about 'we, us and our' win," Groh said. "Everybody on the team stepped up strong -- staff, offense, defense, special teams. Anything less from any of those areas would have made it very hard." The defense was obliterated early, but has allowed just 14.8 points a game in last five contests, thanks to team leaders like linebacker Clint Sintim, who is have an outstanding season. Quarterback Marc Verica gets a little sideways from time to time, yet comes thru in the clutch when needed. Despite unlikely success, Virginia is 5-16 ATS in road games after covering the spread in three out of their last four games.
Wake Forest has to be considered disappointing this year, with an offense lacking in play-makers. Signal caller Riley Skinner has no game-breakers to throw to and no explosive running backs that can rip off large gains. Since scoring 30 points against Mississippi in September, the Demon Deacons have averaged 14 points a game. Given the offensive problems, the defense has held up well in allowing just under 310 yards a game. Linebackers Stanley Arnoux and Aaron Curry make plays weekly to give Wake Forest an opportunity for victory. Wake Forest is unsavory 10-24 ATS in home games after playing a game at Groves Stadium.
With the lack of offensive punch, not having kicker Sam Swank as been devastating for Jim Grobe's squad. Swank is one of the best kickers in the country and his absence has precluded Wake from scoring more points. They come into this contest 5-13 ATS as ACC single digits favorites.
This is a quirky series, with Virginia having won 20 of 21 and 18-10 ATS. Though Wake Forest is the home team, this has meant little with visitor 10-2 ATS in last dozen meetings.
StatFox Forecaster Wake Forest covers
StatFox Power Line Wake Forest by 4
SF Outplay Factor Wake Forest by 8
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