UNC Football Opponent Preview: Wake Forest


Keeping It Heel will preview all 12 opponents the North Carolina Tar Heels will face in the upcoming football season. Today, we continue with a preview of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. 

Preview of NC A&T

Preview of Illinois

Preview of Delaware

Preview of Georgia Tech


The last time UNC faced Wake Forest was back in 2012 in Larry Fedora’s first season as head coach. The Demon Deacons, led by then coach Jim Grobe, beat the Tar Heels 28-27 on a score by QB Tanner Price before a late interception by QB Bryn Renner pretty much sealed the game for Wake Forest.

The game was characterized by sloppy play by the Heels (stalled drives in the red zone, career game for Price) and a slew of injuries by Wake’s defense, in what was clearly an attempt to slow down Carolina’s fast paced offense. Three years later, a lot of names have changed and this time the game is in Chapel Hill, so what makes this game a different story?

Head Coach: Dave Clawson: Career Record 93-87 (3-9 at Wake Forest). Wake is his fourth head coaching stop. Fun Fact: At Bowling Green, he beat an undefeated Northern Illinois team in 2013, costing them a chance at a BCS bid

Best Graduate: WR Ricky Proehl, Four Time Super Bowl Participant (Two time champ). Career 669 receptions for 8,878 yds and 54 TDs. Has two game tying Super Bowl TD receptions.

Second Best Graduate: Brian Piccolo (Any time you get a movie made after you, a mention is deserved.)

Last Season: Went 3-9 (1-7 in ACC play). Finished tied for sixth in the Atlantic Division. Season highlights include beating Virginia Tech in Double OT 6-3, yes you read that right, and losing 7 of their last 8 games by an average score of 30 to 13

This Season: Seven of their opponents finished last season with a winning record, including 8 teams that played in bowl games. With a lot of their winnable games coming on the road, a 2-10 record really isn’t that unrealistic.

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Best Player: QB John Wolford. Last season, he threw for 2037 yds with 12 TDs against 14 INTs. Those though numbers don’t look to great, the rest of Wake’s team was so bad (it’s leading rusher rushed for all of 240 yds), it is amazing he did that well.

Matchup: Saturday October 17th at Chapel Hill TBD

Prediction: This game has trap game written all over it, as UNC should be coming off a close game against Coastal Favorite Georgia Tech. Though a FCS opponent, like Delaware, might be preferred, this current version of Wake isn’t much better.

Sep 20, 2014; Greenville, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels running back Elijah Hood (34) carries the ball during the 2nd quarter against the East Carolina Pirates at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The East Carolina Pirates defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels 70-41. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Regardless, it is hard to see UNC not winning this game as long as it takes care of the football and in doing so takes care of business.

Final score: UNC 28, Wake Forest 7. After getting off to a sluggish start following an offensive slugfest the week prior, Carolina finally figures things out, putting the game away early in the second quarter.

Elijah Hood leads the way rushing for 140 yds and 3 TDs against a porous Demon Deacon’s defense, which gave up an average of 183 rushing yds per game last season.

By this point in the season UNC should be no worse than 4-2, if not better. In fact, anything worse and Larry Fedora’s chair should be hotter than a tanning bed on the sun. Regardless this is the halfway point of the season and Tar Heel fans should know if their team is a contender, a pretender, or none of the above.