Boston College - Wake Forest Matchup

The Eagles will welcome the ACC Champion Wake Forest Demon Deacons to Alumni Stadium for Saturday's 2007 season opener. Wake Forest has beaten BC three times in the last four seasons, including last year's 21-14 heartbreaker which cost BC the Atlantic Division title. This game will feature the ACC's top two quarterbacks according to many experts. I am of course talking about BC's Matt Ryan and Wake's Riley Skinner. BC is currently a six point favorite.

The Quarterbacks
Matt Ryan -- 62% comp, 2,942 yards, 16 TD, 10 INT
Riley Skinner -- 66% comp, 2,051 yards, 9 TD, 5 INT

Top Rushers
L.V. Whitworth -- 791 yards, 4.5 ypc, 4 TD
  Andre Callender -- 633 yards, 4.3 ypc, 3 TD
Kevin Harris -- 393 yards, 5.0 ypc, 6 TD
  Rich Belton -- 227 yards, 4.5 ypc, 3 TD

Top Receivers
Kevin Challenger (WR) -- 47 catches, 543 yards, 5 TD
  Brandon Robinson (WR) -- 36 catches, 490 yards, 1 TD
Kenneth Moore (WR) -- 32 catches, 314 yards, 1 TD
  Kevin Marion (WR) -- 10 catches, 117 yards, 0 TD

Top Defenders
Jolonn Dunbar (LB) -- 92 tackles, 2 sacks
  Jamie Silva (FS) -- 57 tackles, 4 INT
  DeJuan Tribble (CB) -- 49 tackles, 7 INT
Aaron Curry (LB) -- 83 tackles, 3 sacks
  Stanley Arnoux (LB) -- 69 tackles, 7 Tackles for Loss
  Alphonso Smith (CB) -- 48 tackles, 3 INT

The Kickers
Steve Aponavicius -- 8/11 FG, 24/25 PAT
Sam Swank -- 23/31 FG, 33/33 PAT

The Punters
Johnny Ayers -- 42.1 yards per punt
Sam Swank -- 41.2 yards per punt

The Kick Returners
Jeff Smith -- 28.0 per KO return
DeJuan Tribble -- 8.7 per punt return
Kevin Marion -- 22.3 yards per KO ret
Kenneth Moore -- 13.0 yards per punt return

Final Analysis

For some strange reason, Wake Forest has been BC's toughest foe the past four years. During that time, BC has lost three times and needed a miraculous comeback to win two years ago in Chestnut Hill. You have to figure that the season opener will be another tough game.

Wake Forest returns most of a mediocre offensive team led by sophomore quarterback Riley Skinner. BC, of course, is returning most of a solid defensive unit that held Wake Forest to 280 yards of offense (127 of that on two plays) last season. Wake Forest has plenty of speed on the offensive side of the ball and stopping the big play will again be the key for the BC defense.

On the other side of the ball, BC returns their starting quarterback, both running backs and their #1 wide receiver. Wake Forest, on the other hand, lost a several key starters on defense including Jon Abbate and Josh Gattis, both All ACC first-teamers. BC should have a big advantage in this matchup, especially with the unveiling of a Jagodzinski/Logan offense that no opponent has seen before.

Wake Forest has the advantage at kicker (Sam Swank nailed 23 field goals in 31 tries last season) but BC's kick/punt return tandem of Jeff Smith and DeJuan Tribble is more dangerous than Wake Forest's return team.

BC is more experienced and more talented than Wake Forest and they will have the home field advantage. This is a game that BC should win by a touchdown or two but like every other ACC foe, Wake Forest is a dangerous team that can hurt you in many different ways. It will come down to big plays, turnovers and penalties. Of course, you will probably be able to say that about every conference game this season.

Prediction: Boston College 24 Wake Forest 16

Wake Forest Links
Official Site
CBS Sportsline
Fox Sports

Wake by the Numbers

Wake Forest is 6-6-2 against BC.

Wake Center Steve Justice was named a preseason All-American by The Sporting News and Athlon.

Last season was Wake's first ACC title since 1970.

Offense - Run 92 44
Offense - Pass 25 104
Offense - Total 50 96
Defense - Run 26 21
Defense - Pass 59 82
Defense - Tot 34 45

Offensive Lines
Avg Height 6'6" 6'4"
Avg Weight 292 311