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Saturday Predictions: Wake Forest at Vanderbilt

The Demon Deacons are our first true test to determine whether we are precocious rebuilding upstarts, or might actually be good this year. What do our writers think?

Well, well, well, boys... quiz time’s over, and here comes the test. The Demon Deacons are a more than cromulently coached veteran squad with a blood de-clotted QB who will likely be backing up someone playing on Sundays next year.

In other words, think of this as playing... I don’t know... Arky or Missourah (spits), only with academic standards.

Coming off a Rainbow stomping and an Elon de-Musking, are our boys ready for the first test of the school year?

Let’s ask our writers.

Andrew VU ‘04

As I said in this week’s mail bag:

I’d say an appropriate amount of optimism is feeling like we might just have a chance—if we play our A game—of being 3-0 after we play Wake Forest. This is not something I would have said in the pre-season, as Wake has a legitimately good veteran QB, and has been one of the better coached teams in the past few years. Now? Even though Vegas has Wake by nearly two TDs, this game’s a coin flip.

I honestly hope the study body is starting to get that “we might be... cromulent?” buzz around campus. If not, they should be.

Not to go all coach speak, but we should absolutely only be focused on Wake right now. They’re an appropriate challenge, and more than that, a great barometer for how much the team has improved. A good Vanderbilt team should beat a good Wake team. I think this is a good Wake team. We shall find out if we’ve moved from dumpster fire (‘20) to teardown (‘21) to precocious scamps who might just be good (‘22), or if we’ve skipped the scamp-stage and moved into being actually good by around halftime of this week’s game.

So, do I think we can win today? Honestly, though Vegas has us at 2 TD dogs, I see it more as a coin flip. As long as we’ve, in practice and in film study all week, perfected how to stop Wake’s patented TransDeaconal Mesh offensive system, we’ve got a chance. As long as we lean on the option combination of Mike Wright, Re’Mahn “The Hypothesis” Davis, and freshman sensation Jayden McGowan, and then throw over the top of the defense once they’ve packed the box with safeties to counter our option running game, we’ve got a chance.

Fuck it, I’m flipping a coin.


The Pick: Vanderbilt 32 - Wake Forest 31. You’re damned right we’re winning this one on a 2 point conversion. Chaos reigns.

SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Besides us? Give me Missourah (spits) over fellow Big XII foe Kansas State. How the hell is K-State favored by near a TD and a FG in this one???


When was the last time winning a shootout seemed viable? 2018? Remember scoring 35+ in 4 of the last 5? The Dores "only" scored 28 in the other contest. Granted, they gave up 31, 33, 29, 13, and 45 points over that stretch.

Well, we might be there all season. I'll be more in-depth in Lessons, but I think OC Joey Lynch has developed and implemented a lot of concepts that create problems for opposing defenses. The speed of Mike Wright and Jayden McGowan are being used sideline-to-sideline while Ray Davis and, hopefully, Rocko Griffin bring vision and physical running. Re-watching the Elon game knowing the result and being able to focus on how plays were developing instead of being more focused on whether we gained yards or not was fun. It looked like an NCAA video game offense in terms of how Lynch is employing the option and tons of formations.

Defensively, Elon brought up some concerns. The Wake Forest offense puts an intriguing spin on the standard RPOs and read option offenses. It needs to be a different approach than we saw against Elon, but the approach against Elon was also not terrible for that game. The execution was too inconsistent and had some major breakdowns that were exacerbated by some questionable calls and ridiculous catches. So, yeah, that 2018 Baylor bowl game or the 45-33 win over Arkansas (Shurmur only had 192 yards on 13/19 passing) seem like pretty good templates for what we might see tomorrow.

The Pick: Vanderbilt 38 - Wake Forest 35

SEC Upset Pick of the Week: I am going to take Kentucky over Florida. The Cats OLine looked bad against Miami-OH, but I have a hard time believing they are that much worse than last season. Anthony Richardson was very good against Utah, but he also has a history of being turnover prone. I think Kentucky takes advantage.

Cole Sullivan

Hartman Fartman. Who cares? The Dores are on fire and this is our first big opportunity at a statement since the start of the Leanaissance. Both offenses are high-powered, so it will be a shootout, but we have a little bit more momentum so far, and I think we have a little bit more that can surprise Wake Forest than the other way around. It’s decided in the fourth, and maybe we’ll even settle for a field goal once or twice.

The Pick: Vanderbilt 45 - Wake Forest 42

SEC Upset Pick of the Week: Pitt just won an electric Brawl against West Virginia and Tennessee somehow got ranked after a win over Ball State. Maybe it’s just the hatred in my heart, but I don’t think Tennessee is “back” and we see that this weekend. Pitt (+7) wins by at least a field goal, probably more.

Tom “Mai Tai” Stephenson

First of all who the fuck put “Mai Tai” there, I will have you know that the only cocktail I have drunk this week is a rum and Coke.

Is my pick here influenced by that? Yes, yes it is. We’re bringing back Brigadoon this week.

The Pick: Vanderbilt 41, Wake Forest 38

SEC Upset Pick of the Week: I like ARIZONA (+10.5) to take down CLANGA.

*Editor’s Note: It was me, Andrew VU ‘04. It is how I imagine you whilst in vacation mode. Apparently it was an aspirational imagining. Rum and cokes? Boo-urns.