Everyone does football previews. Only SportsChannel8 gives it to you in the form of a SWOT analysis. What’s a SWOT? Take it away, Jared …
Wake Forest loves showing off their D, and that’s not just a Riley Skinner joke. The Deacs are 2nd in the ACC in scoring defense, and Junior defensive lineman Duke Ejiofor leads the conference in sacks. But what’s been most impressive about Dave Clawson’s defense is their performance in the red zone where Wake Forest is only allowing teams to score points 40% of the time in red zone opportunities. Last Saturday in Durham, Duke was able to move the ball fairly well between the 20s, but the Deacs clamped up big time deep in their own territory and forced the Blue Devils into two field goal attempts, which both missed. They likely won’t have to employ a “bend but don’t break” this weekend against Delaware, but as the Deacs roll towards bowl eligibility, red zone defense may be what gets them there.
The formula for Duke’s success under David Cutcliffe has been experience + discipline + special teams = wins. This is easily his most talented roster that he’s has at Duke, but the Blue Devils simply will not be able to overcome ongoing rookie mistakes and poor special teams. Duke’s inexperienced offensive line has allowed 6 sacks over the first two games, they’ve lost 7 fumbles already, they net 35.6 yards per punt, and have yet to successfully convert a field goal. There may not be a more detail-oriented coach in America than David Cutcliffe, so these mistakes absolutely have to be killing him. Fumbles, quarterback pressure, and poor special teams have already cost Duke one game, they can’t afford to have it cost them another this weekend against Northwestern.
Momentum does crazy things to a football program, and East Carolina has a massive chance to build momentum when a very beatable South Carolina team hosts the Pirates. Last weekend against NC State was more about pressure for new head coach Scottie Montgomery as he needed to prove he could continue the success against the ACC that Pirate fans got used to under Ruffin McNeill. A win on the road against a Power 5 team, especially an SEC team, would do wonders for building a new legacy under the new coaching staff, even if it is just South Carolina.
As we move deeper into the season, this section will be more or less a look at games outside of North Carolina that could negatively impact bowl position for our teams, but it’s a little early for that. Instead, we’ll just give you a heads up that if you tweet anything positive about App State today during the Miami game, your timeline will likely soon be cluttered by the e-scum of the earth, Miami football e-fans. How much do Miami fans love sending unsolicited tweets to fans and media from the teams they’re playing? They’d rather stay home at their computers than go to the game. If they gave out championship rings for “well actually” tweets, Miami fans wouldn’t have to incessantly remind you that they won five rings like 20 years ago. Little known fact … the reason Miami sports information reports 56K at every home game is because all of their fans access the game via a 56K modem. So we’re warning you, just be ready for a barrage of “U Mad” tweets and memes which couldn’t be more ironic because I honestly can’t think of a program where the actual football team evokes less of any emotional reaction than Miami.