Previewing Syracuse football Week 6 against Wake Forest

SU vs Wake Forest football preview

The Orange will play their first home conference game against the undefeated Demon Deacons.
Published: October 8, 2021
NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Syracuse
Wake Forest wide receiver Jaquarii Roberson (5) cuts by Syracuse's Ja'Had Carter (11) during the Demon Deacons' October 2020 trip to the Dome.

The Syracuse football team returns home to the Dome on Saturday to host their first game since conference play began.

Coming off the heels of a last-second 33-30 loss to Florida State at Doak Campbell Stadium, Syracuse now sits at 3-2 on the season and 0-1 in conference play.

The Orange have an uphill battle ahead of them this weekend. Wake Forest is coming to town, the only team still undefeated in the ACC. The demon Deacons are already 3-0 in conference play with wins over Virginia, Louisville, and Florida State.

However, Syracuse players are confident.

“We’re matched up pretty evenly I feel like,” quarterback Garrett Shrader said. “They’re very disciplined, a very fundamentally sound team, they’re coached very well, but the big thing is we’ll have to make sure we have explosive plays. Especially in the pass game. (They) play a lot of man-to-man coverage so, we’ll have to make big plays on the outside and continue just to keep growing, pay attention to details, and the big thing is to make explosive plays and don’t turn the ball over.”

Wake Forest boasts a talented defense, especially in the passing game. Their secondary has allowed the fifth-lowest completion percentage in the ACC and shares the conference lead for most interceptions. Wake Forest also has a nose for the quarterback – their pass rush has generated 18 sacks thus far.

Their run defense is just as stingy. Despite being middle-of-the-pack in yards per game and yards per carry, WFU has allowed just two rushing touchdowns this season.

This game, however, will most likely come down to Syracuse’s defense standing tall against a potent Wake Forest offense. The Demon Deacons average 38.4 points per game and has one of the ACC’s most productive running back rooms in Christian Beal-Smith, Justice Ellison, and Christian Turner. Their quarterback, Sam Hartman, has 117 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns to his name as well.

“They definitely run well,” cornerback Darian Chestnut said. “Their o-line is real good. We can see it on film and we’re looking forward to stopping it.”

Tomorrow’s game at the Dome kicks off at 3:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN2.

Avatar for Cale Clinton

is a sports reporter for The NewsHouse, and a graduate student in the magazine, news & digital journalism program. Also, Clinton is a Football Outsiders staff writer and former Amherst Student reporter and editor.