ACC Championship: Pitt vs Wake Forest prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, December 4
ACC Championship: Pitt vs Wake Forest How To Watch
Date: Saturday, December 4
Game Time: 8:00 ET
Venue: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
How To Watch: ABC
Record: Pitt (10-2), Wake Forest (10-2)
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ACC Championship: Pitt vs Wake Forest Game Preview
Why Pitt Will Win
The pass rush.
It gets overlooked with QB Kenny Pickett and the high-flying offensive fun show taking up most of the spotlight – and rightly so – but Pitt has just enough of a defense to be a problem for the Wake Forest attack.
In this – what’s sure to be a wild and crazy offensive show – merely holding serve might be enough.
The Panthers have gone back-and-forth with Oklahoma State throughout the late part of the season for the nation’s top spot in sacks, and they’re phenomenal at generating tackles for loss. Again, just coming up with one big sack might just be enough.
And then there’s the other big part of the Pitt puzzle – control.
Pickett and company might throw the ball a ton and put up a bazillion yards of total offense – fourth in the nation averaging 512 per game – but this is also an attack that owns the clock and is more measured than warp-speed.
Pitt leads the ACC in time of possession, and Wake Forest really, really doesn’t. The Panthers will have the ball for around ten minutes more, but …
Why Wake Forest Will Win
You don’t need to control the clock and the tempo when you’re scoring 43 points per game with blinding speed.
The idea is to keep defenses on their heels and make them live in a constant backpedal.
Spread everyone out, let QB Sam Hartman – who only seems like he’s been there long enough to have been Tim Duncan’s recruiting chaperone – make the right read, and the brilliant Demon Deacon receivers will take it from there.
No, Wake Forest might not own the clock, but it controls games in a different way. There aren’t enough penalties to matter and there aren’t any turnovers – the team leads the ACC in turnover margin.
And yeah, no one’s going to confuse the Wake Forest defense for Georgia’s, but this group does get into the backfield to generate pressure and it’s phenomenal at taking the ball away.
The offense makes the other side press and take chances to keep up. That’s when the interceptions happen. However …
What’s Going To Happen
Look, we all know you’re going to be watching the Big Ten Championship that’s going on at the same time. It’s Michigan, it’s for the College Football Playoff – it’s okay.
This game will be better.
The MAC Championship between Kent State and Northern Illinois will push this for the day’s most entertaining offensive fun-show, but it’ll be a back-and-forth fight full of big pass plays and lots of momentum swings.
Demand close to 800 passing yards between these two terrific quarterbacks, no safe leads, and expect the Pitt defense to close this out late with a few big plays in the backfield.
ACC Championship: Pitt vs Wake Forest Prediction, Lines
Pitt 44, Wake Forest 38
Line: Wake Forest -3, o/u: 71.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2.5
Must See Rating: 5
5: The King’s Man
1: CMA Country Christmas