FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Nadu Looks To Continue HOT Start in NCAAF On Saturday
Week 2 is here. Four breakdowns last week, three winners. But it's time to move on, lets get after it. There are some big time marquee games this week and I wish you all luck.
I'm heading to Nashville where the surprising 2-0 Vanderbilt Commodores take on Wake Forest. Yeah you read that right Vandy is 2-0… but this is the week where it all falls down for them. In the first two weeks, Vandy went to Hawaii and beat up on one of the worst teams in the country, but hey nice work. In week 2, they followed that up with another win scoring 42, but it was against Elon, lowly little Elon. In further inspection of the box score, Elon really did whatever they wanted. They scored 31 points and QB Matt McKay threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for 52 and had two rushing TD's. Elon outgained Vanderbilt yardage wise and averaged 6.5 yards per play. Let's be real for a second, this defense is not good and this group has been lucky with who they've drawn in the first two weeks. Vanderbilt was a disaster on defense last year allowing 37 points per game and judging by them so far this year that's probably going to be the case again. I know the faithful in Nashville will be excited but I think that will quickly dissipate.
Wake Forest comes back this year with again a very potent offense. Last season this group was third in scoring offense in America scoring 41 points a game. Think about this, that's better than teams like Alabama, Michigan, Oklahoma and Notre Dame. They were high flying, had great quarterback play and were lightning fast running more plays in America than anyone at 81+ per game. In 13 total games last year, they scored 40 or more nine different times. They also didn't score less than 35 in any game they won last year either. The team total this week is 38.5 and we will be right in the neighborhood. The good news as well for the Demon Deacons is earlier this week star QB Sam Hartman was cleared to return after a blood clot. He had surgery and further testing showed no additional clots. Coach Clawson mentioned in his presser this week that he's ready which I feel great about:
“Yes, he practiced today and he practiced Sunday. He’s been out there throwing the ball in skelly and in individual. He’s been going. He’s in shape. He wasn’t completely idle during this time. He’s been throwing the ball a lot. There’s so many accumulated reps. He got right back on the bike. He’s looked really good. If we had concerns about that, we wouldn’t be starting him.”
The great thing for Hartman is he returns virtually his entire offense last season including his top WR, A.T Perry and most of his offensive line. This offense ain't slowing down much and even against week 1 opponent VMI, they did what they normally do, put up 40+. Something to keep in mind with my bet here as well, if Hartman is pulled in let's say beginning of 4th or something, backup QB Mitch Griffis is more than capable of adding to the scoreboard after a big day last week throwing for almost 300 yards and three touchdowns. Wake is going to get a lot of possessions in this game and they were absolutely terrific in 2021 in the red zone, getting points virtually any time they got there, sitting at 12th in the country in red zone scoring percentage. Vandy will compromise and play fast too as that's all they do, which will play right into Slingin Sam's hands. We may even get some points from this opportunistic Wake defense. They actually led the ACC in turnover margin last season and already created one last week. Many will ask about just playing the side here, I like it too. The number moved with the news of Hartman returning but it still seems low. Wake was not good last year on defense but should improve big upon hiring a great defensive coordinator Brad Lambert. This game comes across as like 48-28 to me.
All signs point to another big day per usual for Wake's offense and I want to focus there. 500 yards plus are in sight and another 40 burger should be probable. I bet Wake Forest team total OVER 38.5 at Barstool Sportsbook. Good luck this weekend.
If you want some more college football chatter, check out my week 2 mailbag where I answered some burning betting questions from tweets: