Chaos is now the norm for the 2021 college football season, but that is exactly what makes college football so exciting. So, while the Week 8 slate doesn't boast a single matchup between two ranked teams, that does not mean it will be an upset-free weekend.
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Wake Forest (-3) vs. Army
Tale of the Tape
Wake Forest, the last remaining undefeated team in the ACC, is fresh off a bye week. Army started 4-0 but has now lost back-to-back games, including a physical 14-20 loss to Wisconsin a week ago.
The Wake Forest rush defense has allowed 3.6 rushing yards after contact per attempt and a 20.6% explosive run percentage so far, 120th and 127th among FBS teams, respectively. However, they have only lined up with 8-plus box defenders on 30 of their 184 run-defense snaps. That is going to change this week.
|Average offensive snaps||78.7||70.8|
|% run plays||50%||89%|
|% pass plays||50%||11%|
|EPA per run||-0.13||0.08|
|EPA per pass||0.26||0.13|
Matchup to Watch: Army’s ANDRE CARTER II vs. Wake Forest offensive line
Army edge rusher Andre Carter II has racked up nine sacks, four hits and nine hurries across 14 pass-rush snaps this season, and his 91.5 PFF pass-rush grade ranks sixth among the 50 edge defenders who have rushed the passer at least 100 times. He'll be going up against a Wake offensive line that has only allowed 31 total pressures all year for a 13.9% pressure rate that ranks 12th among the 130 FBS offensive lines.
X-Factor: The Wake Forest offense has earned a PFF grade of 91.8 through seven weeks, 16th in the FBS. The driving force behind it is quarterback Sam Hartman, whose 84.8 passing grade ranks third among ACC signal-callers, and wide receivers Jaquarii Roberson and A.T. Perry, who have put up 82.0-plus receiving grades.
PFF Greenline has the spread about a point higher than it actually is. The triple-option is difficult to defend because of its rarity, but Wake Forest is more than capable of handling business and continuing what could be their dream season. The Deacons are an undefeated team midway through October for a reason — they are solid and well-coached.
PICK: WAKE FOREST (-3)