(Wake Forest) OFFENSE: Wake Forest has scored 38 or more points five times this season and the team is on pace to set records in passing yards, total offense, points, first downs and total offensive plays. Tech coach Justin Fuente said he’s particularly concerned about the Demon Deacons tempo and for good reason — according to the program’s game notes, they are running one play ever 22.07 seconds (fifth fastest in the country). Two of the players responsible for those numbers are Wake Forest quarterback Jamie Newman and wide receiver Sage Surratt. Newman has 2,059 yards (67 percent) and 20 touchdowns to five interceptions while Surratt is on pace to become the receiver fastest to 1,000 yards in school history and is in the top 10 nationally in receptions (62), yards (948) and touchdowns (nine). Wake Forest has also benefited from stability up front with the same starting offensive line in all eight games this season.
(Even) DEFENSE: There isn’t much separating Wake Forest and Virginia Tech statistically. Both defenses are giving up 400 yards per game this season amidst struggles in the secondary. The Demon Deacons have given up 500-plus yards three times in eight games. The low point of the season for the defense was a 62-59 loss to Louisville. Louisville had eight plays of 25 yards or more (four went for 40-plus yards) and finished the game with 520 yards of total offense.
(Virginia Tech) SPECIAL TEAMS: Wake Forest’s coverage units are...not good. One of the key factors in the Demon Deacons loss to Louisville was their special teams failures. They allowed a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and another 83-yard return that set up another score. Louisville finished the game with five returns for 230 yards. On the season, Wake Forest is allowing 26.8 yards per kick return (No. 115 out of 130 FBS teams) and 17.4 yards on punt returns (No. 126).
(Virginia Tech) INTANGIBLES: Tech had this game circled on the schedule before fall camp even started. While the Hokies did suffer a memorable defeat at the hands of Wake Forest in 2014 — neither team scored in regulation — this wasn’t about avenging that loss. Tech picked Nov. 9 as the day to honor longtime defensive coordinator Bud Foster in his final season. There will be a pregame ceremony a half hour before the game, which will make for an emotional afternoon for coaches, players and fans.