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|Wake Forest Demon Deacons||+3 (-110)
|O 72.5 (-110)
|Pittsburgh Panthers||-3 (-110)
|U 72.5 (-110)
Just as we all suspected — Wake Forest taking on Pittsburgh in the ACC Championship game. Okay, maybe it wasn’t expected. Either way, there’s going to be a team winning the league for the first time ini a long time come Saturday. Some league championship games are looking as if they will be old-fashioned boxing matches, but this one appears as if it will be a new-age shootout. It’s the first to 50 who’s going to win this one, and we think the Panthers have the most trustworthy quarterback and that’s the difference in this one.
Pittsburgh to cover the spread (-110)
Garcia’s 2021 record: (21-20)
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Wake Forest scored 35 points or more in 11 of 12 games — that’s an unbelievably consistent offense. And it’s no surprise why when you saw the ACC postseason awards today with eight players on the offense being named All-conference.
The team is led by the passing offense, which is of course spearheaded by quarterback Sam Hartman. The sophomore was named 2nd team All-ACC, finishing the regular season with 3,711 yards, 34 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions. And don’t forget he’s a dual-threat quarterback — he ran for 340 yards and a team-high 10 touchdowns.
One reason the offense was so unstoppable is that the team has not one, but two 1,000-yard receivers. A.T. Perry could be a Biletnikoff Award finalist, racking up 56 catches for 1,112 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Jaquarii Roberson also got postseason honors, catching a team-high 62 passes for 1,024 yards and eight scores. Wake Forest now faces a Pitt defense that without question improved throughout the season.
After giving up 44 points in a loss to Western Michigan, the Panthers held seven of the next nine opponents to fewer than 30 points.
He isn’t going to be the Heisman Trophy winner, but Kenny Pickett just had one of the best seasons of any quarterback to ever play at Pittsburgh. Pickett finished tied for second in the nation in passing touchdowns (40), fifth in yards (4,066) and eighth in QBR (81.8) while throwing just seven picks.
He too has a go-to receiver, and it’s the eye-popping Jordan Addison. The sophomore jus finished the regular season with video game numbers: 85 catches, 1,353 yards (15.9 yards per catch) and 17 scores. It’s no wonder he was first-team All-Conference (as was Pickett).
The Panthers averaged better than 39 points per game in November and are doing exactly what they want — peaking at the right time.
For both of these teams, the x-factor is all about what type of production they’re going to get out of the ground game.
For Wake Forest, it’s been a running back by committee (that’s what happens when you lose the likely Doak Walker Award winner and a potential Heisman finalist in Kenneth Walker III to the transfer portal) but it’s been pieced together.
Christian Beal-Smith (113 carries, 557 yards, and seven touchdowns), Justice Ellison (94 carries for 477 yards and six touchdowns), and Christian Turner (110 rushes for 420 yards and five touchdowns all have to carry some of the weight.
For the Panthers, it’s a very similar story.
The three-headed tandem is Israel Abanikanda (109 rushes, 580 yards, and five touchdowns), Vincent Davis (119 rushes, 511 yards, and four touchdowns), and Rodney Hammond (92 rushes, 462 yards and five scores).
All are capable, but Davis has had the hot hand lately, rushing for 175 yards over the past two games on just 25 attempts.
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|Wake Forest vs Pittsburgh Information|
|Teams||Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs Pittsburgh Panthers|
|Location||Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC.|
|Time||Saturday, Dec. 4 8:00 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||ABC|
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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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