Scouting Report: Wake Forest

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Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech faces Wake Forest on Saturday in Winston-Salem. (Ivan Morozov)

Wake Forest is looking for vengeance after a tough loss last year. Here’s what they bring to the table. 



Aside from personnel, it doesn’t look like much has changed with Wake. They still try to knee-cap opponents with tempo, and then they’ll bring everything to a halt with the slowest mesh in football. The tempo catches teams (like UVA) out of alignment, and the slow mesh is like a shotgun wedding in that it’s designed to force defenses into committing to the run or the pass, and to defend or abandon certain gaps:

Watch UVA’s end-man as he gets impatient and abandons contain, letting Christian Beal-Smith (#26) hit the corner for a big chunk of yardage. One thing about the slow mesh is that outside rushers can turn the corner and occasionally get TFLs, but most of the time stopping their run means everyone pickets the gaps they’re supposed to.

A wrinkle I don’t remember seeing is a fairly heavy reliance on direct-snap plays to double RBs in the backfield. Against the Hoos, it showed up on the goal line, inside the twenty, and when they were burning clock, and it worked pretty well.

Their RPO game can