North Carolina at Wake Forest - 11/12/22 College Football Picks and Prediction

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The North Carolina Tar Heels will travel to Winston-Salem and face the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in from Truist Field on ESPN2. The Wake/UNC rivalry dates all the way back to 1888, and the two Carolina schools faced off in every season from 1908-2004. The ACC’s expansion had led to sporadic matchups, with North Carolina leading the all-time series 71-36-2.

North Carolina improved to 8-1 after defeating Virginia in Charlottesville in Week 10. The Tar Heels went into the mountains and held off UVA to pick up their fifth straight win behind a huge performance from wideout Josh Downs. North Carolina scores 40.6 points per game, while passing for 329.6 yards per game (10th), and rushing for 167.2 ypg (104th). The UNC defense

Drake Maye has been one of the best quarterbacks in the country as a true freshman this season, and he’s got the next two years looking really bright in Chapel Hill. Maye has been ecstatic from a statistical standpoint, and he kept things going in Charlottesville last weekend with 367 total yards (293 pass, 74 rush) and three touchdowns. Maye is among the nations leaders in passing with 2,964 yards with 31 touchdowns to three interceptions, and he’s ran for a team-lead 513 rushing yards and four scores.

With leading backs Caleb Hood and Omarion Hampton on the shelf, UNC has turned to Elijah Green. The sophomore back has scored in each of the past three games, and he rushed for a career-high 91 yards in the win over UVA. Josh Downs has starred since returning in the Notre Dame game. The junior receiver has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in each of the past three games, scoring a pair of touchdowns against Pitt, and posting season-highs against Virginia, with 15 catches for 166 yards and a score. Downs leads UNC in receptions (63), receiving yards (693) and touchdowns (8).

Wake Forest dropped to 6-3 after losing to N.C. State in Raleigh. The Demon Deacons fell apart on the road in the second half for the second week in a row, and let the Wolfpack pull away for the nine-point win. Wake Forest scores 36.9 points per game, while passing for 308.6 yards per game (21st), and rushing for 123.3 ypg (206th). The Wake defense allows 27.3 points per game.

Sam Hartman has been seeing ghosts in the last two weeks, and a return to Winston-Salem may do him justice. Hartman went for a season-high 397 yards in the loss last weekend, but he threw three interceptions for the second game in a row. Hartman is one of the most experienced quarterbacks in the country, and he’s capable of bouncing back against a liable UNC defense.

Justice Ellison and Christian Turner have split the workload for Wake. Neither back has had ample opportunity or room to run, but Ellison leads the team with 453 rushing yards, while Turner has added 382 yards and a team-lead six touchdowns. A.T. Perry has been dynamic on the outside, and he’s coming off of arguably the best outing of his career. The junior wideout posted season-highs of 12 catches and 159 yards, and the battle between him and Downs this weekend could turn into a show.

UNC is 6-3 against the spread this season, with a 1-2 record on the road. Wake is 6-3 against the spread this season, with a 4-1 record at home. The over is 20-7 in UNC’s last 27 versus teams with winning records. The over is 9-4 in Wake’s last 13 versus teams with winning records.

The ACC’s two best offenses will face off in what has shootout written all over it. It won’t be a matter of how many points in this one, how quick they are scored will be the key. The magic number is huge on this one, and while this could end up being one of those high scoring ACC affairs, there’s another angle.

UNC comes into this one 8-1, on a five-game win streak, and with a trip to Charlotte within reach. They are incredibly appealing as road underdogs here due to the arm of Drake Maye. He’s been the best quarterback in the conference, and he’s 5-0 on the road this season, picking hostile wins in Boone, Durham, and Miami. Maye is battle-tested and trustworthy, and I like spotting Mack Brown and UNC the points here. 

Take North Carolina’s spread for this ACC clash.

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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