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Syracuse vs. Wake Forest football preview: Q&A with Blogger So Dear

What do we need to know about the Deacons?

NCAA Football: Army at Wake Forest Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange (4-5, 2-3) take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-4, 2-3) on Saturday with a lot on the line for both teams. Wake comes in off a loss, while Syracuse comes in off of two straight defeats. Bowling’s within reach, but the Orange could sure use this game to get there.

Since we’re not Wake Forest fans, we went ahead and asked one about what to expect in this game. Blogger So Dear’s Cameron Debro joins us to chat all about the Demon Deacons. We’ll have answers up shortly over there as well.

The Claw-ffense looks like it's made a ton of progress this year. What's different for Wake on that side of the ball?

People have said Greg Dortch, they wouldn't be wrong. But he's hurt and they still put up almost 600 yards. It's been the development of the offensive line. They’ve gone, since Clawson has been here, from freshmen starting and letting John Wolford, Kendall Hinton and the running backs getting hammered, to having multiple people on the PFF ACC team of the week. They have completely transformed into a very effective bunch.

Losing Greg Dortch is obviously a big blow to the passing game's production. Who's likely to step up and fill that role?

It was a brutal injury but the Deacs showed last game that it's a "next man up sort of mentality. In terms of the position itself, Tabari Hines moves up in the slot to take those snaps and will be called upon more and more. We also saw Scotty Washington get a bunch of targets last game and I don't see that changing. I will also throw in Cam Serigne as the middle of the field is usually his territory.

NCAA Football: Louisville at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at your defense's numbers against the pass, it seems that they might be a tad boosted by opponents (as in, they look better because you've faced very few quality passing teams). Is that a fair statement? Or is there more to this secondary than the box score shows?

That could be the case, but I also like to attribute it more to the fact of this defense has been legit(last week taken out but we'll get there) and when healthy, the front four is one of the best in the country and has been disrupting plays and the tandem of Jessie Bates and Cameron Glenn at the safety positions have been nothing short of phenomenal.

Did the three-game losing streak mid-season take the wind out of Wake Forest's sails a little? How are Deacons fans feeling about overall progress this year vs. last year?

I really don't think it did. Wake played a (when their mind isn't playing tricks on them) good Georgia Tech team on the road, the defending national champions on the road, and a heartbreaking loss against FSU that honestly we should've won and by a decent amount. Realistic fans realize that this schedule was 10x harder than last years and we are still performing well against it.

What the hell happened against Notre Dame last week? How did you guys allow over 700 yards of offense to the Irish?

Injuries is a big part as losing Bates is huge, but at the same time it was just they couldn't get off the field. Nothing more to it, but I do see that as more of the exception rather than the rule.

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Boston College Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

On a scale of "doesn't matter at all" to #THERIVALRY with BC, where does the Syracuse game rank for you guys annually?

I would say decently high. This is always a game the fans think is very winnable and so if we do then happy, if not then oh boy, so there is some merit to this matchup.

Who's one unsung player that Syracuse should know about before things kick off on Saturday?

Luke Masterson, honestly. He's stepping into the void that Bates is leaving for this week and will probably going to get targeted a lot. If he has a decent day, things will go well for the Deacs. If not, then it'll be a LONG day

Prediction time: Who wins this one and why?

I think Wake takes this one 31-24. I think we get back to our ways on defense but still give up a few scores. Colburn has a big day and Washington catches one in the fourth to put the Deacs up for good.

Thanks again to Cameron for taking the time out to answer these. Be sure to follow Blogger So Dear on Twitter, and head over to the site as well, for the latest on Wake.