ACC Now Looking to Wake Forest to Save Some Shame

Jay SchrimpfCorrespondent ISeptember 1, 2008

The first week is over, and the ACC's two top preseason teams were beat. Clemson was simply embarrassed, and Virginia Tech is still stunned.

NC State fared no better getting beat by 34 on Thursday night. Virginia was taken down by a powerful Southern Cal team. Even UNC and Maryland struggled against teams they should have beaten easily. 

Miami plays Florida this week, but it may be too much to ask of the Canes for a win at this point in their program.

Thus, the eye of the conference will be in Winston-Salem on Saturday, hoping Wake Forest can win. If not, the pundits who say the conference is down are not correct. A better description would be abysmal.

Ole Miss has not won more than four games in any season since 2003. But this year could be different. The Rebels finally have a good coach in Houston Nutt.

There was never a lack of talent for the Mississippi school. Tyrone Nix, the defense coordinator, has nine starters to work with. The Rebels will see a misdirection offense that will take some getting used to. I expect Ole Miss to have some initial trouble with it and then adjust. It is one thing to simulate it in practice, but it's totally different in a game.

I look for Ole Miss to show both run and pass blitz packages against the Wake offensive line. Wake lost four starters last year and, while the replacements have experience, this is still just the second game of the season. If the offensive line for the Deacons does well, this game will get ugly for the Rebels.

Wake Forest returns nine starters from its defensvie squad last year. This is a very solid group, and the Rebels will see a strong defense, including a great secondary. If the Rebels are to have any success, they are going to have to run the ball. If not, Wake Forest will win huge.

Prediction: Wake Forest 27, Ole Miss 16