There are five bowl games crammed into Friday, Dec 29, 2017, and the first one features two unranked and seven-and-five teams, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (7-5) at the Texas A&M Aggies (7-5). Our Wake Forest plays Texas A&M 2017 Belk Bowl pick offer the Demon Deacons at -3.0 and the over/under at 65.0. Wake Forest went 3-2 for their last five. That includes a 30-24 win against #19 NC State. They finished fourth in the ACC Atlantic Division at 4-4. The Aggies were 2-3 over their last five. Those games included losses to #14 Auburn and #18 LSU. They finished 4-4 in fourth place in the SEC West.
Wake Forest Overview
The Demon Deacons mount a balanced offense that churns out an average of 184 YPG on the ground and 267 in the air. They’re averaging 33.7 PPG. Senior QB John Wolford (63.7 COMP%, 25 TDs, 6 INTs) has four receivers who have 35 or more catches this season. TE Cam Serigne has eight TD catches on just 35 receptions, while WR Greg Dortch tops the team in catches and TD receptions with 53 and nine respectively. RB Matt Colburn (145 ATT, 754 YDs, 5.2 AVG, 6 TDs) is the team’s top ground gainer, while Wolford has notched 10 rushing touchdowns while averaging 4.9 YPA.
The Wake Forest defense is allowing 444 YPG, which includes more than 190 ground yards and over 250 air yards. They are allowing opponents 26.3 PPG. They bring 13 INTs and 60 PD. Also, they have made 25 sacks and more than 90 TFL. Senior DE Duke Ejiofor is a tough stopper with seven sacks and 15.0 TFL. DB Essang Bassey is a top pass-defender with three picks and 13 PD.
Demon Deacons Summary
- QB Wolford major playmaker
- Balanced pass and rush attack
- Defense can make big plays
Texas A&M Overview
The Aggies are averaging 31.1 PPG and 390 yards per game of offense. That includes 230 passing yards and 159 rushing. It’s expected that both true freshman Kellen Mond (51.5 COMP%, 8 TDs, 6 INTs) and redshirted freshman Nick Starkel (57.0 COMP%, 10 TDs, 5 INTs) will see reps at QB. WR Christian Kirk has caught 58 passes for 730 yards and seven TDs. RBs Trayveon Williams (166 ATT, 733 YDs, 4.4 AVG, 7 TDs) and Keith Ford (122 ATT, 493 YDs, 4.0 AVG, 11 TDs) offer a lot of offensive potential.
Texas A&M is allowing opponents on average 28.7 PPG and 389 YPG. Passing yards allowed come in at 224 per game and running average 165. These Aggies have forced 15 fumbles, recovering nine. Their 10 INTs are less than impressive, but their 38 sacks and more than 80 TFL. LB Tyrel Dodson is a tough competitor and defensive anchor with 96 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 10 TFL, three INTs, and six PD. Landis Durham leads the team in sacks with 8.5.
- Balanced offensive attack
- Questions as to efficacy of QB decision
- Tough D versus rush
Three Belk Bowl Takeaways
Our Wake Forest plays Texas A&M 2017 Belk Bowl pick includes these three takeaways-
- QB edge to Wake Forest
- WF is deep in receivers
- Neither D is much better than average
Our 2017 Belk Bowl Pick
We see the Demon Deacons as offering a better-balanced attack and as having a deeper and more varied offense than Texas A&M. There will be a decent number of points scored, and we expect the game to go over 65.0. Our Wake Forest plays Texas A&M 2017 Belk Bowl pick is the Demon Deacons at -3.0.