Stanford Cardinal vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons Preview and Picks – Point Spread

Stanford Cardinal (1-0) ATS 1-0, O/U 1-0 vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (0-1) ATS 0-1, O/U 0-1 Saturday, September 12, 2009
By Wilson of

Point Spread: Stanford +2.5/Wake Forest -2.5
Over/Under: 43.5 (Down from opening total of 46)

The Stanford Cardinal opened their season last Saturday with a conference win over the Washington State Cougars. The Cardinal traveled to Pullman, Washington where the Cougars were looking to redeem themselves after suffering a 58-0 thrashing by the Cardinal last season. This year was not as bad but the Cardinal still walked away with a convincing victory.

Stanfords starting QB was not veteran Tavita Pritchard as he lost the starting spot to freshman Andrew Luck, the son of former NFL QB Oliver Luck. Luck was solid in his debut as a starter going 11 of 23 for 193 yards and a touchdown. Perhaps even more impressive for the frosh Luck was the fact that he did not turn the ball over.

Cardinal running back, Toby Gerhart rushed for 121 yards on 23 carries and scored two touchdowns. Wide receiver Chris Owusu also added a touchdown on 3 catches for 86 yards.

Stanford appeared to be well balanced as they scored both on the ground and with the passing game. The Cardinal jumped out to a 22-3 halftime lead. WSU just could not compete with Stanfords athletes. In total, the Cardinal scored five touchdowns and a field goal, plus a two-point conversion following their first TD which caught the Cougars off guard. If luck can prove to effective again this week versus the Demon Deacons he may well be on his way to a fantastic season, but he must learn quickly before the Cardinal match up with power houses like USC, Oregon State, and California.

Wake Forest will be looking for their first win on Saturday after opening the season with a loss to the Baylor Bears 24-21. The Demon Deacons made a last minute rally versus Baylor but they came up short.

Wake Forest QB, Riley Skinner, hooked up with Andrew Parker for a 5-yard touchdown pass to bring the Deacons within 3 points at 24-21. Then with just over one minute remaining in the game Skinner had a last chance to make something happen but the Baylor defense held true and put the clamps down by stopping any attempt at a comeback win.

Skinner is currently the All-Time ACC leader for completion percentage and he 20 of 31 for 143 yards and two TDs but he also tossed three interceptions that were costly.

The big killer for Wake Forest in week one was turnovers. The Demon Deacons has four turnovers versus the Bears which is no way to start a season. If Wake expects to compete against a very tough Stanford team they must take care of the pigskin. Skinner is a mature, veteran QB who knows he must be better after a three-interception performance. In Skinners defense, it is common for the QB to take all the heat but in reality there is many reasons why interceptions occur, and it could be just as much the fault of the receivers running poor routes. No matter what the case may be it is still crucial to regroup quickly and come with positive energy in week two.

Stanford looks like a team that is ready to make a statement in the Pac 10 and beyond. They are deep, athletic, and already have a conference win under their belt. The Cardinal will not overlook WF but they will go in to the game with confidence after already getting a taste of victory at WSU.

Wilsons Pick: WF has the early line at -2.5 but I like Stanford to go on the road and cover. Stanford 28, WF 17. Luck to ya.