Wake Forest has a high-paced scrolling action game with QB Sam Hartmann.
For the first time in weeks, a Boston College defense against a double-threat quarterback will not have a running option.
What they will get instead on Saturday is ACC’s best pure passerby.
BC will celebrate Seniors Day when they face the 21st ranked Deacon Deacon of Wake Forest in the season finale (noon) at Alumni Stadium.
Wake Forest (9-2, 6-1 ACC) could grab the Atlantic section and secure a berth in the ACC Championship game with victory. BC (6-5, 2-5) is already qualified for the ball but will strengthen his position by defeating the seeded opponent.
Deacon is led by sophomore quarterback Sam Hartman, who is the third passer in the ACC with 3,475 yards. Hartmann trails Virginia’s Brennan Armstrong (4044) and Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett (3857), the leading candidate for the Heisman Cup.
“We’ve had a lot of quarterbacks running lately, but this is one that the quarterback wants to throw before he runs it,” BC coach Jeff Havley said. “I feel like it’s been a while, I feel like I’m kind of back in the NFL where somebody wants to throw the ball 40 more times.”
Hartmann completed 235-of-391 passes with a completion percentage of 60.1 with 31 touchdowns and an excellent pass rating of 156.3. Hartmann’s primary target is wide receiver AT Perry, who has 52 receptions for 1,031 yards and 11 touchdowns, second in the ACC behind Pittsburgh’s Jordan Addison (15). Pittsburgh has already won the coastal division and could face Wake Forest in the ACC title match.
“It’s a challenge to our playbook leaders and our midfielders whether it’s man or area,” said Havley. “It’s a D line challenge to try and put pressure on and you have to put pressure.
“You can’t just sit there because he’s really good, he got rid of the ball on time. It’s a very explosive attack and they want to throw the ball into the field more than any team we’ve played. In my opinion, it starts with the midfielder, he runs the attack.”
Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson uses an effective pro multi-style attack called “Clawfense” and has been described by offensive coordinator Warren Ruggiero as a “tempo-changing running game”.
The Deacons are second on the ACC in scoring with 474 points, averaging 43.1 points per game with 60 touchdowns. They are ranked third in total fouls with a total of 5,390 yards for 490 yards per game on average. Wake Forest recorded 4,292 passing yards and 1,840 grounding yards.
“I think they’re very well trained and I have a lot of respect for coach Clauson in many ways,” Havley said. “In the way players develop and coach the same scheme with the guys that have been around for a long time.”