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Beats' picks: Will Duke football get a desperation win against Wake Forest?

<p>Syracuse bottled Duke up last week.</p>

Syracuse bottled Duke up last week.

Prior to each Duke football game, The Chronicle’s Evan Kolin, Ramona Naseri, Derek Saul, Shane Smith and Dilan Trivedi make their predictions for the contest and we’ll track their records throughout the season. Here are their takes on the Blue Devils’ matchup with Wake Forest Saturday:

Evan Kolin: Wake Forest 27-13

No longer can I keep publishing optimistic predictions for this team. In what was supposed to be an easy way to break out of a late-season slump, this year’s Blue Devils somehow reached a new low last Saturday, and it won’t get any easier this weekend at Wake Forest. At this point, I just can’t visualize Duke’s offense managing multiple touchdown drives, while the team’s defense—especially against the run—continues to perform just as poorly.

Ramona Naseri: Duke 29-23

I expect Duke to break out of its slump on the road this weekend. After consecutive losses, the Blue Devils will be determined to win the battle against Wake Forest. Duke’s defense has struggled against the run, so they will have to work hard to overcome capable runners like Cade Carney.

Derek Saul: Wake Forest 38-10

I don't understand how someone could watch the product the Blue Devils put on the field last weekend and expect them to go on the road and take down a capable ACC opponent (sorry, Ramona). Duke has given me no reason to believe that it will rebound this fall and I don't expect this game to be close.

Shane Smith: Wake Forest 23-17

The Demon Deacons will likely put a big emphasis on running the football with injuries to their receiving corps, so don’t expect a high-scoring shootout from this game. With the season on the line, I’d expect some trickery from head coach David Cutcliffe to keep Duke in the game. However, unless the Blue Devils have made a snap decision to start stretching the field like they did in the early season, then I don’t think they have enough fire power to take this one on the road in primetime.

Dilan Trivedi: Wake Forest 34-17

Both teams are looking to snap losing streaks. While the Demon Deacons have lost two straight against the top teams in the ACC in Virginia Tech and Clemson, the Blue Devils are reeling from a humbling 49-6 loss to conference bottom-feeder Syracuse. The Duke offense has been nonexistent and I expect the explosive Wake Forest offense to gouge the Blue Devils on the ground in a comfortable win.

Overall results:

Evan Kolin: 6-4

Ramona Naseri: 8-2

Derek Saul: 8-2

Shane Smith: 5-5

Dilan Trivedi: 7-3

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