What’s at stake: After walloping Morgan State, 36-10, in Saturday’s season opener for both sides, Towson is seeking to open the season with back-to-back wins for the first time since the 2013 squad went 6-0. The Tigers have won four of their past five games dating to Oct. 28, 2017. Wake Forest is attempting to improve to 2-0 for the third consecutive season. With a 23-17 overtime win against Tulane last week, the Demon Deacons have also won four of their past five games dating to Nov. 11, and that streak includes a 55-52 overtime shootout over Texas A&M in the Belk Bowl at Bank of American Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
Key matchup: Towson’s pass defense limited the Bears to 104 yards and zero touchdowns through the air and came away with an interception by senior middle linebacker Diondre Wallace. But the task will be much tougher against Wake Forest freshman quarterback Sam Hartman, who threw for 378 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions against the Green Wave.
Player to watch: The Tigers could use a strong outing from redshirt junior quarterback Tom Flacco (18-for-28 for 245 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and 13 carries for 27 yards). Running the ball would be one way to limit opportunities for Hartman and the Demon Deacons offense.
What’s at stake: Saturday’s 36-10 loss to Towson meant Morgan State dropped its regular-season opener for the sixth straight year. The Bears have lost six straight games overall dating to Oct. 14. Akron’s opener at Nebraska was delayed and then eventually canceled because of lightning. The Zips won three of four games to end the 2017 season, but have won only two openers in their past 10 seasons (2014 and 2016). In the series’ two meetings, Morgan State has been outscored 107-6 by Akron.
Key matchup: No one can fault the Bears for committing to the run, which they did to the tune of 37 rushes against the Tigers. But 66 total yards, a 1.8-yard average and one fumble is not the recipe for success against any run defense.
Player to watch: Akron’s defense is headlined by senior cornerback Kyron Brown, who was named to the 2018 Raycom Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list. He had 49 tackles, two interceptions and a team-high 11 pass breakups.