East Carolina is not a member of the ACC, but at this point the Greenville, N.C., based school might as well be an affiliate member. ECU has inked a home-and-home series with Wake Forest for 2027-28, which extends the Pirates’ streak of consecutive seasons with at least one current ACC foe on the schedule to all but two of a 59-year stretch (1970-28), according to a CFT analysis of past ECU schedules.
The 2027 game will take place Sept. 11 in Greenville, and the ’28 game on Sept. 23 in Winston-Salem.
The bulk of those meetings have come against NC State (29 all-time meetings) Virginia Tech (22) and North Carolina (16), but Wake Forest has been a frequent collaborator of late. The Pirates and Deacons have met eight times previously and five straight years from 2001-05, all of which were Wake victories.
Future ECU vs. ACC games
2018: vs. North Carolina (Sept. 8), at Virginia Tech (Sept. 15)
2019: at NC State (Aug. 31), vs. Virginia Tech (Sept. 21)
2020: at Virginia Tech (Sept. 26)
2021: No scheduled ACC opponent
2022: vs. NC State (Sept. 3), at Virginia Tech (Sept. 17)
2023: vs. Virginia Tech (Sept. 23)
2024: at Virginia Tech (Sept. 7)
2025: vs. Virginia Tech (Sept. 20)
2026: No scheduled ACC opponent
2027: vs. Wake Forest (Sept. 11)
2028: at Wake Forest (Sept. 23)
The 2021 and ’26 slates still have one non-conference slot to fill, but considering the ’26 schedule already has a road trip to Boise State and a home date with West Virginia lined up, it’s unlikely East Carolina would line up another ACC opponent to fill the remaining opening — unless they don’t want to let the streak die.
Unlike how his 2017 season ended, Greg Dortch‘s 2018 offseason is trending much more positively.
In Wake Forest’s late-October win over Louisville, Dortch went down with what turned out to be a season-ending abdominal injury. Four months after sustaining the injury, and with spring practice right around the corner, the wide receiver has been medically cleared to fully participate in practice.
Despite missing the last month of the regular season as well as the postseason, Dortch still led the Demon Deacons in receiving yards with 722. His 53 receptions and nine receiving touchdowns were tied for tops on the team as well.
In the game in which he was injured, he set the school record with four touchdown catches.
In filling out his Wake Forest coaching staff, Dave Clawson turned to the Ivy League.
It was announced Tuesday that Clawson has hired Ryan Crawford as a defensive assistant. Crawford’s specific title and responsibilities haven’t yet been laid out by the football program.
Crawford will serve as Clawson’s 10th assistant thanks to the new NCAA rule that went into effect last month allowing FBS head coaches to expand their staffs by one.
“We are excited to add somebody with Ryan Crawford’s experience on defense and special teams to our staff,” a statement from Clawson began. “It is also nice to get a coach from North Carolina who has worked at other great academic schools and understands the role of the student-athlete.”
The past six seasons, Crawford, who the school noted in its release “worked as a stuntman and featured extra in the movie ‘Radio’ starring Cuba Gooding, Jr.,” has served as the secondary coach at Harvard. The past four years, he also held the title of special teams coordinator for the Crimson.
This will mark Crawford’s first job at the FBS level let alone at a Power Five program.
The 2017 season was put to bed a little over a week ago, so the focus of the college football world has shifted to 2018.
In that vein, the ACC Wednesday released its football schedule for the upcoming season. The first game featuring a team from the conference will have Wake Forest traveling to Tulane on Thursday, Aug. 30. The first league game sees Virginia Tech traveling to Tallahassee on Labor Day to face Florida State in a primetime matchup.
Opening weekend will also see the ACC involved in a pair of neutral-site nonconference matchups: Louisville against defending national champion Alabama in Orlando Saturday, Sept. 1, and Miami facing LSU the next day in Arlington.
There are also five previously-announced games against scheduling partner Notre Dame, including road trips to South Bend for FSU (Nov. 10) and Pitt (Oct. 13). Wake (Sept. 22) and Virginia Tech (Oct. 6) will play host to the Irish, while Syracuse and Notre Dame will square off at Yankee Stadium Nov. 17.
The release announcing the schedule notes that ACC teams will play more games (19) against Power 5 competition than any other P5, and their members will also play 27 games against non-conference opponents that participated in bowl games last season, the highest total among Power 5 conferences.
“The 2018 ACC Football schedule provides our schools and programs the opportunity to build upon the numerous football successes that have been achieved in recent years,” said ACC commissioner John Swofford in a statement. “Once again, our teams will be facing both a daunting conference schedule and what is collectively the most challenging non-conference schedule in the country. There will be no shortage of excitement for fans on a weekly basis.”
You can click HERE for the composite schedule, HERE for the team-by-team schedule and HERE for the ever-popular logo schedule.
Wake Forest defensive back Jessie Bates is joining the crowd of underclassmen in declaring for the 2018 NFL Draft. Bates announced his decision to declare for the draft this spring with a statement on Twitter.
Bates ended his 2017 season with 77 tackles and an interception. Some scouts seem to think Bates could have benefitted with his NFL Draft stock if he stuck around another year, but Bates will still be a talented prospect NFL teams in need of some defensive and special teams help will consider. He could go in the second or third round of the NFL Draft, in all likelihood.
There are now at least 75 underclassmen declared for the upcoming NFL Draft, with the deadline to make such a decision quickly approaching. Bates announced his decision th same day as USC running back Ronald Jones II, Notre Dame running back Josh Adams, and Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson.