Postgame Notes

Oct. 10, 2008

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Sam Swank Misses First Career Game

  • Senior P/PK Sam Swank sat out the game with quad strain, snapping his 42-game starting streak. The streak was the longest current on the team coming into tonight.
  • Shane Popham, a redshirt freshman, made his first appearance in his collegiate career and handled both the punting and placekicking duties.
  • When Popham kicked a 22-yard field goal in the first quarter, it marked the first time that a Deacon other than Sam Swank had kicked a field goal since Ryan Plackemeier booted a 19-yard field goal vs. North Carolina on Nov. 13, 2004.
  • Popham also made a 32-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 7-6 with 12:57 remaining in the game.
  • Popham placed four punts inside the 20-yard line and averaged 34.6 yards per punt.
  • Popham was the first Deacon other than Sam Swank to kick or punt the ball since Plackemeier booted a 31-yard punt against Miami on Nov. 12, 2005.

    Alphonso Smith Ties Interception Record

  • Senior CB Alphonso Smith tied the Wake Forest career interceptions record with his pick at the 13:34 mark of the fourth quarter.
  • Smith now shares the career mark with Ronnie Burgess (1981-84) and A.J. Greene (1985-88).
  • Smith, the NCAA active career leader in interceptions, has three picks this season.
  • Smith's interception led to Shane Popham's 32-yard field goal that pulled Wake to within one point at 7-6.

    Riley Skinner Leads Deacs in Rushing

  • Junior QB Riley Skinner was the Deacons' top rusher on the night with 73 yards on 11 attempts. The 73 yards were a career-high, while the 11 attempts tied his career-best.
  • Skinner completed 22 of 34 passes for 186 yards with one touchdown. It was his first game this season under 200 yards passing, snapping a five-game streak dating back to last season.
  • Skinner orchestrated his fifth career game-winning, fourth-quarter drive. Skinner led the Deacs on a 15-play, 78-yard drive that lasted 5:05 and was capped by a seven-yard touchdown catch by D.J. Boldin. It was Skinner's second game-winning drive of the season (vs. Ole Miss).
  • Skinner moved into a tie for fifth in Wake Forest history in career passing touchdowns with 28.

    D.J. Boldin Scores First Career Touchdown

  • Senior wide receiver D.J. Boldin's seven-yard touchdown catch with 5:28 left in the fourth quarter was his first career touchdown.
  • Boldin also had a key catch on the game-winning drive. Riley Skinner hit Boldin for a 28-yard gain when the Deacs were facing a third-and-24 at their own 8-yard line.
  • Boldin finished the game three catches for 35 yards.

    Deacons Win as Favorite on Thursday

  • Wake Forest was the first favored team to prevail on a Thursday night ESPN game this season.
  • The previous five Thursday night games were all won by the underdog. Four of those five losses were suffered by ranked teams.
  • The Deacons are 6-4 all-time in Thursday games since the start of the 1995 season.
  • Under Jim Grobe, Wake is 5-7 on ESPN and 20-20 on the ESPN family of networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ABC).

    Deacon Defense Holds Clemson Rushing Attack in Check

  • Wake Forest held Clemson to just 21 rushing yards on 23 carries.
  • The Tigers came in averaging 6.3 yards per carry but managed just 0.9 per rush tonight.
  • RB James Davis was Clemson's top rusher on the night with 25 yards on 12 carries.
  • RB C.J. Spiller left the game with an injury in the first half.

    With the Wake Forest Win

  • Wake Forest improves to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the ACC.
  • The Deacons end a two-game losing streak to Clemson.
  • Head coach Jim Grobe earns his 50th win at Wake Forest and improves to 50-40.
  • Clemson leads the series 56-17-1.
  • Grobe improves to 3-5 vs. Clemson.
  • Riley Skinner improves to 22-7 as Wake Forest's starting quarterback.
  • Wake Forest improves to 26-20 at home under Grobe, 26-32 in ACC games and 14-15 in home ACC games.
  • Wake Forest has won three of its last four home games against Clemson.
  • The win should guarantee Wake Forest a spot in the national rankings for an eighth consecutive week. The school record is nine straight weeks in 2006.

    Miscellaneous Notes

  • Wake Forest's game captains were WR D.J. Boldin and LB Aaron Curry.
  • Tonight's attendance of 33,988 was a season-high and the 11th-largest crowd in BB&T Field history.
  • This is the first time Wake has started 2-0 in the conference since 1987.
  • Wake Forest's 12 points were its fewest points in a home victory since Sept. 10, 1994, when the Deacs defeated Appalachian State 12-10.
  • Wake Forest has been held to less than 20 points in three straight games for the first time during the Jim Grobe Era. The last time the Deacs were held to less than 20 points in three straight games was in 2000 during consecutive losses to Clemson (55-7), Virginia (27-10) and Vanderbilt (17-10).
  • Tonight was the first game that Wake Forest did not commit a single turnover.
  • Wake Forest was 10-of-21 on third down conversion while Clemson was just 2-for-14.
  • The Deacons are 10-3 in games decided by seven points or less since the start of the 2006 season.
  • DT John Russell led the defense with a career-high two sacks for nine yards.
  • Wake Forest committed just three penalties for 17 yards, which is the fewest number of penalties and fewest yards penalized this season.
     

     

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