Deacs Outscore Aggies 55-52 to Win Belk Bowl
Dec. 29, 2017

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By Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeFB)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Wake Forest concluded the 2017 season with a 55-52 victory over Texas A&M in a Belk Bowl shootout at Bank of America Stadium. In the highest scoring game in program history, the Demon Deacons (8-5) edged the Aggies (7-6) in a contest that featured over 100 total points and 1,200 yards of total offense.

Belk Bowl MVP John Wolford threw for 400 yards, his second career 400-yard passing game, and four touchdowns in his final game as a Demon Deacon. Matt Colburn II had 150 rushing yards, his fourth 100-yard game of the season. Scotty Washington and Cam Serigne each had nine catches, for 138 and 112 yards, respectively, to lead the passing attack.

The Demon Deacons amassed 646 yards of total offense, the second-most in school history. It was the fourth 600-yard game in Wake Forest history, with three of the four coming this season.

Jaboree Williams, in his Wake Forest finale, led the defense with 11 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery. Cameron Glenn and Justin Strnad each had 10 tackles. Texas A&M jumped out to the lead as the Aggies blocked a Dom Maggio punt and recovered it in the end zone to take a 7-0 advantage early in the first quarter. The Aggies doubled the lead with a 2-yard run by Trayveon Williams to make the score 14-0 less than four minutes into the game.

The Deacs got on the board with a 50-yard pass from Wolford to Washington to cut the lead in half midway through the first quarter. On the next possession, Wake Forest took advantage of a roughing the kicker penalty on a field goal attempt and Wolford threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Hines to tie the contest. A 66-yard run by Colburn set up a 28-yard field goal from Mike Weaver to give the Deacs their first lead at 17-14 late in the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter, the Deacs pushed the lead to 24-14 on Wolford's second 7-yard touchdown pass to Hines. A 59-yard punt return from Jessie Bates III made it 31 consecutive points for the Deacs, who led 31-14 early in the second quarter. Texas A&M stopped the run midway through the quarter on a 52-yard touchdown pass to Christian Kirk to cut the lead to 31-21.

Cam Serigne set the ACC career touchdown record for a tight end with his 21st career touchdown catch on a 37-yard pass from Wolford to push the Wake Forest lead to 38-21. In the final minute of the quarter, Kirk's second touchdown catch, this one from 10 yards, made the halftime score 38-28 in favor of the Deacs.

Texas A&M opened the second half with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Kirk, his third of the game, to cut the advantage to 38-35. A 47-yard pass to Alex Bachman set up Weaver's second field goal of the day, a 27-yarder that extended the lead to 41-35. The Aggies retook the lead, 42-41, late in the third quarter on a 1-yard run by Keith Ford.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Wake Forest defense made a goal-line stand to force a 19-yard field goal, which the Aggies made to push their lead to 45-41. The Deacs retook the lead with 9:06 left as they went for it on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line and Cade Carney scored off an option pitch to give Wake Forest a 48-45 lead.

Texas A&M used a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jhamon Ausbon with 5:52 remaining to go ahead 52-48. The Deacs answered with a 13-play, 69-yard drive, capped by a 1-yard run by Colburn to retake the lead 55-52 with 2:18 to play. The Wake Forest defense sealed the win by forcing a turnover on downs with 0:28 seconds left.

With the victory, the Demon Deacons have won bowl games in consecutive years for the second time in school history (2007 and 2008). Wake Forest also set a school record with six wins this season over bowl eligible opponents.

The Comeback Kids
- After finding themselves in an early 14-point deficit, the Deacons scored 31 unanswered points to gain the lead.
- Wake Forest trailed 7-0 in last year's Military Bowl, only to score 31 unanswered points to take a 34-26 victory.
- The Deacs also trailed UConn 10-0 in the 2007 bowl game held in Charlotte. The Deacons won that contest 24-10.

Gone Bowling
- Wake Forest improves to 8-4 all-time in bowl games.
- The 55 points scored by the Deacons were the most in a bowl game since a 39-35 victory over Oregon in the 1992 Independence Bowl.

Why Not John?
- With his four touchdown passes today, John Wolford set the program record for single season touchdown passes with 29.
- He has also recorded multiple touchdown passes in a school-record seven straight games.
- Wolford threw for 400 yards, bringing the team's season total to 3,599 yards, eclipsing the previous school record for team passing yards in a season of 3,291 set in 2011.
- His 400 passing yards set a Wake Forest record for passing yards in a bowl game, eclipsing Riley Skinner's 271 yards in the 2007 Orange Bowl.

Strong Offense
- Cam Serigne set an ACC record for career touchdowns by a tight end with 21.
- Matt Colburn II rushed for 150 yards, becoming the third Wake Forest player in program history to rush for over 100 yards in a bowl game and the highest rushing player in program bowl history.
- He joins Kevin Harris (136 yards, 2008 EagleBank Bowl) and John Leach (116 yards, 1992 Independence Bowl).

Have a Day, Special Teams
- Mike Weaver totaled 12 points today to bring his season total to 114, a school record that surpasses 111 points by Brian Piccolo in 1963.
- Jessie Bates III recorded a touchdown on a punt return early in the second half, Bates' first career and the first for the Demon Deacons since Michael Campanaro vs. Clemson in 2011.

2017 Season in Review
- Wake Forest finishes the year with eight wins, the most since going 8-5 in 2008.
- The Deacons have won 8 or more games for the seventh time in school history.
- Wake Forest set a record with six wins over bowl-eligible teams in a season.

 

 

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