Wake Forest To Face Louisville In FedEx Orange Bowl

Dec. 3, 2006

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Wake Forest Demon Deacons, champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference, will face Louisville, Big East champions, in the FedEx Orange Bowl on Jan. 2, 2007 in Miami.

The game will be televised nationally by Fox and kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m. at Dolphins Stadium.

Pat Haden, Terry Donahue and Matt Vasgersian will call the game.

Tickets are available through the Wake Forest ticket office by calling (888) 758-DEAC or by logging onto WakeForestSports.com.

Wake Forest (11-2) automatically clinched a berth in the game by winning Saturday's ACC Championship Game against Georgia Tech in Jacksonville. The Deacons are ranked 14th in the Bowl Championship Series rankings. Wake Forest is ranked 15th by both the Associated Press and the USA Today poll.

Louisville (11-1) was an automatic selection to the BCS, but an at-large selection by the Orange Bowl. The Cardinals finished sixth in the final BCS standings, fifth in the Associated Press poll and sixth in the USA Today poll.

Grobe joins D.C. "Peahead" Walker as the only other coach to lead the Deacons to a pair of bowl games.

This year's berth in the FedEx Orange Bowl marks Wake Forest's seventh-ever bowl appearance.  The Deacons have won each of their last three bowl games.

Wake Forest played in the 2002 Seattle Bowl (defeating Oregon, 38-17), 1999 Jeep Aloha Bowl (defeating Arizona State, 23-3), the 1992 Independence Bowl (defeating Oregon, 39-35), the 1979 Tangerine Bowl (losing to LSU, 34-10), the 1949 Dixie Bowl (losing to Baylor, 20-7), and the 1946 Gator Bowl (defeating South Carolina, 26-14).

This will be Wake Forest's second-ever January bowl game.  Following the 1945 season, the Deacons earned a place in the inaugural Gator Bowl.

The list of the accomplishments for the 2006 Deacons keeps growing. Wake Forest won its first ACC championship since 1970 and have already shattered the school record for most wins in a season with 11. The Deacons were the first team in ACC history to go 6-0 on the road. Judging by winning percentage, Wake Forest is the second-most improved team in America. Wake Forest finished with a winning record in the ACC for the first time since 1988 and only the seventh time ever. The Deacons are ranked in the top 25 for eight straight weeks, the longest streak in school history.  Wake Forest swept its ACC Tobacco Road rivals for the first time since 1987. Finally, the Deacons broke their season average attendance record for the third time in four years.

The Cardinals are led by coach Bobby Petrino and boast one of college football's top offenses.  Louisville averages nearly 39 points per game to rank third nationally. Junior quarterback Brian Brohm threw for 2,738 yards in 10 games to go with 16 touchdowns and only five interceptions. On the other side of the ball, Louisville ranks 19th nationally in scoring defense, allowing 16.6 points per game.

Wake Forest and Louisville have never met on the gridiron.

Check back to WakeForestSports.com for additional FedEx Orange Bowl information as it becomes available.

ERIC POMS, CEO of the Orange Bowl:

On the match-up:
"We're tremendously excited because we have two coaches who are tremendously respected around the country in Jim Grobe and Bobby Petrino. We have two marquee quarterbacks in Riley Skinner and Brian Brohm."

On Wake Forest's season:
"After talking with Coach Grobe at the ACC Kickoff event in July, we knew that Wake Forest was going to make a run. After a bumpy start with injuries, what a year!"

Jim Grobe, Wake Forest head coach:

Opening statement:
"We're really excited to go to the Orange Bowl. We've played with a lot of pressure on us for the last 4-to-5 weeks and I'm really proud of how the kids responded down the stretch."

On how many Deacon fans will travel:
"I think we'll travel really well. We're not a large school, but we have great excitement around our football program right now. A lot of our alums and boosters will travel and we've created a lot of excitement in the community. We think a lot of people have picked up on excitement and hope they travel with us to the Orange Bowl."

On the excitement of playing in the BCS:
"We're a football team that will really appreciate being in the Orange Bowl. We don't take anything for granted. I can tell you that they're really, really excited to be in a BCS game. Sometimes teams take playing bowl games for granted, but we're one team that will be truly excited to still be playing football."

On Louisville:
"We know we have our work cut out for us. I've seen them on TV. They're very explosive on offense and they're a very good defensive football team. They're very impressive."



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