Wake Forest Accepts Invite to Belk Bowl Against Texas A&M
Dec. 3, 2017
Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeFB)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Wake Forest has received an invitation to play Texas A&M in the Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Friday, Dec. 29. The game will kickoff at 1 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN. The invitation marks Wake Forest's 12th all-time bowl selection and its second consecutive bowl invite.
"This team is very deserving of playing in a Tier I bowl and the Belk Bowl is the perfect fit for this team and our fans," said head coach Dave Clawson. "The opportunity to play an outstanding SEC opponent like Texas A&M in a great stadium like Bank of America Stadium in a great bowl like the Belk Bowl is what our team has worked hard to achieve all season."
"It has been 10 years since we played a bowl game in Charlotte and we are very excited to return to the Belk Bowl," said Athletic Director Ron Wellman. "The opportunity to play in a Tier 1 bowl game so close to home is exciting to our team and our fans. We brought 30,000 fans to Charlotte in 2007 and we expect that number to increase because of our large number of alumni in the area. Our fans are thrilled with all that this team has accomplished this year and the future of Wake Forest football."
Wake Forest is 7-5 on the season and finished tied for third in the ACC's rugged Atlantic Division. The Demon Deacons' seven regular season victories were the most since the 2008 team won seven times. Wake Forest has defeated five teams that are bowl-eligible, tying the school record set in 2008.
Texas A&M is 7-5 overall, 4-4 in the SEC and finished tied for fourth in the SEC West. The Aggies dismissed head coach Kevin Sumlin following the regular season and are expected to name a new head coach on Monday. Assistant coach Jeff Banks is serving as the Aggies' interim head coach.
"Texas A&M is an excellent football team," said Clawson. "They have won some shootouts with a strong offense and also won some close games with an outstanding defense."
Wake Forest and Texas A&M have never met in football. The Belk Bowl will serve as Wake Forest's third bowl game against an SEC opponent. The Deacons fell to LSU in the 1979 Tangerine Bowl and to Mississippi State in the 2011 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.
The 2017 season marks the eighth time in 18 seasons that Clawson has led his team to the postseason. He was 4-3 in three FCS playoff appearances. At Bowling Green, Clawson's team were invited to three bowl games in six seasons. This is Wake Forest's second bowl appearance in Clawson's four years.
Wake Forest is 7-4 all-time in bowl games. The Deacons first appeared in the 1946 Gator Bowl and posted a 26-14 win over South Carolina. Wake Forest also appeared in the 1949 Dixie Bowl, the 1979 Tangerine Bowl, 1992 Independence Bowl, the 1999 Aloha Bowl, the 2002 Seattle Bowl, the 2007 FedEx Orange Bowl, the 2007 Meineke Car Care Bowl, the 2008 EagleBank Bowl and the 2011 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. In 2016, the Deacons beat No. 23 Temple 34-26 in the Military Bowl to complete a 7-6 campaign.
Clawson has excelled in his fourth year at each of his four head coaching stops. His four fourth-year teams have a combined record of 36-16 with four postseason appearances.
Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets by visiting Bowl Central or calling 336-758-3322. For the latest updates please visit belkbowl.com, follow on Twitter @BelkBowl or like the Belk Bowl on Facebook.
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