Deacon History: Did Wake Forest Play vs. the Heisman Trophy Winner?

Dec. 10, 2011

If you're watching the Heisman Trophy ceremony today, which player are you rooting for? The one you saw in person or the one you only saw on TV?

If you're a Deacon season ticket holder in recent years, chances are you've seen two of the five finalists in person. Baylor's Robert Griffin III visited Wake Forest's BB&T Field in 2009 and helped the Bears to a 24-21 win over the Deacons. Stanford's Andrew Luck was also at BB&T Field in 2009 and it was Wake's Riley Skinner who scored the game-winning touchdown with two seconds left in the game that lifted the Deacons to a 24-17 victory.

Griffin completed 15 of 24 passes for 136 yards vs. the Deacons in 2009 and also rushed 13 times for 41 yards. In 2008, Griffin was less effective in Wake Forest's season-opening 41-13 win over the Bears. In that contest, Griffin, a freshman, completed 11 of 19 passes for 125 yards and rushed 11 times for 29 yards and a score.

The Deacons also ran into Luck in 2010 in a largely-forgettable game for Deacon fans. Stanford rolled to a 68-24 win in Palo Alto as Luck completed 17 of 23 passes for 207 yards and four touchdowns. Luck's highlight of the game was a bruising 52-yard TD run.

If Luck or Griffin win the Heisman Trophy, they would join a list of eight Heisman Trophy winners that Wake Forest has competed against. Four of those winners played against the Deacons in the year they won the Heisman, the other four in years either leading up to or following their receiving of the Heisman.

The four who won the trophy in the same year that they played against Wake Forest include Florida State quarterbacks Chris Weinke in 2000 and Charlie Ward in 1993, South Carolina running back George Rogers in 1980 and Army's Doc Blanchard in 1945.

The four players that the Deacons faced in their non-Heisman years include 1985 winner Bo Jackson of Auburn who rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns vs. Wake Forest in 1982; Nebraska's Johnny Rodgers who faced the Deacons in 1970 and would go on to win the Heisman in 1972; Auburn quarterback Pat Sullivan who faced Wake in 1969 and won the Heisman in 1971; and SMU's Doak Walker who threw two touchdown passes vs. Wake Forest in 1949, a year after winning the Heisman Trophy.



And here's a little known trivia fact: according to Wikipedia and the Old Gold and Black, Doc Blanchard's father played football at Wake Forest in the 1920s.
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