ACC Football: Wake still in title hunt
WINSTON-SALEM ó Confidence is still high at Wake Forest.
The Demon Deacons are shrugging off last weekís loss to Notre Dame, and they arenít dwelling on their current slide of three losses in four games.
Thatís because theyíre still in the hunt to play in the ACC championship game ó if they beat No. 9 Clemson this week.
ěThe last two weeks, weíve had something else to play for, and havenít gotten the job done,î Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said Tuesday. ěBut thereís still a lot of energy, because the kids realize that thereís still something to play for.î
Wake Forest (5-4, 4-2) is tied for second place in the Atlantic Division with Florida State. Both are one game behind the Tigers.
A win at Clemson would give the Demon Deacons the tiebreakers with both the Tigers and Seminoles. A victory a week later against Maryland would put them in Charlotte for the ACC title game.
ěWeíve put ourselves in good position to play in the big game,î tight end Cameron Ford said. ěThatís what weíve wanted. With the talent we have on this team, we can get it done. Itís really exciting to be a part of this.î
A win over the Tigers also would make the Demon Deacons bowl eligible and would end a five-game losing streak at Clemsonís ěDeath Valley.î
ěThis is something special, and the players realize that,î linebacker Scott Betros said. ěWe have a chance at this championship. Itís never been on the line when weíve played (at Clemson) before. We know whatís on the line. Weíve just got to put it all together.î
Two fortuitous outcomes kept alive the possibility of a championship for Wake Forest: A victory over then-No. 23 Florida State last month, and Clemsonís loss to Georgia Tech two weeks ago.
ěWeíre lucky enough to have our destiny in our hands,î right guard Colin Summers said. ěWeíre in control of it. We realize how important this game is.
ěBut Clemson has a heck of a team, with one of the best recruiting classes in the nation last year. The coaches have a good game plan in place; weíre going to do our best to execute it on Saturday.î
Grobe says his team must be mentally and physically tough because the Tigers are at their best in front of their rowdy, orange-clad fans.
ěYou like to be in this position, where you still have a shotî at the title game, Grobe said. ěYou want to be in games that matter, but theyíve got a lot to play for, as well.î
The Associated Press