Nov. 25, 2006
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - Wake Forest completed the finest road performance in Atlantic Coast Conference history against a team it had trouble beating anywhere.
Now, after defeating Maryland 38-24 Saturday night, the No. 20 Demon Deacons will take their successful road show to Florida to play for the league championship.
Wake Forest (10-2, 6-2) will be seeking its first ACC title since 1970 next Saturday against Georgia Tech in Jacksonville. The teams did not face each other this season.
The final game of a crazy ACC regular season matched two of the league's most surprising teams in a duel for the Atlantic Division title. Wake Forest handed Maryland (8-4, 5-3) its first home loss of the season.
Kenneth Moore ran for 165 yards and a touchdown, Kevin Harris scored twice, and freshman quarterback Riley Skinner went 10-for-13 for 125 yards and a touchdown for the Demon Deacons, who became the first ACC team in history to go 6-0 on the road.
It was Wake Forest's first win in eight tries against Maryland since 1998. The Demon Deacons were 13-40-1 against the Terrapins all-time.
Wake Forest went up 28-14 with an 80-yard touchdown drive to start the second half. Moore had runs of 15 and 23 yards and Skinner went 3-for-3 for 35 yards before Harris scored from the 3.
Maryland's Keon Lattimore then accounted for all the yardage in a 49-yard drive that produced a 26-yard field goal by Dan Ennis, but the Deacons answered with a field goal to restore the 14-point cushion.
Maryland closed to 31-24 when Sam Hollenbach threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Williams with 12:54 left. But Wake Forest responded with a 10-play, 76-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Rich Belton on a fourth-down play.
Lattimore rushed for 119 yards and a touchdown, only the third player to reach the 100-yard mark against the Demon Deacons this season. Hollenbach was 14-for-26 for 125 yards, but threw three interceptions.
Wake Forest yielded 215 yards in the first half, but benefited from turnovers in taking a 21-14 lead.
Both teams scored touchdowns on their opening drives. Lattimore ran in from the 12 before Harris concluded a 13-play possession with a 2-yard run.
Next came an exchange of turnovers. After Riley Swanson took an interception 30 yards to the Maryland 16, an apparent touchdown run by Moore was erased by a holding call. On the next play, Skinner threw his first interception on the road. A 19-yard touchdown run by Moore made it 14-7 early in the second quarter.
The Terrapins' next two drives ended in interceptions by Alphonso Smith. After the latter turnover, Skinner threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Willie Idlette for a 21-7 lead.
Maryland then got a 1-yard touchdown run by Lance Ball.
Despite the loss, the Terps still posted their fourth eight-win regular-season over the last six years.
They'll have a chance to win nine games for only the 13th time in school history in a bowl game.