Wake still in hunt for ACC title game berth
Confidence is still high at Wake Forest.
The Demon Deacons are shrugging off last week's loss to Notre Dame, and they aren't dwelling on their current slide of three losses in four games.
That's because they're still in the hunt to play in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game - if they beat No. 9 Clemson this week.
''The last two weeks, we've had something else to play for, and haven't gotten the job done,'' Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said Tuesday. ''But there's still a lot of energy, because the kids realize that there's still something to play for.''
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.
''We've put ourselves in good position to play in the big game,'' tight end Cameron Ford said. ''That's what we've wanted. With the talent we have on this team, we can get it done. It's really exciting to be a part of this.''
A win over the Tigers also would make the Demon Deacons bowl eligible and would end a five-game losing streak at Clemson's ''Death Valley.''
''This is something special, and the players realize that,'' linebacker Scott Betros said. ''We have a chance at this championship. It's never been on the line when we've played (at Clemson) before. We know what's on the line. We've just got to put it all together.''
Two fortuitous outcomes kept alive the possibility of a championship for Wake Forest: A victory over then-No. 23 Florida State last month, and Clemson's loss to Georgia Tech two weeks ago.
''We're lucky enough to have our destiny in our hands,'' right guard Colin Summers said. ''We're in control of it. We realize how important this game is.
''But 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; we're going to do our best to execute it on Saturday.''
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.
''You like to be in this position, where you still have a shot'' at the title game, Grobe said. ''You want to be in games that matter, but they've got a lot to play for, as well.''