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No. 20 Wake Wins to Reach ACC Title Game

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By DAVID GINSBURG
The Associated Press
Sunday, November 26, 2006; 12:11 AM

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Wake Forest had just defeated Maryland to advance to the Atlantic Coast Conference title game, and it was time to celebrate with a couple of thousand of their most faithful followers.

Running to the far corner of the end zone, the players serenaded the black-and-gold clad fans with the school fight song _ a fitting conclusion to yet another successful foray on the road for the surprising Demon Deacons.

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 to lead No. 20 Wake Forest to a 38-24 victory Saturday night.

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.

"It feels really good," Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said. "These guys have even exceeded my expectations. They've done some cool stuff."

The final game of a crazy ACC regular season matched two of the league's biggest overachievers met for the Atlantic Division title. Wake Forest handed Maryland (8-4, 5-3) its first home loss behind an offense that was virtually unstoppable.

"They ran up and down the field on us. I'm really disappointed how we played defensively," Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. "We couldn't stop them at all."

Wake Forest became the first team in ACC history to go 6-0 on the road.

"We had a lot of tough road trips, but I thought this would be the toughest of all," Grobe said. "Maryland had a lot to play for. To come in here and get the win, I couldn't be more proud of our players."

It was Wake Forest's first victory in eight tries against Maryland since 1998. The Demon Deacons were 13-40-1 against the Terrapins and had scored as many as 38 points against them only twice before.

"It doesn't get any bigger, going to the championship game," said Skinner, who happily skipped to the locker room after a post-game interview. "It's what our goal has been the whole entire year. Obviously, a lot of people didn't think we could do it."

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.


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© 2006 The Associated Press

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