Wolford throws 4 TD passes, Wake Forest tops Texas A&M 55-52
Dec. 29, 2017
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — John Wolford threw for 400 yards and four touchdowns, and Matt Colburn ran for 150 yards and the go-ahead score in Wake Forest's 55-52 victory over Texas A&M on Friday in the Belk Bowl.
The teams combined for 1,260 yards and 107 points, making it one of the highest-scoring games in bowl history.
Wolford, a four-year starter and the game's Most Valuable Player, threw all four TD passes in the first half for Wake Forest (8-5). Colburn had a 1-yard touchdown with 2:18 left in the game to give the Demon Deacons the lead.
Wake Forest stopped the Aggies on downs on their final drive to seal the win, which was no easy task given Texas A&M's potent offense. Texas A&M's Nick Starkel threw for a Belk Bowl-record 499 yards and four touchdowns — three of those to wide receiver Christian Kirk, who caught 13 passes for 189 yards.
Scotty Washington had nine catches for 138 yards and a touchdown for the Demon Deacons, while tight end Cam Serigne had nine catches for 112 yards and a score. Tabari Hines had eight receptions for 58 yards and two touchdowns.
Wake Forest spotted Texas A&M (7-6) a 14-point first quarter lead following a pair of special teams miscues, but rattled off 31 straight points in a span of 11 minutes, 16 seconds to take a 31-14 lead.
But Texas A&M battled back to take the lead late in the third quarter.
The Aggies turned two blocked punts in the game's first five minutes into a 14-0 lead.
DeShawn Capers-Smith smothered Wake Forest's first punt attempt and Charles Oliver recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. On Wake Forest's next possession, Roshauud Paul partially blocked a punt that advanced just 19 yards. Starkel then completed a 42-yard strike to Kirk to set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Trayveon Williams.
But Wake Forest bounced right back as Wolford completed TD passes of 50 yards to an open Washington along the left sideline and 7-yarder to Harris on a slant route to tie the game midway through the first quarter. The second score came after Texas A&M ran into the kicker on a missed field goal attempt, giving the Demon Deacons an automatic first down.
Texas A&M: You would have to think Kirk will think strongly about heading to the NFL after a terrific bowl game. It's hard to believe he could do much more to impress the NFL scouts after an unbelievable performance.
Wake Forest: The most difficult task next offseason will be replacing Wolford, a four-year starter and the clearly the leader of the team.
Texas A&M: The Jimbo Fisher officially begins as the Aggies usher in a new era after six seasons under Kevin Sumlin.
Wake Forest: The future is looking bright for the Demon Deacons after their second bowl win in as many years under coach Dave Clawson.
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