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Wake earns uplifting win

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — When Wake Forest fans look back at 2016, perhaps they will remember an exciting victory in the Military Bowl as the culmination of the team's first winning season in eight years.

That's what Demon Deacons coach Dave Clawson would like to believe.

Wake Forest attached a positive ending to a season marred by scandal, using a strong performance by quarterback John Wolford to beat heavily favored Temple 34-26 on Tuesday in the Military Bowl.

After throwing an interception on the first series of the game — a turnover Temple used to take a 7-0 lead — Wolford helped the Demon Deacons rattle off 31 straight points before halftime.

Wolford left with a neck strain in the third quarter with the score 31-17. Wake Forest (7-6) then withstood a comeback bid by the 23rd-ranked Owls (10-4) to secure its first bowl victory since 2008.

That gave the Demon Deacons something to talk about this offseason beside a troubling spy story. According to a Wake Forest investigation, broadcaster Tommy Elrod leaked or attempted to leak game plan information to at least three opponents. Though Elrod has not released a public statement on the scandal, the school has since fired him.

The scandal was dubbed "Wakey Leaks."

"It was really important we win this game so this game and this bowl championship becomes the lasting memory for this football team and not some stupid hashtag that nobody in our program was responsible for," Clawson said. "That becomes the lasting memory for the team and not a bitterness of something we're ready to move past."

In spite of the distraction, the Demon Deacons snapped a three-game losing streak and won for only the second time since Oct. 8.

"I'm trying to fight back tears right now," linebacker Thomas Brown said. "It's such a great feeling. I really don't even know how to describe it."

HEART OF DALLAS BOWL: For Army coach Jeff Monken, there was never really a second thought about what to do on fourth down from the 3 on the opening possession of overtime.

Not with the way the triple-option Black Knights dominate running the ball and struggle kicking it.

Jordan Asberry took a toss and scored Army's sixth rushing touchdown in a 38-31 win over North Texas in a bowl rematch.

"One of our goals is not flinch and believe no matter what," said quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw, who ran for 129 yards and a score. "A lot of people say it's a questionable call. … We were determined to get it in."

The Black Knights (8-5) finished with 480 yards rushing, including 119 plus two touchdowns by Darnell Woolfolk.

HOLIDAY BOWL: Shannon Brooks caught a tipped pass from Mitch Leidner for a 13-yard go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter, and Minnesota, beset by turmoil after 10 players were suspended after a sexual assault investigation, upset Luke Falk and Washington State 17-12 in San Diego.

It was one of the few exciting plays in an otherwise pedestrian edition of what traditionally has been one of the country's most exciting bowl games.

WSU cornerback Marcellus Pippins reached up with his right hand and deflected Leidner's pass in the end zone, but it went right to Brooks for the TD and a 10-6 lead. That capped an 84-yard, 10-play drive on Minnesota's first possession of the second half.

The Golden Gophers (9-4) were looking to regroup after backing down from a threat to skip this game if 10 teammates suspended after a sexual assault investigation weren't reinstated.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Lindsay Allen recorded her first career triple double and Brianna Turner scored 24 to help No. 2 Notre Dame (12-1) beat Chattanooga 79-58 for its 15th straight road victory.

Today

Pinstripe Bowl: No. 22 Pittsburgh vs. Northwestern, 2, ESPN

Russell Athletic Bowl: No. 14 West Virginia vs. Miami, 5:30, ESPN

Foster Farms Bowl: Indiana vs. Utah, 8:30, Ch. 13

Texas Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Kansas State, 9, ESPN

Wake earns uplifting win 12/27/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 27, 2016 11:00pm]
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