Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Turnovers Doom Wake Forest in Duke's Mayo Bowl

CHARLOTTE - Wake Forest jumped out to an early two-touchdown lead over Wisconsin on Wednesday afternoon, but four second-half interceptions were too much to overcome as the Demon Deacons fell in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl in Charlotte, 42-28.

All of the scoring for Wake Forest was by players who played their prep ball in North Carolina. Former Hertford County standout Jaquarii Roberson had a stellar day, hauling in eight catches for 131 yards. His three scoring catches tied a bowl record. Former East Forsyth Eagle Christian-Beal Smith had the other touchdown for the Demon Deacons.

Wake Forest is now 15-12 in neutral site games in Charlotte and 2-1 in Charlotte-based bowls games, winning the 2007 Meineke Car Care Bowl and the 20017 Belk Bowl. The Demon Deacons are now 4-12 against Big Ten opponents. Wake Forest has now played in five straight bowl games for the first time in program history.

Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson

"First off, congratulations to Wisconsin. Football is usually a game where the team that makes the fewest mistakes wins. They made a lot less mistakes than us and they played much better fundamental football. I am proud of the way we competed to the very end. I thought our guys battled physically, but we just made too many fatal mistakes to overcome. A blocked punt that leads to a touchdown; we take a lead in the third quarter and then we give up a 59-yard kickoff return. We threw four interceptions in the last 17 or 18 minutes of the game. We had some violations on defense in the play-action game. What happened was a very good, hard fought and competitive game got out of hand because of all the turnovers and special teams miscues. We just made way too many mistakes to win the football game. Again, congratulations to Wisconsin. I certainly want to thank our coaches, staff, and players for the commitment they have made since July. I want to thank Danny Morrison and the Charlotte Sports Foundation for inviting us to play in their bowl game, and the Panthers and Duke's Mayo for their sponsorship of this event. Again, we did a lot of good things. We moved the football. It is not too often you outgain a team 518 to 266 and lose the game. But when you throw four picks, you are not going to ever overcome that. I am disappointed, but proud of the effort. We'll learn from it, grow from it and hopefully be a better program in 2021 because of it."