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Wake Forest advances to ACC title game

Nov 26, 2006 - 4:49 AM COLLEGE PARK, Maryland (Ticker) - Kenneth Moore and Kevin Harris ran Wake Forest right into the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

Moore ran for 177 yards and a touchdown and Harris added two rushing TDs as the 20th-ranked Demon Deacons clinched the ACC Atlantic Division title with a 38-24 victory over Maryland.

Freshman Riley Skinner threw for 125 yards and a score for the Demon Deacons (10-2, 6-2 ACC Atlantic), who will play No. 16 Georgia Tech next weekend in the title game in Jacksonville, Florida.

"It feels really good," Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said. "When we looked at the team back in July, I thought we had a pretty good football team. We had some guys coming back. This team exceeded even my expectations."

"You have to give Wake Forest a lot of credit," Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen. "They played very well. We can't afford to have three interceptions like we did. When teams do that, they lose ballgames. I thought this would be a special game for us, and we had a heck of a shot, but I don't think that we got them ready to play the way they are capable of playing."

Wake Forest, which was coming off a listless loss to Virginia Tech, snapped a seven-game losing streak to Maryland and a three-game slide here. The division title was up for grabs following No. 18 Boston College's 17-14 loss at Miami on Thursday.

"We had a lot of tough road trips, but I thought this would be the toughest of all," said Grobe, whose team finished 6-0 away from home. "Maryland had a lot to play for. To come in here and get the win, I couldn't be more proud of our players."

Moore put the Demon Deacons ahead for good, 14-7, with a 19-yard scamper 40 seconds into the second quarter. Midway through the period, Skinner hooked up with Willie Idlette for a 49-yard TD to extend the lead.

"Our offensive staff felt like we needed to throw the football to be successful," Grobe said. "When Riley hit some throws early, I think that opened up our running game. We had a balanced attack. It was a good time to get our running game back."

A week ago, the Demon Deacons were held to 62 rushing yards by the Hokies.

Wake Forest took a 21-14 edge into the break and maintained at least a seven-point advantage throughout the final 30 minutes.

"Wake took it to us, especially in the second half," Friedgen said. "All we needed was a defensive stop, and we couldn't get it. That was disheartening."

Keon Lattimore ran for 120 yards and a TD for the Terrapins (8-4, 5-3 Atlantic), who endured their second straight loss following a five-game winning streak.

"I thought both Lance (Ball) and Keon ran very hard," Friedgen said. "We blocked well for them. The offensive line was able to move the pile the whole game. Both backs ran with a purpose out there. They did their job well."

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