CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Put to rest those derogatory nicknames
for Wake Forest. There's nothing weak about the Demon Deacons under
coach Jim Grobe.
Behind do-it-all receiver Kenneth Moore and a swarming defense
full of big plays, Wake Forest rallied to beat fellow upstart
Connecticut 24-10 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Saturday.
Wake Forest WR Kenneth Moore made 11 catches for 112 yards against Connecticut in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. His 98 receptions on the season broke the ACC single-season record previously held by NC State's Torry Holt.
Often called "Weak Forest" for a long history of ineptitude,
Wake Forest (9-4) secured the second-most wins in school history,
behind only last year's improbable 11-3 mark that included an
Atlantic Coast Conference title and an Orange Bowl berth.
"You know 20 wins in two years for little ol' Wake Forest isn't
too bad," Grobe said.
While this year wasn't as stellar, Wake Forest finished with
nine wins in its last 11 games -- including a bowl win after last
year's loss to Louisville in the school's first Bowl Championship
The Demon Deacons had to come from behind to do it, reeling off
the final 24 points after falling behind 10-0 at halftime against
the Huskies, who were playing in only their second bowl game.
"We're not about losing anymore," Wake Forest cornerback
Alphonso Smith said. "We're not about coming close or competing in
It was a disappointing end to the Huskies' best season since
they completed the move from what used to be called Division I-AA
six years ago. UConn was limited to nine first downs and failed to
score an offensive touchdown.
"You have that pit in your stomach right now because you didn't
win," coach Randy Edsall said. "But what these guys did for this
year for this program, to get nine wins, to be [Big East]
co-champs, be ranked for the first time in school history, they
accomplished a lot."
Edsall bemoaned his team's lack of depth, and UConn had a hard
time keeping up with Moore. A senior playing in his hometown in his
final game, Moore caught 11 passes for 112 yards and was voted MVP.
Micah Andrews finished off UConn with a 9-yard touchdown run with
29 seconds left for Wake Forest, which was playing in bowls in
consecutive seasons for the first time and displayed an
Linebacker Stanley Arnoux highlighted a series of big plays for
Wake Forest with an interception and two fourth-down stops.
"Stanley Arnoux is one of those guys nobody talks about, but he
might be our best defensive player," Grobe said.
Tyler Lorenzen would agree. The UConn quarterback, disrupted all
day, completed just 13-of-26 for 98 yards and was sacked twice.
Donald Brown rushed for 78 yards for the Huskies (9-4), whose poor
second half ended their hopes of being ranked at the end of the
season for the first time.
"Defense played great. Special teams played great," Lorenzen
said. "Offensively we just didn't get it done."
While Wake Forest came into the game with a nation-best 10
non-offensive touchdowns, UConn struck first in an unconventional
way late in the first quarter.
The Demon Deacons' offense was shut out in a half for the first
time all season, with part of the blame pinned on offensive
coordinator Steed Lobotzke hectic schedule. Lobotzke was away from
the team much of the week while his wife gave birth.
Lobotzke returned Saturday morning, and the offense returned in
the second half, as Adams' 38-yard run up the middle on the first
drive of the second half got Wake Forest on the board.
Skinner put the Demon Deacons ahead late in the third quarter by
floating a pass to the left corner of the end zone for tight end
John Tereshinski for a 20-yard TD.
Arnoux's first fourth-down stop, bringing down Brown for no
gain, set up Sam Swank's 34-yard field goal that made it 17-10
early in the fourth.
Arnoux then broke up Lorenzen's fourth-down pass from the Wake
"There's execution problems that could be faulted on the
offensive and some with the quarterback," Edsall said. "It wasn't
just Tyler. There were certain things that each phase could have
done a little bit better."
The Huskies, picked to finish seventh in the eight-team Big
East, ended the conference's seven-game bowl win streak dating to
Moore was much of the reason. He passed former North Carolina
State star Torry Holt's ACC single-season record of 88 catches
early in the game. He ended up with 98, and was honored on the
field after the game as his family -- including his grandmother --
"It's definitely a storybook ending," said Moore, who grew up
watching Carolina Panthers games at the same stadium. "I remember
I was at a Monday night football game here and I always imagined
one day I'd be on that field. Today was that day."