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ACC Championship Preview

December 02, 2006

College Football: Georgia Tech vs. Wake Forest (1:00 PM ET ABC)

Wake Forest didn't take advantage of its first chance to earn a berth in the ACC title game, losing 27-6 to Virginia Tech at home on Nov. 18, but instead waited a week and steamrolled Maryland 38-24 on the road to take the Atlantic Division crown. For the magic of the season to continue and conclude in a once-unthinkable BCS Bowl Game, it will have to upend 3-point favorite Georgia Tech on Saturday in Jacksonville.

The Demon Deacons own a record of 6-0 (5-1 against the spread) away from home. It's amazing to see what Wake Forest has accomplished, as it lost both its No. 1 quarterback Ben Mauk and top running back Micah Andrews early in the season.

Freshman quarterback Riley Skinner is extremely accurate and shows the poise and courage of a senior most of the time, while junior Kenneth Moore and freshman Kevin Harris combined for three rushing touchdowns against the Terps.

Georgia Tech, which lost to Georgia 15-12 last week, will look to running back Tashard Choice (146 yards, one touchdown against the Bulldogs) to move the chains. That may be tough against a solid Deacons' run defense, which allowed just 3 yards a carry with good sized defensive tackles. That means it will be up to senior quarterback Reggie Ball to get the job done at ALLTEL Stadium. His numbers on the road: seven touchdowns, eight interceptions. In two important games against Clemson and Georgia, he completed just two passes to All-American receiver Calvin Johnson for 13 yards.

Coach Jim Grobe, who is certain to receive higher profile job offers, has his Demon Deacons in comfortable underdog role (+2.5) of which they are 16-7 ATS.

The blueprint for this contest might be right from the MAC title game, Georgia Tech offense having big play capabilities like Central Michigan against ball control team like Wake Forest.

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