q2794 BC-FBC-WakeForestRegrou 11-13 0528
Published in Sports on November 15, 2007 3:30 PM
By JOEDY McCREARY
AP Sports Writer
WINSTON-SALEM -- The Atlantic Coast Conference title is out of the picture for Wake Forest, but at least the possibility remains for another state championship.
The Demon Deacons are stuck in a second two-game losing streak of the season that dashed their already-slim ACC hopes. They now must refocus and prepare for a surging North Carolina State team, knowing they can sweep their three Tobacco Road rivals for an unprecedented second straight year.
"We're highly motivated right now just to get back to winning, and of course, all teams, when they go out there, are motivated to win," tight end Zac Selmon said Tuesday. "We just have to take our motivation and apply it to the game. Sometimes I think motivation without your brain can be counterproductive. We just have to be motivated and take our brains out on the field with us."
Wake Forest (6-4, 4-3) has dominated its instate rivals during the past few seasons, winning seven straight against North Carolina-based schools since 2004. But the Demon Deacons have swept North Carolina, N.C. State and Duke just five times since 1967, and they've never done it in consecutive seasons.
"Beating everyone in the state is really important to us," coach Jim Grobe said.
Then again, after a six-game winning streak ended with a loss in a tight game at Virginia, followed by a rout at Clemson, the Demon Deacons would be happy to just beat anyone.
"There was probably a lot of thoughts of bowl games a couple of weeks ago, before we got beat a couple of times," Grobe said. "We were on a pretty good roll, we had won six games, everybody was feeling pretty good about themselves.
"And right now, nobody feels very good about themselves, because you find out that when you're not winning, regardless of what you've done in the past, it doesn't feel very good."
Still, a seventh victory would be a huge step toward a second straight bowl berth for a Wake Forest program that has never reached the postseason in consecutive years -- not that they're allowing themselves to get caught up in the postseason chatter.
"We're not worried about a bowl right now," linebacker Stanley Arnoux said. "If a bowl comes up, it's not versus N.C. State, so we're just focusing on N.C. State."
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