Wake Forest's football team lost at Clemson on Saturday 48-27, leaving the search ongoing for a spot in the ACC championship game.
The Demon Deacons (6-1 ACC, 9-2 overall), who entered the game No. 10 in the College Football Playoff rankings, can still claim the Atlantic Division title with a victory in its season finale at Boston College on Saturday. An ACC championship game appearance, at 8 p.m. Dec. 4 in Charlotte, would be Wake Forest's second.
The ACC champion, which will be ranked too low for consideration for the four-team College Football Playoff, is guaranteed a New Year's Six bowl bid, likely either the Peach on Dec. 30 in Atlanta or the Fiesta on Jan. 1 in Glendale, Ariz.
With Wake Forest trailing 17-10 at halftime, the Deacons' defense came up with a significant play. Defensive lineman Rondell Bothroyd swatted down a pitch attempt by Clemson in the red zone. The Deacons' shot at momentum was wiped out on the next play, though. Wake Forest running back Christian Turner took a handoff and fumbled, allowing the Tigers to take back possession.
They scored three plays later to take a two-touchdown lead. The Tigers piled it on from there — Clemson outscored Wake Forest 21-3 in the third quarter. Two of the Tigers' third-quarter scores came directly from Deacons fumbles.
Clemson's defense made Wake Forest uncomfortable early, allowing only one first down in the Deacons' first four series. Wake Forest responded with a field goal and an 11-play touchdown drive before the first half ended. But the halftime score was as close as the Deacons got to a potential victory.
The Tigers racked up 333 rushing yards, making it the second time in the last three games that Wake Forest allowed more than 300 yards. Clemson finishes ACC play with a 6-2 record, their final game against in-state rival South Carolina next week.