This kind of game can be a hard one to judge. On five passes from Wolford, the Demon Deacons got their first touchdown of the day and just kept rolling. Theoretically, they should be well matched. It was a far cry from the feeling they had following their disheartening debut in Louisiana four years earlier.
Williams was going in with a different mindset. With a win over A&M, Wake can win a bowl game in back-to-back seasons for just the second time in program history (2007-08). So, the coaching change could mean nothing.
Players do play for their coaches.
"Those guys take an extreme amount of pride in where that program was when they got here and where it is now, and they constantly tell the younger players, 'It's your job to carry this on and raise the bar again'". "It was cool to be able to say congrats personally to players we knew".
It's doubtful anyone in college football has learned how to deal with adversity better the nine seniors on this year's Wake Forest football roster. Before last season's 7-6 finish that included a win in the Military Bowl, they had not finished with a winning season since 2008.
"That was my first time being on that track".
Texas A&M gave up a season-high 646 yards.
Texas A&M De Landis Durham vs. Wake Forest offensive line: The Aggies were tied for third in the nation with 40 sacks, led by Durham's 8 ½.
So-who's going to win?
While he has been a first-round talent throughout his junior campaign at Texas A&M, he should be rewarded for not sitting out his final game as a collegiate. Nick Starkel started the opener against UCLA before suffering an ankle injury and giving way to true freshman Kellen Mond (right). Kirk has caught at least two passes in every game of his collegiate career, and he's caught at least three in 36 of them.
The Aggies' opponents, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, enjoyed a solid 2017 in which they went 7-5, including a 4-4 mark in the ACC.
The Wake Forest-Texas A&M matchup can be watched online at WatchESPN. The Demon Deacon defense stood tall enough to secure a victory. Starkel also threw for 4 touchdowns on 499 yards, but had one interception.
As inexperienced as A&M is at the QB spot, the Demon Deacons have a veteran steady had there with senior John Wolford who threw for over 2,700 yards, rushed for 615 more and totaled 35 touchdowns with just six interceptions on the season. There's motivation on both sides, too. "It's their team; they went through the whole year with the schemes that they've done and had good success".
While most teams use bowl games as a springboard into the next season, A&M has tailored its game plan exclusively for the Demon Deacons given the Aggies' current position with a coaching change. That unit was not-so-special for Wake for most of the game, however, as, in addition to the two blocked punts, they had a field goal blocked as well. "Get off to a slow start, don't forget we've come back from worse, so I think it is a great opportunity for either way it goes".