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Birmingham Bowl Recap: Wake Forest wins in a thriller against Memphis, 37-34

Wake Forest wins in a thriller for the program’s third consecutive bowl game victory.

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons defeated the Memphis Tigers in a thrilling back and forth Birmingham Bowl. The Deacs ended up hanging on 37-34 in a game that they trailed by as much as 18 points.

With the Deacs down 21-7 early in the second quarter, the Wake Forest offense started their comeback. QB Jamie Newman scored two rushing touchdowns in the second quarter after Tony Pollard tied the NCAA record for kickoff return touchdowns.

In the second half, both defense seemed to buckle up. Despite the Deacs getting multiple chances of drives starting on the Memphis half, the Deacs came up with 0 points in those two opportunities.

Quietly, K Nick Sciba impressed with a 49 yard field goal to start the scoring in the second half, while kicking three crucial field goals for the day. After Sciba had given the Deacs a 30-28 lead, Memphis put together a strong drive in the fourth quarter to take a 34-30 lead on a Patrick Taylor touchdown run.

Quietly and calmly, Newman and the Deacs drove to score. With big plays to Alex Bachman (who finished with seven catches for 171 in Greg Dortch’s absence), Newman managed to punch it in from one yard out after an amazing connection with Bachman the play before. With 34 seconds left on the clock, Memphis actually got all the way to the Deacs red zone. Opting for overtime, the Tigers lined up for a field goal, only for Memphis K Riley Patterson to make two field goals that didn’t count (timeout and then penalty) and then missing the important one that counted from 43 yards out.

What a game the Deacs got to experience and win. As it’s the third bowl game victory, the Wake Forest football program continues to build and improve under the guidance of Coach Clawson.

Congratulations to the 2018 Wake Forest Football Demon Deacons, the Birmingham Bowl Champs.