Wake Forest's 2005 Football Schedule Announced

Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford released the league's full 2005 football schedule on Thursday. Wake Forest's season opener will be Thursday, September 1 at Groves Stadium against Vanderbilt.

Wake Forest will host Vanderbilt, East Carolina, Maryland, Clemson, NC State and Miami at Groves Stadium this fall. The Demon Deacons will travel to Nebraska, Florida State, Boston College, Duke and Georgia Tech.

"It's certainly an exciting schedule," head coach Jim Grobe, who enters his fifth season at Wake Forest, said. "I think we have a great mix of home and away games and we are looking forward to the challenge."

The Vanderbilt game will be the first game of the 2005 season involving an ACC team.

On September 10, the Deacons will travel to Nebraska for the first time since 1970. After the trip to Lincoln, Neb., Wake Forest will be home for three straight weeks. The homestand starts with East Carolina and continues with ACC rivals Maryland and Clemson.

The Maryland game will mark the first-ever "divisional" contest for Wake Forest. The Deacons are joined in the Atlantic Division by Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Maryland and NC State. Each of Wake Forest's first five conference games in 2005 will be divisional match-ups.

Four of Wake Forest's final six games will be on the road, beginning October 8 in Tallahassee against Florida State. That game will be immediately followed by an October 15 trip to Boston College for the first-ever ACC match-up against the Eagles. It will be the third straight year that Wake Forest and Boston College have met on the gridiron. The Deacons have won each of the two previous meetings, including a 2003 victory at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill.

Wake Forest returns home to play NC State October 22 before traveling each of the next two weeks to play Duke and Georgia Tech. The November 5 game in Atlanta will mark the continuation of a series that was interrupted in 2004.

The Deacons get a bye week November 12, but return to Groves Stadium for the regular season finale on Thursday, November 17 against Miami. Wake Forest is 3-2 all-time in Thursday night games at Groves Stadium, including a memorable 19-18 victory over NC State in 1997.

The schedule includes three teams that ended the 2004 season ranked in the top 25 and four teams that reached bowl games. Wake Forest returns 18 starters, including 10 on offense, from last year's 4-7 team.

Beginning this season, the ACC will play football aligned into two six-team divisions - Atlantic and Coastal. Teams will play all five opponents in their division, plus one primary crossover opponent every year and two rotating opponents from the opposite division. The divisional champions will meet in the league's inaugural football championship game to be held at the ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday, December 3.

This season, Wake Forest will not play North Carolina, Virginia or Virginia Tech. Wake Forest and North Carolina have met every year since 1943. The absence of the Tar Heels on the schedule will end a streak of 61 consecutive years that Wake Forest and North Carolina have squared off on the gridiron.

Game times will not be determined until 12 days before each game date.

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