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Wake Forest Borrows Script and Beats Northwestern, 28-27

September 08, 1996|From Associated Press

It's a simple enough strategy. If you want to become the next Northwestern of college football, a good place to start is by knocking off the Wildcats.

"We all saw what they did last year and how it helped their program. We think we've got a good thing going here, too," Wake Forest receiver Desmond Clark said Saturday night after the long-suffering Demon Deacons blew a pair of 10-point leads before rallying for a 28-27 victory over the 13th-ranked Wildcats at Winston Salem, N.C.

Brian Kuklick completed a pair of fourth-quarter scoring passes to Clark, including a 30-yarder with 51 seconds left, as the Demon Deacons ended their 30-game losing streak against ranked teams and giving Wake Forest its first victory over a ranked team since October 1979.

"This is big, real big," Clark said. "Now we need to capitalize on what we've done and keep this going the rest of the way."

The Demon Deacons ended Northwestern's last chance with an interception by Tom Stuetzer with 34 seconds remaining, giving Wake Forest its first victory over a Big Ten opponent in nine tries.

Many in the crowd of 21,749 at Groves Stadium stormed the field and began a raucous celebration.

"What a great feeling," said Coach Jim Caldwell, who was given a contract extension before the season even though Wake Forest went 6-27 in his first three years. "The guys have been working really hard, getting stronger and getting better."

Northwestern, who had just 13 turnovers all last season, had two in the first four-plus minutes against Wake Forest.

The Wildcats' early troubles transformed Wake Forest (2-0) from a team that had won just two Atlantic Coast Conference games in three seasons into one that pulled off one of the biggest upsets in school history.

No. 7 Penn State 24, Louisville 7--Curtis Enis didn't have the kind of game he had against USC but he still rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown as the Nittany Lions took a 21-0 lead in the second quarter to beat the Cardinals at State College, Pa.

Enis had 241 rushing yards in the Nittany Lions' victory over the Trojans in the Kickoff Classic, also by a 24-7 score.

Enis started strong against Louisville, running over several tacklers during a 25-yard burst on Penn State's first possession, a 49-yard drive that ended with Enis' four-yard touchdown run.

Enis was pretty much contained after that, as the Nittany Lions got one touchdown off a blocked punt and got another after a fumbled punt.

The Cardinals (1-1) scored early in the third quarter, but were limited to 267 yards.

Indiana 40, Toledo 6--Alex Smith rushed for 174 yards and a touchdown and Toledo lost star running back Wasean Tait for the season with a knee injury the Hoosiers routed the Rockets at Toledo, Ohio.

It was the first time a Big Ten team was a visitor in a game with a Mid-American Conference school. Tait, who set MAC records with 1,905 yards and 20 touchdowns last season, was injured in the second quarter.

Indiana's Smith, who opened the scoring with a 72-yard touchdown run, also was sidelined by an injury. Indiana's Jason Spear had touchdown runs of three and one yards in the third quarter and a 32-yarder in the fourth quarter.

Minnesota 30, Northeast Louisiana 3--The Gophers, mainly a passing team last season, gained 283 yards on the ground and 151 passing against the Indians at Monroe, La. Freshman Thomas Hamner ran accounted for 154 of those rushing yards.

Northeast Louisiana (1-1), which plays UCLA at the Rose Bowl next Saturday night, drew a Malone Stadium record crowd of 24,842.

Wisconsin 24, Eastern Michigan 3--Tailbacks Carl McCullough and Ron Dayne helped the Badgers overcome a poor first half at Madison, Wis. McCullough gained 107 yards in 16 carries and the 260-pound Dayne had 53 yards in eight carries.

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