Military Bowl Preview: 5 things to know about Wake Forest

Military Bowl Preview: 5 things to know about Wake Forest

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-6) will take on the No. 24 Temple Owls (10-3) in the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman on Tuesday, Dec. 27 at 3:30 p.m. in Annapolis, Maryland on ESPN. But ahead of the ninth annual bowl game, here are a few things to know about Wake Forest. 

1. “WakeyLeaks” Scandal

Let’s get this one out of the way. A recent investigation discovered a Wake Forest radio broadcaster — Tommy Elrod, also a former assistant coach — was knowingly providing opposing teams with confidential information about the Demon Deacons dating back to 2014. It all started after a Wake Forest playbook was found in the Louisville locker room, and the investigation uncovered that Elrod was feeding teams “proprietary game preparations on multiple occasions.”

2. Been there, done that

This isn’t the first time the Demon Deacons will play in the Military Bowl. They were the inaugural champions in 2008 with a 29-19 victory over Navy, although back then it was called the EagleBank Bowl and played at RFK Stadium. For the record, Temple also made an appearance in the bowl game the following year when it fell to UCLA.

3. Strength of schedule

Although the Demon Deacons’ record puts them just at .500, they’ve had a pretty challenging season playing highly ranked teams, including Clemson, Louisville and Florida State. Plus, five of their last six matchups were against teams now playing in bowl games.

4. Holding down the fort

While Wake Forest’s offense hasn’t stood out much this season, its defense is a different story. Led by senior linebacker Marquel Lee and redshirt freshman safety Jessie Bates III, the Demon Deacons have held their opponents to slightly less than 22 points per game, good for third in the ACC.

5. More on Lee

The backbone of Wake Forest’s defense, Lee finished the regular season with 19 tackles for loss — putting him at the No. 12 spot in the nation — and 98 total. He is also second on the team to junior defensive end Duke Ejiofor (10) in sacks with 7.5 this season.

BONUS: Notable Wake Forest alumni include Arnold Palmer, Tim Duncan and David Chase, who created “The Sopranos.”

Click here to get your tickets to the 2016 Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman on Tuesday, December 27th.

MORE MILITARY BOWL: 5 things to know about Temple

Watch a George Mason walk-on receive a full scholarship

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Watch a George Mason walk-on receive a full scholarship

There are not many videos better in this world than walk-on college athletes receiving a full-ride scholarship and their ensuing reaction. 

George Mason's men's basketball team gave everyone one of those emotional moments. Jack Tempchin, who's in his third year as a preferred walk-on for the Patriots, received the scholarship after Thursday's practice. 

His teammates reacted appropriately. 

On Twitter, the redshirt junior thanked his teammates, coaches and family who helped get him to this point. 

As a walk-on, Tempchin has only played in 16 games throughout his three years. Most of his minutes have been in garbage time of blowouts or to come in the game to pick-up a quick foul. Throughout those appearances, he's put up six points, four of them coming from the charity stripe. 

Gotta love when a player gets properly rewarded for their hard work and dedication. 

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Virginia comes back from historic upset against UMBC to win the NCAA tournament

Virginia comes back from historic upset against UMBC to win the NCAA tournament

Shock and disbelief were carved onto the faces of the Virginia Cavaliers as they walked off the court from their lone NCAA Tournament game in March 2018.

The top-seeded Cavaliers had just lost, as is the case for 67 of the 68 teams that enter the big dance. But their loss was different. Their loss was unprecedented. 

They had just entered the record books for all the wrong reasons. The 2018 Cavaliers became the first-ever No. 1 seed to be upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to a No. 16 seed. 

The greatest upset in college basketball history belongs to the UMBC Retrievers for their manhandling of Virginia that day. However, that unlikely victory – as incredible and monumental the feat was – is not what is highlighted today. 

That UMBC victory sparked what would become a great comeback year for Virginia. A year later, the Cavaliers would squash their demons and take home the national championship.

Both years were exceptionally dominant for Virginia. The former being the No. 1 overall seed of the tournament. Combined their records were 60-5 excluding their NCAA Tournament games. To produce such an incredible mark, they rode on the back of their intimidating defense to get there. In 2018 they were fifth in adjusted defense according to KenPom. That rose to first the year that they won it. 

With such a good defense, it left some holes on their offense. Sure, they held opponents to only 53 points but they did not muster much better on the other end of the court. Their offense was a problem and it cost them by scoring only 54 to UMBC. 

Nothing changed for Virginia the following season. Their identity – a slower pace, defense-first mindset that many regarded as the sole reason for their loss to UMBC – did not waiver. Head coach Tony Bennett just had them improve in every aspect of their game. 

Most importantly, though, they got all their key figures to return. DeAndre Hunter, Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome were all there to avenge the loss.

It made the celebration for the Cavaliers so much more triumphant. It was easy to feel the relief that Hunter exhaled as he chucked the basketball to the rafters as the final seconds in the national championship game ticked away. A story tale ending was complete. One that was filled with chills and narratives that the best storytellers in Hollywood could not script.