Part 5 of our BC Interruption travel guide series takes us to Winston-Salem, North Carolina for road game #5 against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Hopefully this isn't the last road trip of the year. Here's hoping that there's 1, if not 2, road trips left for the Eagles in 2008-2009 ...
Opponent: Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Location: BB&T Field at Groves Stadium, Winston-Salem, Florida
Date: Saturday, November 22, 2008
Distance from Chestnut Hill, MA - 782 miles, about 13 hours, 7 minutes
Distance from Brian - 574 miles, about 9 hours, 34 minutes
Distance from Jeff - 340 miles, about 5 hours, 29 minutes
Our recent trips to Winston-Salem have not been very kind to the Eagles. Back in November 2006, in a game that ultimately decided the ACC Atlantic Division champion, the Eagles dominated the stat sheet but came up empty-handed as the #22 ranked Deacons rolled 21-14. Matt Ryan threw for 402 yards on 40 of 52 passing, but had two interceptions in the end zone that ultimately cost the Eagles the game. The Deacons would go on to embarass division rivals Florida State 30-0 and defeat Maryland, en route to their first ACC Championship game appearance (an eventual 9-6 victory over Georgia Tech).
These two teams met in North Carolina back in 2004 for a non-conference matchup. The Eagles lost 17-14, being beat on a Cory Randolph touchdown pass with a little over a minute to go. Mistakes cost the Eagles in this game as well, as kicker Ryan Ohlinger missed three field goal attempts of 40, 37 and 27 (the 27 yarder in the fourth quarter from the Wake Forest 9 yard line with a little over 3 minutes to play!).
In their last four meetings, the home team has won all four games, a trend the Eagles look to reverse this season. As mentioned previously, the Eagles are also 0 for 3 in regular season ACC games played in the state of North Carolina since joining the league.
Things to See and Do
To give you a sense of what to do while you are down in Winston-Salem, we have brought in a resident expert - Zach from the Wake Forest blog Old Gold & Blog. Take it away, Zach.
I've always been impressed by the gameday atmosphere in Winston-Salem, and I've rarely heard of visiting fans who didn't enjoy the experience. It may not be quite as big an experience as at a large school like Florida State, but the quality is there. In last few years Wake Forest fans have enjoyed being able to send visitors the stadium in a worse mood than they entered more often than not (a welcome change for sure), but we hope all visitors enjoy themselves otherwise.
Before heading to the stadium I recommend driving five minutes up University Parkway to Wake Forest's Reynolda Campus, the main undergraduate campus of the university. It's absolutely beautiful any time of year, and depending on the weather this year you may be lucky enough to still catch a few colorful leaves in the trees. The Main Quad (Hearn Plaza) on the north side of campus is where you'll find Wait Chapel (pictured) as well as the bookstore and Deacon Shop.
Heading to the stadium you should find ample parking relatively close to the stadium for a reasonably good price. The easiest bet for visiting fans is probably the large lot across the street at the LJVM Coliseum, across the street from BB&T Field, which will run $8-$10.
Like many places, tailgating is the thing to do on gameday. Depending on gametime, lots of Wake Forest fans will be set up hours before kickoff, and many are happy to share their space, food, and beverages with friendly visitors. They'll also be likely to point you towards the brand new Deacon Tower and tell you how far Wake Forest football has come in such a short time.
To get the full experience, I'd recommend walking around to the east side of the stadium to check out the student lot. You'll find plenty of tailgating, but students aren't always quite as friendly. Still, if we're lucky enough to have some lingering nice weather (unlikely, but possible), you'll find attractive females in sundresses and guys dressed up in the southern tradition as well. There's an argument to be had over whether or not this is appropriate attire for football, but that isn't important here; I'm just telling you what might be worth seeing.
If tailgating isn't really your thing, there are other food options near the stadium. Pig Pickens is good for some North Carolina BBQ, and a little bit farther down Deacon Blvd you'll find Putters Patio Grill with great sandwiches and "the best steaks in town." I highly recommend the homemade potato chips.
If you're looking for a place to enjoy a drink and some food after the game I recommend heading downtown. Foothills Brewery would be my first suggestion, with good food and plenty of beer on tap, or for something a bit nicer you could try 4th Street Filling Station or 6th and Vine. For some great pizza check out Mellow Mushroom, also on 4th street.
If you happen to be around for an extra day and are looking to play some golf, I'd recommend the Championship Course at Tanglewood Park – a good course at a reasonable price about 10 miles east on I-40.
If Boston College and Wake both keep things rolling this season we could be in for quite a game, maybe even with some ACC implications and almost definitely with bowl implications. I hope those of you who make the trip enjoy (most of) your time in Winston-Salem – just not the four hours you spend in the stadium!
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