2006 ACC Championship Game

2006 ACC Championship Game

The Dr. Pepper 2006 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship Game featured the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in a regular-season American football game to determine the champion of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Wake Forest defeated Georgia Tech by a 9–6 score to win its first ACC football championship since 1970 and its second in school history. The game was held at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida and was the concluding game of the regular season for each team.

Neither team was highly regarded at the beginning of the 2006 season, but each team outperformed expectations to earn the right to play in the conference championship game, which was the second in the conference's history. Wake Forest, the Atlantic Division representative, earned a 10–2 record behind redshirt freshman quarterback Riley Skinner, who won the ACC's rookie of the year award. Wake defeated tough ACC opponents Florida State and 16th-ranked Boston College to win the Atlantic Division. Georgia Tech, led by junior All-America wide receiver Calvin Johnson, defeated 11th-ranked Virginia Tech and North Carolina en route to winning the Coastal Division and a spot in the championship game.

Low attendance and poor weather marred the contest, which kicked off amid rain and fog. Defense dominated from the beginning, as Georgia Tech took a 3–0 lead in the first quarter. Wake Forest evened the score before halftime, however, and the two teams headed into the second half tied at 3–3. After a scoreless third quarter, Georgia Tech took a 6–3 lead early in the fourth quarter. After Tech quarterback Reggie Ball threw a critical interception, Wake Forest was able to tie the game, then take a 9–6 lead. With time running out, Wake's defense denied Georgia Tech a game-winning score, and Wake Forest clinched the win.

All the scoring in the game came via five field goals, and Wake Forest's kicker, Sam Swank, was named the game's most valuable player. By virtue of its victory, Wake Forest earned its first ACC football championship since 1970 and was awarded a bid to the 2007 Orange Bowl. Georgia Tech's loss and second-place ACC finish earned it a position in the 2007 Gator Bowl. Following the conclusion of each team's bowl game, numerous players from both teams were selected in the 2007 NFL Draft.

Read more about 2006 ACC Championship Game:  Selection Process, Pre-game Buildup, Game Summary, Statistical Summary, Post-game Effects

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