Wake Forest holds on for 55-52 victory over Texas A&M in Belk Bowl

December 30, 2017 GMT

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – The Wake Forest Demon Deacons held on for a 55-52 victory over Texas A&M in the Belk Bowl on Friday afternoon at Bank of America Stadium.

A&M (7-6), which had scored on three straight possessions, picked up two first downs on its last drive of the game to reach midfield where Wake Forest (8-5) held on to win a wild offensive game that featured 1,260 yards and a slew of records.

A&M junior Christian Kirk, who many believe will declare for the NFL Draft instead of returning for his senior season, had a game to remember with 13 catches for 189 yards and three touchdowns. Freshman wide receiver Jhamon Ausburn added 12 catches and 112 yards with a touchdown as redshirt freshman quarterback Nick Starkel threw for 499 yards on 42-of-63 passing with four touchdowns and an interception.

It wasn’t enough to give interim head coach Jeff Banks the victory as the Aggies, who fired head coach Kevin Sumlin after a 45-21 loss to LSU in the regular-season finale, lost its third straight bowl game.

A&M hurt itself with three turnovers and seven penalties.

Wake Forest won its second straight bowl game by taking a 55-52 lead on a 1-yard run with 2:18 left by Matt Colburn II to cap a 13-play, 69-yard drive.

That answered a 10-play, 72-yard drive by A&M that ended with a 13-yard touchdown catch by Ausbon.