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Bad Beats

   by Ben Burns - 09/28/2009

If your team never gives you any hope of winning, the loss often won’t sting as bad. You can simply write it off as a bad decision, try to learn from it and move on.

Saturday’s Wake Forest-Boston College game seemed to be one of those types of games for anyone who bet the Demon Deacons.

It was a strange game to begin with, because the line had fluctuated so heavily. Most books opened with Wake Forest as the favorite, somewhere around 1.5 to 2.5 points. The number quickly moved across the fence, with Boston College ending up around a two-point favorite.

From the opening kickoff, that B.C. money looked dead on.

While Wake looked sloppy and unfocused, Boston College played inspired football on a day dedicated to their star linebacker Mark Herzlich, who in the spring was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer.

Boston College quarterback Dave Shinskie, a 25-year-old ex-minor league baseball player who had as many interceptions as touchdown passes during his brief career, carved up what had been a pretty solid Wake defense.

Shinskie’s third touchdown pass of the day put the favored Eagles up 24-10 early in the third quarter.

Wake had shown little signs of having a heartbeat. All but the most optimistic of Demon Deacon bettors likely chalked it up as a loss and turned the channel.

Our thoughts go out to any Wake bettor that decided to endure the ending. It was a painful one.

Out of nowhere, Wake quarterback Riley Skinner led two touchdown drives in the final four minutes. Skinner connected with Marshal Williams with 11 seconds left to send the game into overtime.

Boston College had to settle for a field goal on the opening possession of overtime.

On the ensuing possession, the Demon Deacons quickly moved inside the B.C. five-yard line. With first-and-goal from the four, Wake seemed poised to score the winning touchdown. At worst, the Deacons would force another overtime with a chip-shot field goal.

They’d get neither.

On a busted play, Skinner was caught in the backfield with no blockers. He fumbled on first down. Boston College recovered. Game over. Final score: Boston College 27, Wake Forest 24.

"I kind of froze when I saw this happening," Skinner told reporters. "It was just a sloppy play all the way around.”

Wake bettors agree.

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