October 7, 2006…..
Clemson headed to Winston Salem at 4-1 and ranked 15th in the country. The Demon Deacons weren’t ranked, but they were unbeaten at 5-0, and Groves Stadium hadn’t been very kind to the Tigers of late. In fact, Tommy Bowden’s teams had lost two straight there, and as the 4th quarter started on this day, it looked like it would be three straight.
Heading into that 4th quarter, Wake led 17-3 and were lined up to attempt a 42 yard FG. After having trouble fielding the snap, the holder tried to pull it up and run. Tigers DE Gaines Adams almost immediately drilled him at the 34 yard line, causing the ball to pop into the air. Adams pulled it down and raced 66 yards for the TD. Not only did he pull Clemson to within a TD, he also snatched all the momentum from Wake Forest, in turn giving it to Clemson.
Clemson wound up scoring 24 unanswered points in that 4th quarter, and temporarily exorcising some demons by winning 27-17.
QB Will Proctor was 20-30 for 214 yards, including a 20 yard TD pass to Aaron Kelly after Wake QB Riley Skinner fumbled on the next possession following Adams’ return. However, Proctor had one of his worst games of the season, throwing three picks and also fumbling the ball. James Davis had 95 yards on the ground, while CJ Spiller added 104, including an 82 yard TD run that sealed the victory for Clemson.
The Clemson defense was dominant in this game. They held the explosive Wake offense to just over 200 yards of total offense and forced 5 turnovers. The Deacs had just 31 rushing yards on 31 carries, with Riley Skinner having 6 carries for -25 yards.
You can watch the entire game here.
As most know, Gaines Adams went on to be drafted in the first round by Tampa Bay. Tragically, in 2010 he unexpectedly passed away due to heart complications. #RIPGainesAdams
Check out his Clemson career highlights here.