Bowl rundown: Deacons head to Pinstripe; UNC to Military

Wake Forest couldn't maintain its fast start but still returns to the postseason; the Tar Heels' win over NC State got them back to a bowl

Wake Forest and Duke are just over 80 miles apart, but coach Dave Clawson and his counterpart, Blue Devils coach David Cutcliffe, haven’t built up a traditional in-state rivalry. (Steve Helber / AP Photo)

Wake Forest is Big Apple-bound

Wake Forest extended its bowl streak to four straight years, the longest in school history. The Demon Deacons head to New York for the Pinstripe Bowl, against Michigan State. The game will kick off at 3:20 p.m. on Dec. 27 on ESPN.

Wake opened the season with five straight wins and visions of a battle of unbeatens against Clemson. Upset losses to Louisville and Virginia Tech lowered the team’s sights to a possible Orange Bowl bid. An overtime loss to Syracuse in the finale ended any chances of that, however.

Instead, the Deacs will face a Michigan State team that needed to beat Rutgers and Maryland in the last two weeks to get bowl eligible after a five-game midseason losing streak had coach Mark Dantonio on the hot seat.

Tar Heels return to bowl

In a season filled with games that went down to the final seconds, it should come as no surprise that North Carolina didn’t become bowl eligible until the last week of the regular season. A win over rival NC State sent the Heels back to the postseason for the first time since 2016.

UNC will play Temple in the Military Bowl. Despite the football team’s social media posts about playing in “our nation’s capital,” the game will be held in Annapolis, Maryland, although, in UNC’s defense, many of the bowl week activities will take place in D.C. The game kicks off at noon on Dec. 27.

Temple, which went 8-4 this year, is headed to its fifth straight bowl, a streak that includes losses to Wake Forest in the 2016 Military Bowl and Duke in last year’s Independence Bowl.