Back Sage Wins the Surratt Bowl

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Sage Wins the Surratt Bowl

By Jim Johnson
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With his older brother Chazz on the other side of the field, the youngest Surratt went for 169 yards and a score on nine receptions.

Mack Brown tried to, once more, muster some of that fourth quarter magic that saw UNC come from behind to upset both South Carolina and Miami, but it wasn’t enough.

Up 21-3 entering the final frame, Wake Forest held on to pull out the win 24-18, thanks in large part to a(nother) herculean effort by sophomore receiver Sage Surratt.

With his older brother Chazz, a former quarterback converted to linebacker, on the other side of the field, the youngest Surratt went for 169 yards and a score on nine receptions.

After Jamie Newman missed him on a deep ball, early, Surratt’s first grab came on a late throw in traffic, over the middle. With a pair of Tar Heels on either side, and one basically climbing up his back, he somehow managed to not only come down with it, but somehow wiggle out and pick up another couple of yards to move the chains.

Newman missed him on another deep ball later in the drive, and the Deacs were forced to punt it away. The next one, however, connected. One on one, the quarterback dropped an absolute dime on the sideline to a tightrope-walking Surratt who reeled it in for a 41-yard gain. Four plays later, Newman called his own number for six.

After forcing a three and out, Newman went back to the sophomore, who picked up another 14 on a slant, before looking deep yet again, this time for a 51-yard score. Lined up in the slot, Surratt went vertical, uncovered into the second level, and flew by the Tar Heels safeties, basically running free. The ball was a bit underthrown, but Surratt adjusted, hauled it in, and dragged a defender into the endzone with him, making it five consecutive games with a TD.

A 28 yard gain on a 50/50 ball in man coverage, and a pair of five yard pickups later, Surratt entered the half with 157 receiving yards, a new school record.

UNC did a better job of keeping him in check in the second half, but the damage was done. The older Surratt, didn’t go down without a fight, though. Chazz ended up with eight tackles, one of which was for a loss, which was good for second on the team. Still, it was the younger brother who shined, and whose team came out on top.

Sure, this game between ACC rivals technically wasn’t a conference game, but it was much more important than some silly little mark in the race for second place, behind Clemson. This was for bragging rights. This was the Surratt Bowl.

And the baby of the family was the biggest winner.

Jim Johnson - Editor of Southern Pigskin, Producer of "Three & Out", and host of "Explosive Recruiting" on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. E-mail: Twitter: @JimJohnsonSP