Saturday’s game between Wake Forest and Louisville was very personal for Demon Deacons running back Matt Colburn II.
For his entire senior year of high school, Colburn had been committed to Louisville. Then, in 2015, he was told by Louisville the university had pulled his scholarship offer, fewer than 48 hours before National Signing Day. The Cardinals wanted him to grayshirt, basically a delayed scholarship that would have kept him from joining the program — or enrolling at the university — until the season had already ended.
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Colburn ended up accepting an offer from Wake Forest, and now, as a senior, he’s getting his full revenge on the team that spurned him. In Saturday’s game, he exploded for a 74-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and celebrated by trolling Louisville fans with their “L” hand.
Colburn continued to dominate, rushing for 243 yards — a new career high. He also finished with three touchdowns, all on just 20 carries (12.1 ypc).
This isn’t the first time Colburn has faced Louisville. In fact, he has played against the Cardinals in all four of his years (winning his first game in 2017). Last season, he set a then-career high 134 yards against the Cardinals. Prior to playing Louisville on Saturday, Colburn admitted he was still upset about having the scholarship pulled from him.
“Oh yeah, of course,” Colburn said, via The State (Columbia, S.C.). “I mean, definitely when it happened, it was definitely something … that just added more chips to my shoulder, bigger chips to my shoulder. But you know, I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder and like I said, this game is as big as any other game we play this year, but it’s the biggest game of the year right now because it’s the next game.”
His teammates know it, too.
“But it is a little bit personal for him and it’s a big deal. You can’t pretend that that’s not a factor, and you can’t overlook the fact that he looks forward to playing these guys,” fellow running back Cade Carney said. “He circles this game because of what it meant to him. You can’t blame him.”
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