Wake Forest suffered its first loss of the season on Saturday afternoon to North Carolina.

However, because this meeting was technically a nonconference game, the Demon Deacons are still undefeated in ACC play and are in the driver’s seat for the ACC Atlantic.

Wake Forest will face NC State next Saturday in a game that’s likely to decide the division crown. The Wolfpack are 3-1 in ACC play heading into their game with Florida State on Saturday.

After the game, Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson acknowledged the importance of next week’s game vs. North Carolina State.

“I don’t have to convince my guys of anything,” he said after the game. “They know what’s in front of them … We’re viewing next week as a championship game.”

If Wake Forest does win next week, it will have a two-game advantage over every other team in the ACC Atlantic with two games remaining.

If NC State prevails, it will still have to avoid any further slip-ups because it already has one conference loss this season. The Wolfpack close the year with games vs. Syracuse and North Carolina at home.

Wake Forest hosts NC State on Saturday. Kickoff time is still to be announced.