Sept. 10, 2011
Final Stats (PDF)
Postgame Notes (PDF)
Postgame Quotes (PDF)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Though the Wolfpack managed to get on track in the second half, a slow start coupled with Wake Forest's sharp aerial attack proved to be too much Saturday as the Deacs bested NC State 34-27 behind 438 yards of total offense.
"Certainly not a good effort on our part," said NC State head coach Tom O'Brien. "We have nobody to blame but ourselves. We have to get it straightened out next week. Coaches first, players, everybody on this football team. Too many big plays, we never gave ourselves a chance to win."
In his second career start, NC State quarterback Mike Glennon showed poise rebounding from a disastrous first half to throw for 315 yards on 24-of-41 passing with three touchdowns and one interception, digging the Pack out of a 27-6 third quarter deficit.
T.J. Graham and Tobais Palmer each caught touchdown passes over 60 yards during the Pack's comeback attempt. Graham finished with 117 yards on six receptions, while Palmer caught seven balls for 96 yards.
Curtis Underwood and James Washington split the rushing load for the second straight week. Underwood led the way with 58 yards on 12 carries, while Washington added 50 on 13.
Wake Forest's Tanner Price piloted a passing attack that had the Pack reeling in the first half, connecting on 22-of-35 for 297 yards. Chris Givens led the Deacon receiving corps with six catches for 111 yards, but Michael Campanaro provided the early spark by catching five passes for 93 yards and throwing a 40-yard touchdown in his only passing attempt before leaving the game in the second half with an injury.
"I’m not into all this ‘we fought back’ and all that," said O'Brien. "We lost the game. A game that we didn’t play well in. I have to get it straightened out and I intend to get it straightened out.”
Wake Forest (1-1, 1-0 ACC) struck first in the second half, extending its lead to 27-6 by capitalizing on a Josh Bush interception early in the third quarter. Four plays later, the Deacons were in the end zone on a 15-yard run by Josh Harris.
Later in the third, NC State (1-1, 0-1 ACC) found a spark from an unlikely source, as freshman punter Wil Baumann pinned the Deacs inside the two. After a three-and-out for Wake, the Pack offense found a rhythm with Glennon taking two plays to cover 38 yards on a 19-yard completion to Graham and a touchdown pass to George Bryan.
Wake Forest rebuilt its 21-point lead on a 10-yard touchdown pass to Danny Dembry, but the Wolfpack needed just one play to rebound, thanks to a 65-yard touchdown strike from Glennon to Palmer, the longest of the quarterback's career.
With the situation growing dire, NC State faced a fourth and ten from their own 37 with only 5:34 to play. Firing from his back foot with a Deacon lineman bearing down, Glennon hooked up with Graham down the seam. The senior receiver did the rest, taking it 63 yards to paydirt and trimming the Wake Forest lead to 34-27.
The Pack defense rose to the challenge on the following drive, stuffing Wake's fullback dive on third and two to force a punt.
On NC State's final possession, Glennon and the Pack clawed into enemy territory, driving as far as the Wake 38, but the Deacs broke up a fourth and eight pass to Graham to seal the game, 34-27.
Wake benefited from a good break on the first drive of the game to take an early lead. On second down at the Wolfpack 30, Harris coughed up the ball, but a fortunate bounce sent it into the hands of left guard Joe Looney. On the very next play, Price connected with Campanaro on a short post, which the receiver took 31 yards for a touchdown, sidestepping two tacklers on the way.
The Deacs picked up a key fourth down on their second drive of the game, converting a fourth and eight from the State 29 on a deep out to Dembry. The drive stalled three plays later, and Wake settled for a 32-yard Jimmy Newman field goal to take a 10-0 lead.
NC State responded on the following drive, with Washington's 17-yard run and an 18-yard reception by Jay Smith providing the spark. All told, the Pack would take it 44 yards in seven plays, culminating in a 45-yard Niklas Sade field goal, a new career long for the freshman.
Holding a 10-3 lead, Wake Forest went deep into the playbook to extend its advantage. One play after picking up a third and ten from their own 29, the Deacs ran a wide receiver reverse to Campanaro, who loaded up and fired a 40-yard strike to Dembry for the second touchdown of the afternoon.
The Pack marched back down the field, as Underwood and Washington combined for 39 of the drive's 44 yards on 12 plays, but could only muster another field goal, as Sade connected from 37 to make it 17-6 Wake.
After holding Wake to a three-and-out, the Pack took over and pushed the ball into Demon Deacon territory once again, but a fourth down pass to Graham fell incomplete ending the drive.
Wake Forest took over from its own 32 and after picking up two third and longs through the air, drove inside the Pack redzone for a 37-yard Newman field goal as the half wound to a close.
Next week, NC State hosts South Alabama with kickoff scheduled for 6:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 17.