The Deacs down the 'Hoos 40-23
Preview: Virginia Cavaliers (1-2, 1-2) vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons (1-2, 0-2)
The October 17th game between the Virginia Cavaliers (their alternate nickname is the Wahoos) and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons carries conference and overall implications. Both teams are focused on getting to the .500 mark, and with the Deacons at home and looking for their first conference win, there's added incentive to get a much needed win.
And then there's the bulletin board fodder of Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall, as he stated that he was not fully aware of Wake's All-American defensive linesman Carlos "Boogie" Basham (he of the 3 sacks in 3 games and hailing from Roanoke, VA).
The Cavaliers enter the game looking to snap a 2-game slide within the conference (with consecutive losses to Clemson and NC State). Led by quarter back Lindell Stone (233 passing yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception), running back Wayne Taulapapa (44 carries for 177 yards, averaging 4.3 yards per carry), and wide receiver Terrell Jana (18 receptions for 195 yards), their offense is focused on providing support for a defense allowing 33 points per game.
Coming off a welcome win in their previous game (click HERE), quarterback Sam Hartman's steady play (584 passing yards, with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions), the efforts of running back Kenneth Walker III (255 rushing yards with a 5.8 yards per carry average), and rising wide receiver Jaquarii Roberson (13 receptions for 188 yards and a touchdown), along with a defense led by Basham, combined with playing in the comforts at home of Truist Field, the Deacs are focused on earning another win.
First half highlights: Virginia Cavaliers vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Wake Forest opens with the ball for the first half, and they waste little time in making their presence felt.
After an explosive play thanks to a 40-yard completion by Sam Hartman to wide receiver A.T. Perry results in a touchdown, the Deacs take an early 7-0 lead (13:08 in the first quarter). Once the defense holds Virginia to a 3-and-out, Wake puts their proverbial foot on the gas pedal with a 2-play 52 yard touchdown drive, highlighted by a 49-yard completion to Jaquarii Roberson. Kenneth Walker III closes out the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run to give the Deacons a 14-0 at the 11:16 mark of the first quarter.
Virginia would respond and get on the scoreboard via a 10-play 61-yard drive; a 19-yard run by Keytaon Thompson keeps the chains moving, and a 32-yard field goal by Brian Delaney cuts the deficit to 14-3. Once the 'Hoos slow down the Deacon offense, they would respond with a 11-play 73-yard drive, resulting in an early 2nd quarter score (14:56 in the second quarter). Key plays by Iraken Armstead (a 22-yard run and a 4-yard touchdown run) gets Virginia back in the game (trailing 14-10). Wake would respond on the ensuing drive thanks to a 32-yard field goal by Nick Sciba (12:35 in the second quarter) to make it a one-touchdown difference (17-10), and the Cavaliers, seemingly getting into a rhythm, would respond on the ensuing drive. Aided by a pass interference penalty by the Deacs' Gavin Holmes, Delaney would add another field goal (29-yards with 8:26 left in the second quarter), making it a 17-13 game.
The Deacs would respond, complimented by a 37-yard completion to Jaquarii Roberson, and at the 5:04 mark, another field goal by Nick Sciba would give the team a 20-13 lead. However, the Cavaliers would respond. Assisted by personal foul against the Wake defense, Wayne Taulapapa's 15-yard touchdown run would tie the game at 20 with 1:49 left in the quarter (and half). The Cavaliers would get another opportunity prior to the end of the quarter (and half), but Keegan Good's interception (the first forced turnover of the game), would keep the game deadlocked at the half.
Second half highlights: Virginia Cavaliers vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons
While Virginia would start with the ball in the second half, both defenses get off to a sound start. The first 4 possessions (2 for each team) end in punts, and at the 5:25 mark at the third quarter, the 'Hoos have an opportunity to take the lead, but kicker Brian Delaney's missed field goal from 36 yards out keeps the game at a standstill.
And then the Deacons' fast-track attack would get the engines fired up.
Just before the end of the third quarter, Nick Sciba's 38-yard field goal gives Wake a 23-20 lead, and while Brian Delaney's 42-yard field goal with 13:28 in the fourth quarter would tie the game at 23, the Deacons' offense would put their foot on the gas.
Literally 2 plays later, Kenneth Walker III would bounce and sprint for a 75-yard touchdown run to give Wake a 30-23 lead (13:14 in the fourth quarter). On the subsequent drive, Kenneth Dicks III's fumble recovery would setup a 4-play scoring drive, with Walker III closing out with a 9-yard touchdown run, pushing the lead to 37-23. Caelen Carson's interception of Lindell Stone, the defense's 3rd forced turnover of the game, sets up the Wake offense to add another score at the 5:36 mark of the fourth quarter, giving the Deacons a 40-23 lead and closing out with their second consecutive win and their first in the conference.
Closing notes: the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-2, 1-2) defeat the Virginia Cavaliers (1-3, 1-3) 40-23
The Deacons outgain the Cavaliers (483 total yards to 420 total yards) despite Virginia winning the time of possession battle (32:52 to 27:08). An area where the 'Hoos are able to make their mark is in the running game (38 carries for 218 yards, averaging 5.7 yards per carry) as Wake has a steady ground attack (42 carries for 174 yards, averaging 4.1 yards per carry). An aspect of the game Wake's coaching staff will likely pay attention to is an uncharacteristic 12 penalties for 119 yards (compared to 5 for 52 yards by Virginia).
Sam Hartman turns in another sound performance for Wake, as his 309 passing yards (and one touchdown, completing 16 of 27 passes) includes a 11.4 average yards per attempt. Kenneth Walker III's performance on the ground (23 carries for 128 yards and 3 touchdowns) is complimented by Christian Beal-Smith (14 carries for 58 yards). Jaquarii Roberson (7 receptions for 126 yards), Donavon Greene (73 receiving yards, averaging 18.3 yards per catch), and A.T. Perry (53 receiving yards and a touchdown) contribute, and defensive efforts by Carlos "Boogie" Basham (6 tackles and 1 sack) along with Zion Keith, Nick Andersen, and Traveon Redd (all of them have 9 tackles apiece) help drive the Deacs to victory.
Lindell Stone's efforts (24 completions in 42 attempts for 193 yards and 2 interceptions) in the passing game, along with Keytaon Thompson (10 carries for 71 yards), Wayne Taulapapa (10 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown), and Iraken Armstead (46 rushing yards and a touchdown) pace the ground game, and Billy Kemp IV (9 receptions for 68 yards) lead the Virginia offense. Jowon Briggs turns in a 2-sack performance for the defense.
Wake Forest returns to the gridiron on October 24th at 3:30pm, as they'll host the 23rd ranked Virginia Tech Hokies (3-1, 3-1). Virginia travels to Miami to take on the 13th ranked Miami Hurricanes (4-1, 3-1).
Photos and video via the ACC Media Portal:
Wake's Kenneth Walker III leaves the Virginia defense far behind.
Kenneth Walker III hits paydirt for a 3-yard touchdown run (one of his 3 touchdown runs for the Deacons).
Sam Hartman gives the Deacs another solid effort at quarterback (309 passing yards and 1 touchdown).
The Cavaliers' Billy Kemp IV making a play; his 9 receptions for 68 yards leads their receiving corp.
The Deacons enter the field and ready to compete against the 'Hoos.
Wake Forest head coach Dave Claussen keeps a steady hand in leading his team to their second win in a row.
The Deacons' defense comes up with a stop; a key part in their win is allowing only 3 points in the second half.
Automatic; Nick Sciba's efforts (4 for 4 in field goals, as well as 4 for 4 on extra points) help Wake earn its first ACC win.
Christian Beal-Smith's 58 rushing yards contributes to the Wake ground game's larger efforts (42 carries for 174 yards).
Wake's Kenneth Walker III and Christian Beal-Smith celebrate as the Deacs improve to 2-2 (1-2).