Wake misses chance at 1st back-to-back Top 25 wins
Chasing the first consecutive wins over Top 25 teams in school
history, Wake Forest was feeling pretty good about itself.
Maybe too good.
The Demon Deacons were denied their historical footnote Saturday
night when they allowed an early 10-point lead to slip away in a
38-17 loss to No. 19 Virginia Tech.
”I feel like last week’s win went to our head a little bit, and
we came out here thinking we were going to win just because we beat
Florida State,” receiver Chris Givens said. ”And this is what
happens when you play in a league like the ACC and you don’t come
to play every single day.”
Tanner Price was 19 of 33 for 254 yards with touchdowns of 79
yards to Givens and 4 yards to Cameron Ford. Givens finished with
seven catches for 140 yards for Wake Forest (4-2, 3-1 ACC), which
couldn’t conjure up the same enthusiasm that delivered its upset of
the then-23rd-ranked Seminoles.
”It’s just hard to get a team to come back and play with the
same energy,” coach Jim Grobe said. ”Not to make excuses, but in
our locker room last week, it was almost buzzing. There was almost
an electricity in our locker room that you could sense. And
tonight, I just didn’t feel that.”
The Demon Deacons were humiliated in last year’s 52-21 loss in
Blacksburg, and had plenty of early reasons to believe in the upset
this time, needing a little over eight minutes to jump out to a
10-0 lead after their longest play of the year.
Givens slipped past Jayron Hosley while going deep down the
middle, Price hit him in stride and he outran the Tech cornerback
to the end zone for Wake Forest’s fourth scoring play of at least
40 yards this season. At that point, the Demon Deacons had
outgained Virginia Tech 122-2.
”We knew we’d eventually hit something that kind of got us
going, and it took off from there,” Tech quarterback Logan Thomas
said. ”I think we could just chip away and we would have been
perfectly fine, but just coming back the way we did, it was a good
confidence boost for the offense, and the defense did a great job
Thomas accounted for four touchdowns – two rushing and two
passing – and finished 17 of 32 for 280 yards. He had scoring
passes of 20 yards to Jarrett Boykin and 30 yards to Marcus Davis,
and TD runs of 1 and 3 yards to help the Hokies (6-1, 2-1) escape
that early hole and take command with four touchdowns in an
11-minute, 7-second span.
”It started so good, and we went so flat, that I can’t really
explain it,” Grobe said.
Boykin caught seven passes for 149 yards to help Virginia Tech
win its second straight overall and its fifth in a row in the
series, and snap Wake Forest’s four-game winning streak.
David Wilson finished with 136 yards rushing and a 7-yard
touchdown for the Hokies, who couldn’t get anything going against
an inspired Wake Forest defense until midway through the second
Once they finally started scoring, they didn’t stop until they
had a comfortable lead.
Thomas found Boykin down the left sideline for 39 yards to the
Wake Forest 1, and that set up the quarterback’s scoring sneak that
made it 10-7 with 8:43 left in the half. One possession later,
Wilson’s 43-yard sideline run set up Thomas’ touchdown pass to
Boykin that gave Virginia Tech the lead for good.
Tariq Edwards then intercepted a tipped pass by Price, giving
the Hokies the ball at the Wake Forest 26 with 30 seconds left in
the half. Four plays later, Thomas faked a handoff to Wilson and
rumbled in from 3 yards out to make it 21-10 with four seconds
Wilson then made it 28-10 with 12:36 left in the third with his
touchdown run. After Price’s TD toss to Ford pulled Wake Forest
within 11 late in that quarter, Thomas answered by moving the
Hokies 96 yards in 14 plays and throwing his scoring pass to Davis
to push the lead to 35-17 with 10:49 to play.
After a punchless performance two weeks ago against Clemson,
Thomas has bounced back by accounting for nine touchdowns – four
rushing, five passing – in two games. He threw for three TDs and
ran for two more in last week’s win over Miami.