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 as well.''
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 quarter.
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 left.
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.