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Deacons knock off Wolfpack, 34-27

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Wake Forest had lost seven straight ACC games and 11 in a row to conference teams outside of Duke before Saturday.

A visit from N.C. State changed all that. The Demon Deacons continued their recent home dominance of the Wolfpack with a 34-27 win at BB&T Field.

There was a late rally and scare by the Wolfpack but Wake held on for its fifth straight win against the Wolfpack in Winston-Salem and seventh in eight games. Sophomore quarterback Tanner Price threw for 297 yards and receiver Danny Dembry scored two touchdowns for the Demon Deacons, who rebounded from an overtime loss to Syracuse in the season-opener.

In his second college start, State quarterback Mike Glennon flashed the arm strength and talent that has impressed his coaching staff, with 315 yards and three touchdowns, but it wasn't enough to offset a slipshod defensive effort by the Wolfpack, which has lost 11 straight Atlantic Division road games under coach Tom O'Brien.

Price carved up State's secondary with six passes to Chris Givens (for 111 yards), five to Michael Campanaro (93 yards and a touchdown) and six to Danny Dembry (96 yards). Campanaro found Dembry for a touchdown on a reverse pass in the first half.

Wake led 17-3 and 27-6 before State stopped punishing itself and found a gear on offense.

To start the second half, State had its first drive derailed by a chop block and a dropped pass, the second drive ended with an interception in Wake territory (which set up a 15-yard touchdown run Josh Harris) and then the Pack had a 100-yard kickoff return by T.J. Graham negated by a block in the back.

Glennon found tight end George Bryan for the Pack's first touchdown, a 19-yard connection at 1:47 in the third quarter. Wake came right back with a three-play drive, highlighted by a 41-yard reception by Givens, and capped by a 10-yard reverse by Dembry, for a 34-13 lead.

Glennon answered on the next snap with a 65-yard touchdown pass to receiver Tobais Palmer, a throw which covered about 50 yards in the air, to make it 34-20 with 11 seconds left in the third quarter.

But after a Brandan Bishop interception with 5:56 left, Wake's defense gave up a 63-yard touchdown pass from Glennon to Graham.

State's defense came up with a stop and gave the ball back to Glennon on State's 34 with 3:26 left. The Pack got a first down, on a pass interference call, and moved down to Wake's 38-yard line but Bryan dropped a third-down pass and Glennon couldn't connect with Graham on fourth down.

The Deacs could not have started the game any better. Price hit his first eight passes, including a 31-yard touchdown to Campanaro on the first drive. Campanaro ran through an Earl Wolff tackle, then around three would-be tacklers at the 5-yard line, for the 7-0 advantage.

Jimmy Newman hit a 32-yard field goal on the Deacs' second drive to make it 10-0. After the first of Niklas Sade's two field goals, Wake coach Jim Grobe dug into the playbook for reverse pass. Campanaro pulled up off a reverse and hit a wide-open -- by a good 15 yards -- Dembry for a 40-yard touchdown.

State responded with Sade's second field goal, this one from 37 yards, and Price moved the Wake offense into State territory but had to settle for a 37-yard field by Newman for the 20-6 halftime advantage.

Price, who missed most of the fourth quarter of Wake's season-opening loss at Syracuse, looked poise and comfortable, showing no signs of a the knee injury he suffered late against the Orange. He completed 17 of 25 passes in the first half for 223 yards -- more than he had in 11 games last season.

While Price exploited State's blitzes and worked the soft middle of State's zone, Glennon was trying get State's passing game going. He completed 7 of 12 passes in the first half, for 52 yards, but didn't have enough time -- or as much room in the secondary -- to match Price's hot start.


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We played Wake Forest and Liberty

Lets come to reality.. Wake only won 3 games last year and Liberty is a D 1 AA school.  Can you only imagine if we played South Carolina or Tennessee in one of our openers... We would of been beaten like a drum...Glennon is the real deal?????  We will see,,If I were playing against us... I would bring the house.. we have a very weak running game... Offensive line is weak and doesn't protect well.  Glennon can't scramble, and not real sure I WR can get open if playing top level DB...

Thank god we play in a weak league...

Thanks JP

The twitterless  among us appreciate the post.


As a State fan, this stat will keep you awake at night: TOB is now 0-11 on the road against Atlantic Division opponents. 

Today was not pretty for NCSU.

Glad I was at the ECU game, even though the Pirates couldn't finish it for the second week in a row against a top-15 team. Watching the NCSU vs Wake game must've been rather agonizing. The quick, fast forwarded version of it I watched via the DVR wasn't pretty. 


Stun?  Really?  I think many of us were expecting this to be a possible loss.  In my season prediction post a week or two ago, I said that State would lose at least one game in September...this was it.  Take a few things into account and the result of this game wasn't surprising at all:

1)  State hasn't won in Winston Salem since 2001.

2)  State is hurt by a couple key injuries right now (RB, OL, DL), which includes the defensive captain of the team.

3)  State's offense is still trying to gel with the new QB and new WRs.

4)  Wake looked much improved over last season in their season opener, especially their QB.

5)  It's a rivalry game.


I'm not really concerned with this loss.  In fact, I was predicting it.  I was happy with a few things I saw today though:

1)  Glennon is the real deal.

2)  The O-line played MUCH better than last week against Liberty.

3)  The team definitely has heart and a no-quit attitude.  They easily could have rolled over when they were down 21 in the third quarter, but they kept fighting and very nearly stole one on the road today.


A few things that really frustrated me:

1)  Dropped passes.  Umm...George Bryan...what the hell?

2)  Blown coverages.  A few too many times, Wake's WRs were able to get wide open.  We can't allow this to happen so much and expect to compete in the ACC.

3)  Play calling wasn't terrible, but I would really like to see Taylor Gentry get involved in the offense, and I'd also like to see more shots taken down the field.  Glennon has a great arm and he showed it off several times today.


I think the Pack will be able to build off of this game today.  Hopefully they learned their lesson about playing hard and smart right from the very start.  I think Glennon is settled in now and my prediction of 7-5 for the season still feels pretty good.

One other thing

Forgot to mention this before. I thought the true freshmen in the kicking game acquitted themselves very well. Sade showed a strong and accurate leg and Baumann had 3 inside the 20. Not bad for kids just out of high school.

Also forgot

Yep.  The freshmen kickers definitely looked solid.  Hope they can keep it up.

better late than never.

Watched the game last night on DVR. I agree with Heels20 in that you summed things up pretty well. My observations:

  1. "Stunned" is not a word that applies to this game, unless you are referring to how quickly Wake came out of the box and put it to the Pack. Fact is that State is not good enough to take any team for granted, especially with key players out with injury. Next week will be no problem, but the trip to Cincy will be no cakewalk. They will be facing a potent offense up there.
  2. Give Wake some credit. They won't be a patsy this year as long as Tanner Price stays healthy. I was impressed by that kid.
  3. Glennon is the real deal. He still has plenty of room for improvement, but he played well enough to win yesterday. The TD passes to Palmer and Graham were as good as anything we saw out of RW. State is in good hands with Mike.
  4. George Bryan needs to get it Your senior captain has to make plays when it counts and he dropped two very catchable balls. That drop in the last series was the type of play that separates a championship team from an also-ran.
  5. Tobias Palmer's catch on that touchdown pass was outstanding. That kid has a bright future. I thought TJ Graham was solid too and hope he can continue to hang on to the ball. He did well yesterday, except for the one time he put the ball on the ground.
  6. Not sure what to say about the defense. Yes, the D-line is pretty much decimated, but I don't really think that was the issue. The problem was a lack of mental preparation. The big plays Wake made were due to mental errors by the Pack defenders. The athletic talent is there. The mental preparation and toughness were lacking.
  7. TOB got outcoached by Jim Grobe. It seems like TOB wants to play simple, smashmouth football and the Pack isn't good enough to do that consistently yet. Wake's offense was diverse and creative. In the first half, the Pack's offense was plain vanilla and lacked energy. When the Pack had to open things up because they were so far behind, goods things happened more often.
  8. Couldn't understand the announcers criticism of TOB's decision to go for it late in the game on fourth down. The way the game had gone up until then, that call was a no brainer. The resulting TD on the play gave the Pack a legit chance to get in to OT and maybe pull out an unlikely win. I often wonder if I am watching the same game the announcers are.

I know it is early, but the Pack has the opportunity to define it's season right now. Next Saturday won't mean anything, but the trip to Cincy will be a true test for State. This team has a chance to be very good this year and is in a conference that seems to have a ton of parity. This loss shows where the problems are. They have two weeks to fix them.

On a separate note, my YSU Penguins put up 63 points in the first half on the way to a 77-13 rout of Valpo. This is after a very respectable showing in a loss to Michigan State last weekend. Looking forward to tailgating before next week's conference opener, which hopefully will put us on the road to a return to the playoffs this year. If we can get the Pack moving in the right direction, this could be a fun fall in the JPD household.

Great input

6.  In my personal opinion, I think the injuries on the D-line are really hurting us.  Seemed like we were blitzing a lot, but weren't getting to the QB.  This left zero room for error for our secondary, and they certainly aren't going to be perfect.  Perhaps we should have backed off a little bit early on in the game when Price was torching us through the air, but I can't say...I'm not a defensive coordinator.

7.  Hopefully as the season progresses and MG gets more comfortable, he will have more freedom in the offense.  As you said, when we opened up the playbook a little bit, good things started to happen.

8.  Announcers were pretty awful throughout.  And yeah, when Glennon threw that sweet TD pass on 4th and 10, the announcers quickly got into defense mode.  Got a good laugh out of that one.


Wake did what they do: misdirection, reverses, WR passes. Good game plan by Wake. TOB and Co. were outcoached by Grobe and company. I mentioned last week how I was worried about the early jumping of routes by State's DBs and that's what they did and paid for it. 

I know heels20 said "nice"

But, Glennon is the real deal ? The pack was down 27-6 ? Something like that. Anyway, he wasn't the "real deal" while the pack was getting their butts kicked. Lots of QB's look awesome when opposing defenses go into "prevent."

I was shocked, as well, when they used the word "stun" to sum up this game.


Actually, not so surprising, considering the author. Although, I guess I am, since early on I predicted a 6-0 start for the Pack. Whoever said (Yar or Max?) that I always made uniformed comments about the Pack was correct I guess.


Actually, I didn't have any problems with his play in the first half when State was falling behind.  Just like I thought he played well in the first game against Liberty.

If receivers weren't dropping balls, and the coaches were calling pass plays down the field, Glennon would have thrown for a lot more yards in the first half.  Hell, State only had the ball for 4 minutes in the first quarter, and that had nothing to do with Glennon's only negatively affected his numbers (barely had any pass attempts).

As I said before, Glennon is the real deal.  I really like the way he is taking care of the football too.  His only INT so far came today when he threw a ball to Graham who was supposed to come back to the ball on a curl pattern, but Graham slipped and fell down, leaving only WF players in the area.  Can't really blame Glennon for his receiver falling down.

Not sure if you even watched the game.  Those that did watch saw that Glennon appears to be legit.  He was reading the D well, moved around great in the pocket, and most of his throws were accurate and on time...even in the first half.


I'd say that's a pretty good analysis.  I only caught a portion of the last 3 quarters, but that post pretty much summed up what I saw.

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About the blogger

Joe Giglio covers the ACC for the News & Observer, where he has worked since 1997.