Deacons hold off Wolfpack

Published 9:58 pm Saturday, September 10, 2011

N.C. State rally falls short By Associated Press WINSTON-SALEM — Wake Forest’s players felt, well, a little embarrassed after blowing a 15-point lead in an overtime loss to Syracuse last week. So, when North Carolina State mounted a second-half rally in Saturday’s Atlantic Coast Conference opener, the Demon Deacons knew what to do. “Last week, we felt like we let each other down,” said receiver Danny Dembry. “We knew we had to finish, and when our chance came, we did.” Dembry had two TDs and Tanner Price threw for 297 yards and a score as Wake Forest held on 34-27 Saturday to win their fifth straight at home over the Wolfpack. “This is huge,” said Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe, whose Demon Deacons are coming off a 3-9 record last season. “I sensed this summer that we were better, but I wasn’t sure how much better. And after what happened at Syracuse (a 36-29 OT loss), we were a little shell shocked. … But this gets our confidence back.” Dembry, who had six receptions for 96 yards, pulled in a 40-yard flanker option pass from Michael Campanaro in the second quarter, and added a 10-yard reverse for a TD in the third quarter. Campanaro also caught five balls for 93 yards and a TD — a 31-yarder from Price. Josh Harris had 96 rushing yards and a score, and Jimmy Newman hit field goals of 32 and 37 yards for the Demon Deacons (1-1), who won their second straight league opener. Mike Glennon had a career-high 315 yards passing and three touchdowns, all coming in the second half as N.C. State (1-1) attempted to come back down 34-13 late in the third quarter. The Wolfpack also had first-half field goals of 45 and 37 yards from Niklas Sade. “It was certainly not a good effort on our part, and we have nobody to blame but ourselves,” N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien said. “I’m not into all this, ‘We fought back,’ and all that. 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. . There are no positives losing, ever.” Price, who had 289 yards and three touchdowns against Syracuse last week, picked apart the Wolfpack’s secondary in the first half with 223 yards on 17 of 25 passing. That helped stake the Demon Deacons to a 20-6 halftime lead. Price completed his first eight passes Saturday, including Campanaro’s 31-yard score, and a 19-yarder to Dembry on fourth-and-8 set up Newman’s 32-yard field goal with 2:04 left in the first quarter. “Coming off of last week, we were hoping to bounce back,” Price said. “We didn’t get down on ourselves, because we weren’t going to let one game ruin our season.” N.C. State broke through early in the second quarter with Sade’s 45-yard field goal with 14:13 remaining. But Price’s 31-yard completion to Chris Givens on third-and-10 set up Wake Forest’s next score, a 40-yard flanker option pass from Campanaro to a wide-open Dembry with 13:02 left for a 17-3 lead. “Honestly, it didn’t work that good in practice,” said Campanaro, who came out of the game in the third quarter with tightness in his hamstring. “But it looked really good out there today. I told him I’d throw it up there, and he was wide open.” The Wolfpack made their furthest drive into Demon Deacons territory midway through the second quarter, moving to the 19-yard line before it stalled, leading to Sade’s 37-yard field goal with 7:41 left. Newman then ended the first half with a 37-yard field goal for a 20-6 Wake Forest advantage. Harris tacked on a 15-yard touchdown run and Dembry added his 10-yard reverse for a score as the Demon Deacons pulled ahead by 21 points late in the third quarter. But Glennon, who threw for 156 yards and a touchdown last week against Liberty in his first career start, got N.C. State on track in the second half. “I just tried to not to worry about the score when we got behind,” said Glennon, who took over as the Wolfpack’s starting quarterback from all-ACC player Russell Wilson. “Sometimes you can get two or three touchdowns and be right back in the game.” Glennon, who hit George Bryan on a 19-yard yard TD for the Wolfpack’s first touchdown in the third quarter, found Tobias Palmer on a 65-yard bomb later in the period. He also hit T.J. Graham, who finished with 117 receiving yards, on a 63-yarder on fourth-and-10 with 5:34 remaining to pull N.C. State within a touchdown. “Mike definitely got more comfortable as the game went on, and we started rolling as a unit,” said Palmer, who finished with 96 receiving yards. “Early in the game we weren’t focused on what we were doing. We weren’t running our assignments to perfection, and it came back and bit us in the butt. It’s a learning experience and now we need to build off of it and move on.”