Wake Forest holds off comeback, notches highway win


A lot for Wake Forest being scared to play at Florida State.

No. 22 Wake Forest stormed out to a three-touchdown lead early within the third quarter and held on for a 31-21 win in opposition to No. 23 Florida State on Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium.

“Due to our employees and gamers for all of their laborious work, particularly after final week’s recreation,” coach Dave Clawson stated early in his opening remarks, not beating across the bush of final weekend’s double OT loss to Clemson. “That was a soul-crusher. And I used to be involved with our capacity to get them again.

“They simply put in a fantastic week of labor and ready and got here down right here and anticipated to win.”

The Deacons (4-1, 1-1 ACC) noticed a three-touchdown lead whittled right down to a 28-21 lead with 9½ minutes left. To that time, Wake’s earlier two possessions had netted minus-6 yards, whereas FSU bought again into the sport with landing passes from Jordan Travis to Mycah Pittman and Johnny Wilson.

A solution got here within the type of Wake’s most-important drive of the sport: An 18-play, 66-yard marathon that included three third-down conversions and one fourth-down conversion – one of many third-down performs and the fourth down had been Sam Hartman-to-Ke’Shawn Williams connections, and the opposite third downs had been Christian Turner runs.

That drive ended with Matthew Dennis’ 27-yard subject aim, giving the Deacons a 10-point lead with 2:55 left.

FSU (4-1, 2-1) tried a 55-yard subject aim with greater than a minute left but it surely was missed, sealing the Deacons’ bounce-back victory after final weekend’s double OT loss to Clemson.

After the Seminoles began the sport on a excessive word, Wake Forest seized management and didn’t lose it till about halfway by way of the third quarter.

FSU took the opening drive of the sport 83 yards on six performs, the final of which was an 18-yard strike from Travis to Pittman.

Wake’s protection buckled in after that, forcing three punts and a turnover, with the fifth possession leading to a missed subject aim.

And Wake’s offense bought rolling to the tune of 28 straight factors.

The Deacons’ first two drives had been marches, going 80 yards in 13 performs and 90 yards in 12 performs. Christian Turner capped the primary drive with a 1-yard landing push on fourth-and-goal; Hartman threw a 4-yard landing go to an open A.T. Perry – native Floridian, by the way in which – to present the Deacons a lead early within the second quarter.

That’s the place the turnover got here in, with Jaylen Hudson popping the ball free from Travis and Chase Jones recovering. It arrange Hartman’s 20-yard landing strike on third-and-Eight to Donavon Greene – his third landing within the final two weeks.

“We had a fantastic week of preparation,” Clawson stated. “Regardless of what some individuals would possibly assume, we weren’t scared to play this recreation. We had been very excited to play this recreation.”

Each groups missed subject objectives in the previous couple of minutes of the primary half; Dennis’ miss was the primary of his Wake Forest profession after beginning the season 8-for-8.

Wake Forest took the opening drive of the second half and went 75 yards on seven performs – six of the performs gained no less than 7 yards – and ended it with Justice Ellison’s 12-yard landing run.

Ellison, a third-year working again from Ashburn, Va., had the primary 100-yard recreation of his profession with 18 carries and 114 yards.

“We thought we might run the ball in opposition to them,” Clawson stated. “We went into this recreation and we thought it was actually essential that we had been balanced due to the way in which we threw the ball final week.”

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