2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 2 - NC State at Wake Forest
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Sept. 10 at Wake Forest 34 ... NC State 27
CFN Analysis: COMING
(AP) WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Danny Dembry had two TDs and Tanner Price threw for 297 yards and a touchdown as Wake Forest held off North Carolina State 34-27 on Saturday in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.
Michael Campanaro also had five catches for 93 yards and a TD, adding a 40-yard score on an option pass to Dembry in his only attempt for the Demon Deacons (1-1). Wake Forest bounced back from last week's overtime loss to Syracuse with their fifth straight home win over the Wolfpack (1-1).
Price, who went 22 of 35 with one interception, hit Campanaro with a 31-yard TD pass in the first quarter for Wake's first score. Dembry had six receptions for 96 yards and one rush for a 10-yard TD.
Josh Harris added 96 rushing yards and a score, and Jimmy Newman made field goals of 32 and 37 yards for the Demon Deacons.
Mike Glennon had a career-high 315 yards passing and three touchdowns, all coming in the second half as the Wolfpack attempted to come back down 34-13.
The Wolfpack also had first-half field goals of 45 and 37 yards from Niklas Sade.
Price, who had 289 yards and three touchdowns against Syracuse last week, picked apart N.C. State'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.
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 option pass from Campanaro to a wide-open Dembry with 13:02 left for a 17-3 lead.
Givens finished with 111 yards on six catches.
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.
Wake Forest's defense then came up big on N.C. State's next possession, stopping them at the Deacons' 32 on fourth-and-short with 2:44 remaining.
Price hit 5 of 9 passes in moving Wake Forest to the Wolfpack 12-yard line before the drive stalled. 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 late in the third quarter as the Demon Deacons pulled ahead 34-13.
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.
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, and hit T.J. Graham on a 63-yarder on fourth-and-10 with 5:34 remaining to pull N.C. State within a touchdown.
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NC State (1-0) at Wake Forest (0-1) Sept. 10, 3:30
Here's The Deal … The ACC portion of the schedule kicks off with a couple of familiar rivals facing off. NC State will be making the I-40 trip to Winston-Salem to face Wake Forest for the 105thtime, with both programs looking to get an early jump on the rest of the Atlantic Division. The Wolfpack was fortunate to have opened against the Big South's Liberty, which was unable to capitalize on its sloppy performance. State survived, 43-21, on the effort of an opportunistic defense, but understands it'll need to execute far better in order to win a conference game on the road.
The Demon Deacons will have more than just NC State to contend with on Saturday—they'll be looking to get past Thursday's demoralizing collapse in the Carrier Dome. Wake blew a 15-point fourth quarter lead before falling to favored Syracuse, 36-29, in overtime. Adding insult to, well, injury, sparkplug QB Tanner Price will spend the week trying to get his sprained knee close enough to 100% so that he can suit up.
Why NC State Might Win: The Wolfpack's new-found offensive balance is going to cause problems for a Deacon D that yielded five touchdowns to Syracuse last week. The combination of Mike Glennon's tight spirals and the running of Curtis Underwood and James Washington will keep Wake guessing. Underwood is coming off a career-best effort, rushing for 114 yards and a score on only 14 carries. The host must also pay special attention to the attacking, ball-hawking NC State defense. The Pack has a knack for flying all over the field and creating havoc; in the opener, it forced seven Liberty turnovers, including two picks from CB David Amerson.
Why Wake Forest Might Win: With a couple of extra days to rest, there's hope that Price will get the green light for this weekend. The sophomore was outstanding before getting hurt, dissecting the Orange for 289 yards and three touchdowns on 18-of-31 passing. When he's on, it allows WR Chris Givens and RB Josh Harris to operate at full speed. Givens was unstoppable in the opener, making seven grabs for 170 yards and two scores. A rather ordinary NC State O-line will have its hands full with the quickness of the Deacons front. NG Nikita Whitlock, DE Tristan Dorty and LB Kyle Wilber all possess the get-off to flush Glennon from the pocket.
What To Watch Out For: Where was Wolfpack TE George Bryan in the opener? For the first time since the end of 2009, the Mackey Award candidate failed to register a catch in a game. Glennon needs to get on the page with his senior, who sports some of the surest hands on the roster. Plus, Bryan rates a significant edge over a group of Wake Forest linebackers that struggles in pass defense. Demon Deacons P Alex Wulfeck would be well-advised to angle away from T.J. Graham, a dangerous return man who took one back 82 yards for a score over the weekend.
What Will Happen: With Price at full strength, Wake Forest wins its home opener. With the southpaw a little gimpy with a left knee sprain, he'll be an easier target for linebackers Terrell Manning and Audie Cole and the rest of the NC State defense. The Pack will continue collecting turnovers, giving short field opportunities to the offense. Glennon is poised to raise the level of his play in Week 2 following a marginal debut as Russell Wilson's successor.
CFN Prediction: NC State 27 … Wake Forest 23
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NC State -2 O/U: 49.5
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