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at Wake Forest 48 ... Gardner-Webb 5
Posted Sep 17, 2011

Week 3 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Gardner-Webb at Wake Forest

2011 Predictions & Game Story 

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Sept. 17 at Wake Forest 48 ... Gardner-Webb 5
CFN Analysis: COMING

(AP) WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Tanner Price threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a third as Wake Forest beat Gardner-Webb 48-5 on Saturday night.

Price completed 21 of 32 passes in less than three quarters for the Demon Deacons (2-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), hitting Terence Davis on a 5-yard TD pass late in the second quarter and Chris Givens on a 19-yard touchdown early in the third. He also scored on a 1-yard keeper in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs (1-2) couldn't get their offense going against Wake Forest, managing just five first downs and 139 total yards. Their only points came off Trever Austin's 27-yard field goal in the first quarter and a safety in the second.

The Demon Deacons also got touchdown runs from Brandon Pendergrass, backup quarterback Ted Stachitas and Nick Knott, and field goals of 22 and 25 yards from Jimmy Newman in their highest-scoring game of the season.

Price threw for 238 yards and accounted for two TDs in the first half, as Wake Forest dominated the smaller Bulldogs in building a 27-5 lead at the halftime break.

The two teams traded first-quarter field goals -- Newman's 22-yarder with 10:20 left, followed by Austin's 27-yarder two minutes later -- before Price's keeper with 6:15 left in the quarter put Wake Forest ahead 10-3.

The Bulldogs' defense did keep the pressure on, sacking Price twice in the first half and holding the Demon Deacons to field goals on two drives. They even dropped running back Josh Harris in the end zone for a safety that pulled Gardner-Webb within 10-5 with 2:14 left in the first quarter.

After that, however, it was all Wake Forest, which scored 17 unanswered points in the second quarter.

A 70-yard drive set up Newman's second field goal, then Givens' blocked punt quickly led to the Demon Deacons' second touchdown, Pendergrass' 6-yard run with 10:28 left. With time running out in the second quarter, Price hit six consecutive passes, capped by Davis' 5-yarder with 22 seconds remaining, to stake Wake Forest to a 22-point lead.

Price's second TD pass, the 19-yarder to Givens, put the Demon Deacons ahead 34-5 with 11:01 remaining in the third quarter, and ended his night.

Wake Forest's reserves closed out the game with a pair of touchdowns -- Stachitas scored on a 21-yard keeper with 7:15 left in the third quarter, and third-string running back Knott added a 12-yard TD run with 1:54 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Danny Dembry finished with eight receptions for a career-high 126 yards for Wake Forest, which finished with a season-best 29 first downs and 405 total yards.

Gardner-Webb (1-1) at Wake Forest (1-1) Sept. 17, 6:30,

Here’s The Deal … Wake Forest is bucking to become this year’s surprise team out of the ACC. If not for a second-half collapse in the Carrier Dome, the Demon Deacons would be unbeaten, with a shot of getting halfway to bowl-eligibility Saturday night. Now, the reality is that Wake did blow a big lead to Syracuse, but it also rebounded to upset conference foe NC State, 34-27. The program is clearly improved from 2010, and poised to be a threat for a postseason berth.

Gardner-Webb arrives in Winston-Salem having split its first two games. The Ron Dickerson, Jr. era began with a win over Division II Brevard, and continued with a 30-3 loss to Ohio. The Bulldogs are a middling Big South squad that’s looking to narrow the divide on Liberty, Stony Brook and Coastal Carolina.

Why Gardner-Webb Might Win: They don’t call this team the Runnin’ Bulldogs for nothing. If Gardner-Webb has any shot of beating an ACC team in its building, it’ll need to have success on the ground. The program actually has a pair of players, who’ve rushed for 100 yards in a game this month, Juanne Blount and Kenny Little. If the Bulldogs can play extend drives and work the clock, it’ll dual purposes. Not only will it put Gardner-Webb in scoring range, but it’ll keep Wake Forest from getting its hands on the ball.

Why Wake Forest Might Win: It’s time to start taking the Deacons offense, specifically QB Tanner Price, seriously. The sophomore southpaw has been a revelation thus far, throwing for 586 yards, four touchdowns and just one interception. Even at less than 100% last Saturday, he still helped lead his guys to a crucial conference win. Surrounding him is an improving collection of skill position players that includes powerful RB Josh Harris and versatile receivers Chris Givens, Michael Campanaro and Danny Dembry. While a lot of the parts are the same, this is a very different Wake offense than a year ago.

What To Watch Out For: If Wake Forest is going to reach its goals in 2011, it’ll need to learn how to finish games … now. In each of the first two weekends, the Demon Deacons started fast and closed with a fizzle. This team isn’t quite talented enough to bring it for just 30 or 40 minutes a game. Look for the intensity to be high on both sides of the ball and the sidelines as the program uses an inferior opponent to hone its habits.

What Will Happen: Head coach Jim Grobe will ride his kids hard on Saturday, demanding crisp play for all four quarters. Wake will head into its bye week with a comfortable victory, punting infrequently. Price will remain sharp through the air, tossing a pair of touchdown passes before giving way to backup Ted Stachitas. With the starter still a little gimpy, the coaching staff won’t want to take too many chances in a blowout that’ll be decided early.

CFN Prediction: Wake Forest 49 … Gardner-Webb 7
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