No. 15 Deacons Downed by Navy 24-17
Sept. 27, 2008
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - No. 15 Wake Forest (3-1, 1-0 ACC) committed a season-high six turnovers and Navy (3-2) turned those miscues into 24 points as the Midshipmen upset the Demon Deacons 24-17 in front of 33,173 fans at BB&T Field.
The Deacons committed six turnovers in the game, the most miscues committed by a Wake Forest team since the team committed six turnovers against Miami on November 12, 2005. Quarterback Riley Skinner threw a career-high four interceptions and the Wake Forest offense fumbled the ball two times to account for the six turnovers.
Navy dominated the ground game, rushing for 292 yards on 59 carries, while the Deacons rushed for only 43 yards on 31 carries. Navy passed the ball four times in the contest for 51 yards, while Wake passed the ball 40 times, completing 26 of those passes for 270 yards. The Midshipmen out-gained the Deacons 343-313.
Eric Kettani ran for 175 yards on 19 carries, becoming the first opponent to rush for more than 100 yards against Wake Forest since Maryland's Keon Lattimore on September 22, 2007.
D.J. Boldin led the way for Wake Forest with eight catches for 116 yards. Boldin has gone over 100 yards receiving in two games this season.
Navy's Ketric Buffin led the team in tackles with seven and also had an interception. Ross Pospisil, Wyatt Middleton and Emmett Merchant also notched interceptions for the Midshipmen.
The Deacons opened the game with the football. On the second play from scrimmage, Skinner threw an interception to Pospisil. The interception was Skinner's first interception in his last 133 pass attempts.
The Midshipmen took advantage of the Deacon miscue, driving 51 yards on eight plays to take a 7-0 edge. Quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada scored on a four-yard run to put Navy ahead with 9:57 remaining in the first quarter. The touchdown for Navy marked the first time all season that the Deacons had not scored first in a game.
Wake Forest was able to pick up a first down on its next drive but a holding penalty on third down halted the drive, forcing a Sam Swank punt.
Navy extended its advantage to 14-0 on the first play of the second quarter. The 13-play, 74-yard drive took 7:42 off the clock. Kaheaku-Enhada scored his second touchdown of the day, running into the endzone from three yards out.
The Deacons were able to move the ball on their next drive, before the second Wake Forest turnover of the game ended the drive. The Deacs advanced the ball to the Navy 24-yard line before Marshall Williams fumbled the ball on a crossing pattern. Ryan Griffith forced the fumble for Navy and it was recovered by Bill Yarborough.
Wake Forest's Joe Birdsong was penalized for a blow to the head on the drive. Birdsong was ejected from the game after the penalty.
The Deacons were able to force a Navy punt for the first time in the game on the next drive. The Midshipmen appeared to have converted a 4th and 1 at their own 45-yard line, but an illegal chop block penalty negated the play and forced the punt.
The third Wake Forest turnover of the day ended the next drive for the Deacons. On a 2nd and 20 from the Wake Forest 30-yard line, Skinner overthrew his intended receiver, tight end Chip Brinkman. Middleton intercepted the pass and returned it to the Wake Forest 27-yard line.
Navy converted the Wake Forest mistake into three points to extend the lead to 17-0. Matt Harmon converted a 35-yard field goal with 4:13 remaining in the first half to close the drive.
The next Wake Forest drive was jumpstarted by a 55-yard kickoff return to the Navy 45-yard line. The good field position was squandered on the fourth Deacon turnover of the day. Skinner rushed up the middle for seven yards but was stripped of the ball by Matt Nechak. The fumble was recovered by Ram Vela.
After a Navy punt, the final Wake Forest drive of the half resulted in Skinner's third pick of the day. Skinner scrambled from the pocket and threw down the left sideline for Andrew Parker but Buffin stepped in front, intercepting the pass. Navy took a knee to end the first half with the Midshipmen ahead 17-0. The halftime deficit marked the first time on the season that Wake Forest had trailed after the first 30 minutes.
Navy controlled time of possession in the first half, holding the ball for 19:58 in the first half, while the Deacons had the ball for 10:02. In the first quarter, Navy possessed the ball for 11:43, while Wake Forest only had the ball for 3:17.
The Deacon special teams opened the second half with a turnover. Alex Frye hit John Angelo, forcing a fumble. The ball was recovered by Anthony Williams at the Navy 16-yard line, setting Wake Forest up with great field position.
Wake Forest appeared to score two plays later. On a 2nd and 12 from the Wake Forest 18-yard line, Skinner found Devon Brown, who initially was ruled to have scored. After review, the play was reversed and the ball was placed on the 1-yard line. Wake Forest scored four plays later on 4th and 1 at the 1-yard line. Josh Adams dove into the end zone to cut the lead to 17-7 with 12:45 left in the third quarter.
The Wake Forest defense forced a punt deep in Navy territory to set the offense up with quality field position. Alphonso Smith returned the punt 17 yards out to the Navy 41-yard line.
The Deacons took advantage of the good field position, cutting the lead to seven. On a 3rd and 6 from the Navy 37, Skinner found D.J. Boldin down the right side line for a 36-yard pass play to the 1-yard line. The Deacon offense lost five yards on the next three plays, forcing a 23-yard field goal attempt by Sam Swank. Swank booted the ball through the uprights to trim the lead to 17-10 with 8:12 left in the third quarter.
The Deacons had several drives with good starting position in the fourth quarter. The Deacons started on the Navy 37-yard line and at their own 45-yard line but were unable to capitalize on the starting position.
Wake Forest recovered a fumble with 5:59 left to play. Jerod Bryant's fumble was recovered by Brandon Ghee at the Deacon 45-yard line. The Deacons were unable to capitalize as Skinner threw his career-high fourth interception of the game two plays later. The pass was intercepted by Emmet Merchant at the Midshipmen 25-yard line and returned 12 yards to the 37-yard line.
Navy turned the interception into seven points to extend its lead to 24-10. The key play of the drive came on the first play as Kettani rushed up the middle for 57 yards to the Deacon 6-yard line. Jarod Bryant ran the ball into the endzone from four yards out to push the lead to 14 with 3:46 left in the game.
Wake Forest cut the lead in half with 1:14 left in the game. Skinner hit Mike Rinfrette with an 8-yard touchdown pass to cap a 13-play, 71-yard drive that took 2:31 off the clock.
The Deacons attempted an on-side kick, but the ball was recovered by Corey Johnson. Navy ran out the rest of the clock to hold on for the seven-point victory.
Wake Forest returns to action on Thursday, October 9, as the Deacons welcome ACC rival Clemson to BB&T Field for a Thursday night showdown. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (ET) and the game will be televised by ESPN.