Campanaro's Historic Day Helps Deacs Beat BC 28-14
Nov. 3, 2012
By Rob Daniels, WakeForestSports.com
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest set up Camp in seven-yard plots Saturday evening, and less was undeniably more.
Using the forward pass as a de facto running play, the Demon Deacons turned back Boston College 28-14 in statistically improbable fashion. Michael Campanaro, in his first fully healthy performance in six weeks, tied an ACC record with 16 catches, three of which were good for first-half touchdowns, and the defense forced four turnovers to improve to 5-4 overall and 3-4 in the ACC, one win short of bowl eligibility with three games left.
"I'm not comfortable throwing it 60 times," coach Jim Grobe said, "but you've got to do what you've got to do to win."
Tanner Price became only the third FBS quarterback since the start of the 2000 season to complete 39 or more passes for fewer than 300 yards in a game. His total of 39 connections is the highest by any Deacon since Rusty LaRue had three such games in 1995, and it was the result of film study and unique game-planning by offensive coordinator Steed Lobotzke and assistants Lonnie Galloway and Tom Elrod.
"They cooked something good up tonight," Campanaro said. "It's a lot of fun to throw it around that many times."
Wake won on a special day. The program paid tribute to its seniors, who were playing their final home game in front of the majority of their fellow students, most of whom will be on break when the Deacs host Vanderbilt two days after Thanksgiving. Saturday also marked the 400th consecutive Wake Forest game for administrator and former assistant coach Bill Faircloth, the jack of all trades who has been a beloved figure on campus since he played in the early 1960s.
Of Price's completions, only nine gained more than 10 yards and only one, a 27-yard TD to Campanaro, exceeded 16.
The Deacs chucked it around BB&T Field 20 times in the first quarter alone. Campanaro's return from a broken hand, jeopardized by a sprained ankle during Wednesday's practice, appeared to have a general benefit around the offense.
"It's huge having him out there," Price said. "It builds our confidence."
But that wasn't the full story. With the Deacs up 28-14 early in the fourth quarter, Boston College (2-7, 1-5 ACC) had third and goal on the Wake Forest 2. Deacon linebacker Joey Ehrmann submarined David Dudeck for a loss to the 4 on third down, and Justin Jackson got Dudeck for no gain on a fourth-down sweep.
"Wake Forest is known for its toughness," said Nikita Whitlock, the 5-foot-10 nose tackle who played while being bugged by turf toe. "We don't have all the best athletes. We don't get the four- or five-star recruits. Everybody knows that. But what we pride ourselves on is playing through injuries. It's embedded in our culture and our team."
The Eagles, who were hampered by a third-quarter injury to top running back Andre Williams, finished with 12 net yards on the ground.
"I won't say we shut them down, but what did they have? Ten rushing yards?" Ehrmann asked.
The offensive adaptation was at least the third of the season by Lobotzke, whose offensive line has been thinned by injury. The run defense has been nothing short of oppressive over the past four games, having permitted only 214 yards on 141 attempts in that span.
"We've got guys who have been waiting to put in those situations and to make plays," linebacker Mike Olson said. "When given the opportunity, they've taken advantage of it."
And Campanaro took about everything he could claim. He became the fifth ACC player with 16 catches in a game and the first in nine years, but he didn't feel that great about his chances until just before kickoff because of the ankle problem.
"I wasn't able to cut on Friday," he said. "But I had it taped two or three times. That thing wasn't going anywhere."
The Demon Deacons, for their part, didn't travel very far downfield at any single moment, but they did advance their postseason cause.
Scoring Drive Recaps
Wake Forest 14, Boston College 0 (1:39, 1st Quarter)
With 1:13 left in the first quarter, Price completed a 27-yard pass to Campanaro to put the Demon Deacons up by two scores. After a punt from Boston College, the Deacs began the drive on the Eagles' 47-yard line. On third down with nine yards to go, Price nailed Sherman Raglund III for an eleven-yard gain. Three plays later, Campanaro dove into the end zone and scored his second touchdown of the day while Hedlund converted the extra point.
Wake Forest 14, Boston College 7 (5:31, 2nd Quarter)
Boston College began its drive on its own five-yard line and capped it off with a 16-yard pass from Chase Rettig to Alex Amidon. Andre Williams rushed five yards on the second play and gained an extra 15 yards off a facemask penalty from Wake Forest. Aided by a defensive pass interference play, BC got to the Deacs' 49-yard line. Following three-straight pass completions by Johnathan Coleman and a rush play, the Eagles scored their first touchdown off the pass to Amidon. Nate Freese converted the extra point following the touchdown.
Wake Forest 21, Boston College 7 (2:35, 2nd Quarter)
Campanaro registered his third touchdown of the day off a 16-yard pass from Price with 54 seconds left in the first half. After Rettig fumbled and Wake Forest recovered at the Boston College 15-yard line, the Deacs needed only five plays to score. Tommy Bohanon had a seven-yard reception to begin the drive and just four plays later Campanaro tallied the touchdown while Hedlund added the extra point.
Wake Forest 21, Boston College 14 (0:57, 3rd Quarter)
The Eagles narrowed the lead with a pass from wide receiver Bobby Swigert who took the initial pass from Rettig and hit an open Chris Pantale on the trick play. Beginning on its own 33-yard line, Rettig threw a 52-yard pass to Coleman and after a rush, Pantale had a wide open touchdown catch. Freese kicked the extra point as Boston College pulled within seven points.
Wake Forest 28, Boston College 14 (3:50, 3rd Quarter)
Josh Harris capped off a nine play, 74-yard drive for a touchdown as the Demon Deacons responded following a failed opportunity for the Eagles. After Boston College missed a field goal, Price completed a pass to Campanaro for four yards which was followed by a seven-yard rush from Josh Harris. Two plays later, Terence Davis caught a 14-yard pass to the Eagles' 32-yard line. Four plays later on fourth and one, Harris broke a 23-yard run to put the Deacs up by 14 after a Hedlund extra point.