Wake Forest Suffers 23-13 Loss at Hands of Boston College

Nov. 6, 2010

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By Rob Daniels

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The nuances in the storyline from week to week haven't been enough to make a viable difference for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, who suffered their seventh straight defeat Saturday when five turnovers wiped out an improved defensive effort in a 23-13 verdict to Boston College.

"You just can't throw four interceptions," coach Jim Grobe said. "You can't fumble a punt. The defense played better today and didn't get a lot of help from the other side of the ball."

Montel Harris carried 36 times for 183 yards and three touchdowns to lift the Eagles. The Deacs, who gave up 1,051 yards to Maryland and Virginia Tech in their previous two games, held BC to 298. That's the fewest yards Wake has allowed to an FBS team since the 2008 EagleBank Bowl.

It was a tough day on more than the scoreboard. Two offensive starters, right guard Michael Hoag and tailback Josh Harris, left the game with concussions. Linebacker Tristan Dorty went out with a lower back ailment. Even associate head coach Billy Mitchell sustained a black eye when two players ran over him on the sideline.

"Somebody said Mitch was out," Grobe said. "I said, `Well, he's not in the game, is he?' Seemed like a lot of things were happening to us today."

Mitchell, against Grobe's suggestions, got back on his feet and coached in the second half.

Even with four first-half interceptions by Tanner Price, who had tossed only two in his four previous games, the Deacs were in decent position against the Eagles early in the third quarter. Down 14-6, they forced a BC punt and figured to get good field position. Devon Brown failed to grab the ball cleanly, however, and Kevin Pierre-Louis recovered for the Eagles.

The visitors from Chestnut Hill went on a critical touchdown drive thereafter and went up 20-6 on Montel Harris' run from the 1.

The Deacons got back in it with a tremendous trick play. Price handed to Josh Adams, who pitched to Marshall Williams, who hit Chris Givens with a 41-yard scoring pass to make it 20-13. Williams, by the way, is 5-for-5 for 174 yards and two touchdowns his career; that's good for a passing-efficiency rating of 524, which is four times the national average.

More than nine minutes remained. A stop would give the offense a chance to tie the game. But that never happened, as Montel Harris ran 10 times for 72 yards in the next five minutes to set up the clinching field goal. The possession took him over 1,000 for the season and made him the most productive junior in ACC rushing history with 3,273 career yards.

"They were determined to get down the field on us," Wake defensive end Kyle Wilber said. "I thought we'd have been a lot better than this."

Price threw an interception on the game's first play, and that led to an Eagle touchdown. A subsequent pick ended a promising Deacon drive in the red zone.

The third interception, which came on Price's eighth pass of the day, resulted in an Eagle return to the Wake 18, but the Deacs' defense and costly BC penalties created enough lost yardage to compel a punt.

"I'm not taking anything away from their defense," Price said, "but it just wasn't good decision-making on my part."

The Deacs, now eliminated from postseason eligibility, have ACC games with N.C. State and Clemson and a season-ending contest at Vanderbilt remaining.

"Obviously, we've got a lot of issues," Grobe said. "Young guys are making a lot of mistakes now. We will not beat anybody turning the ball over five times. It will not happen.

"The thing for us is not so much the record as it is coaching. We're not giving up. We could go out the next three weeks and back off, but we're not going to do that."

Wake Forest will return to action next Saturday when the Deacons take on rival NC State in Raleigh. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Carter-Finley Stadium.

Scoring Drive Recaps

Boston College 7, Wake Forest 0 (14:28, 1st quarter)
After Wake Forest turned the ball over on their opening play from scrimmage, the Eagles went 35 yards in two plays to take a 7-0 lead on a 26-yard run by Montel Harris.

Boston College 7, Wake Forest 3 (00:28, 1st quarter)
The Demon Deacons got their first score towards the end of the first quarter after starting on their own 1-yard line and driving 80 yards to the Boston College 19-yard line. Josh Harris rushed five times on the drive that was capped off by a 37-yard field goal to cut the Eagles' advantage to 7-3.

Boston College 14, Wake Forest 3 (11:37, 2nd quarter)
The Eagles answered back immediately, going 76 yards in eight plays, highlighted by 38-yard pass from Chase Rettig to Alex Amidon. Harris finished the drive with a 3-yard touchdown rush to extend the BC lead to 14-3.

Boston College 14, Wake Forest 6 (2:26, 2nd quarter)
Wake Forest scored another field goal as the second quarter wound down. Price found Brown on a 24-yard pass on the first play of the drive and Josh Harris ripped off an 18-yard run to bring the Deacs deep into Boston College territory. Newman finished the series with a 39-yard field goal to make the score 14-6.

Boston College 20, Wake Forest 6 (12:04, 3rd quarter)
After a muffed punt by Wake Forest, Boston College took possession at the Deacons' 33-yard line and after a 30[yard pass from Rettig to Johnathan Coleman, Harris scored from one yard out, but the extra point was blocked by Kevin Smith, leaving the score 20-6 in favor of the Eagles.

Boston College 20, Wake Forest 13 (9:20, 4th quarter)
Wake Forest got its first touchdown of the day with a little trickery. Two plays after a Joey Ehrmann interception, Marshall Williams took the ball on a reverse and threw it downfield to Givens for a 41-yard touchdown to make it a one-score game at 20-13.

Boston College 23, Wake Forest 13 (3:53, 4th quarter)
The Eagles made it a two-score game once again, driving 81 yards in 11 plays before a 25-yard field goal by Nate Freese extended the Eagles advantage to 23-13.



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