Wake Forest Suffers 23-13 Loss at Hands of Boston College
Nov. 6, 2010
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)
Boston College 7, Wake Forest 3 (00:28, 1st quarter)
Boston College 14, Wake Forest 3 (11:37, 2nd quarter)
Boston College 14, Wake Forest 6 (2:26, 2nd quarter)
Boston College 20, Wake Forest 6 (12:04, 3rd quarter)
Boston College 20, Wake Forest 13 (9:20, 4th quarter)
Boston College 23, Wake Forest 13 (3:53, 4th quarter)