Demon Deacons Rout Wolfpack 38-18
Nov. 17, 2007
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Riley Skinner threw two touchdown passes, including a momentum-shifting 62-yarder to Jordan Williams that led Wake Forest past North Carolina State 38-18 on Saturday night.
Linebacker Aaron Curry returned a late interception 57 yards for a touchdown -- his third scoring return of the season and the Demon Deacons' NCAA-best eighth defensive score.
The Demon Deacons (7-4, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) forced four turnovers and improved their bowl situation significantly by snapping N.C. State's four-game winning streak and halting their own two-game slide.
The Wolfpack trailed by 18 at halftime before scoring on consecutive third-quarter series, with Evans throwing a 6-yard touchdown pass to Matt Kushner and Jamelle Eugene rushing 1 yard for a score. After that TD late in the third, Evans hit Kushner for the two-point conversion to make it 21-18.
Wake Forest answered on the next play. Williams streaked down the left sideline, defender Jeremy Gray stumbled and Skinner hit the receiver in stride for a long touchdown and a 28-18 lead.
Sam Swank gave Wake Forest a 13-point lead with a 37-yard field goal, before Curry sealed it by scoring with 5:24 left.
Evans finished 24-of-56 passing for 286 yards but threw three interceptions, and Darrell Blackman had seven catches for 114 yards for N.C. State (5-6, 3-4), which now must beat Maryland at home next week to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2005.
With representatives from the Meineke Car Care and Humanitarian bowls watching, the Demon Deacons played their best half of the season by gaining 268 yards in the opening 30 minutes, intercepting two passes deep in their own territory and building a 21-3 halftime lead.
Relying on vintage Wake Forest football -- with lots of misdirection rushes by receivers -- they scored on their opening possession, with Bryant's 1-yard touchdown plunge capping a run-heavy 10-play drive. The Demon Deacons then made it 14-3 on Adams' 4-yard TD run midway through the second quarter.
The lead went to 21-3 on their next possession, with Skinner's 45-yard pass to Kenneth Moore setting up a 5-yard scoring pass to Bryant.
Steven Hauschka scored the Wolfpack's only points of the first half when his 42-yard field goal early in the second pulled his team to 7-3. But his second miss of the season came at an inopportune time -- he was wide left on a 37-yarder in the fourth quarter that would have made it a seven-point game.