WINSTON-SALEM Wake Forest was better than it showed in a lopsided loss at Clemson last week or a home loss to Louisiana-Monroe earlier this season.
Coach Jim Grobe knew that, especially with N.C. State coming to BB&T Field on Saturday.
Senior quarterback Tanner Price accounted for four touchdowns to give the Demon Deacons a 28-13 home win over N.C. State on Saturday.
Grobe, who hasnt lost at home to N.C. State since his first season in 2001, had a feeling Saturday was going to be a good day for the Deacs (3-3, 1-2 ACC).
There was electricity in the locker room before the game, Grobe said. I just had a sense this was different.
It was for Wake but not for the Wolfpack, which has lost eight of its past nine trips to Winston-Salem.
The Deacs got rocked at Clemson 56-7 last week and dropped an embarrassing 21-19 home decision to a Sun Belt team on Sept. 14.
Instead of the problems on offense Wake had averaged 15 points a game against Bowl Subdivision opponents this season Price and receiver Michael Campanaro revived Wakes bowl hopes.
Price threw for 268 yards and ran for a career-best 82 yards. Campanaro, who has his own bit of history against N.C. State, caught 12 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns.
Grobe, who improved to 17-3 at home against in-state Bowl Subdivision teams, said his team was pumped before the game and again at the half after Price led a key touchdown drive with 6 seconds left in the second quarter.
When we were gathering up at halftime to come back out, you could tell the guys were on a mission, Grobe said. It was just a really good feeling today and nice to see the guys on both sides of the ball play four quarters.
N.C. State coach Dave Doeren was disappointed in his teams performance in its first road game of the season.
We didnt play well, Doeren said. We didnt do what we needed to do. It starts with me, obviously, I thought I had them ready to play today.
The game turned near the end of the first half when it looked like N.C. State would take a 10-7 lead into the break. Instead, Price rallied the Deacs for a touchdown with 6 seconds left for a 14-10 advantage.
Price found tight end Spencer Bishop behind N.C. States defense for a 54-yard gain, which set up a 10-yard touchdown pass to Campanaro. Doeren said the big play to Bishop hurt.
They slipped their tight end out across the field out of a protection and we didnt see him, Doeren said. We had a guy there for him and we didnt see him. That play obviously opened up the floodgates.
The Wolfpack offense, missing some key parts due to injuries, only managed one touchdown and had to settle for two short Nik Sade field goals.
A mistake on special teams in the third quarter cost the Wolfpack too. A roughing the kicker penalty on linebacker Robert Caldwell, on a 24-yard field goal attempt, gave Wake an extra shot at a touchdown. Price made the Wolfpack pay for the penalty with a 3-yard touchdown pass to receiver Jared Crump for the 21-10 lead with 7:25 remaining in the third.
Campanaros 27-yard touchdown catch at 10:43 in the fourth quarter put the game away. The senior receiver has five total touchdowns in three career games against the Wolfpack.
N.C. States only lead all day was 10-7 in the second quarter when Thomas hit receiver Quintin Payton for an 11-yard touchdown with 39 seconds left in the half.
Wakes defense didnt let the Wolfpack in the end zone again. And the Deacs still havent lost to the Wolfpack in Winston-Salem since 2001.
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