WINSTON-SALEM — Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price is feeling comfortable throwing the ball again, thanks to the return of Michael Campanaro.
That turned out to be bad news for Boston College, as Price and Campanaro both had career-best games in leading the Deacons to a 28-14 ACC victory over the Eagles on Saturday.
Price finished 39-of-57 passing for 293 yards and three touchdowns for Wake Forest (5-4, 3-4), which moved a step closer to becoming bowl eligible for the second straight year.
“I’m not really comfortable throwing the ball 60 times, but you just have to do what you’ve got to do to win,” Deacons coach Jim Grobe said.
“We wanted to get the ball down the field, but the coverage just gave us some more short throws. For us, that’s kind of our running game if we’re able to throw controlled passes.”
Campanaro, who wasn’t even sure he would play after spraining his ankle in practice two days earlier, had 16 catches – tying the ACC record for single-game receptions – for 123 yards and all three scores.
“I didn’t even know about the record until someone told me after the game,” said Campanaro, who became the eighth player in Wake Forest history to make three touchdown catches in a game. “It’s a great accomplishment, but it’s even better that we won the game.”
Price found Campanaro – who missed two games after breaking his arm against Duke in late September -- on scoring passes of 5 and 27 yards in the first quarter, and added a 16-yard touchdown pass in the second as the Deacons built a 21-7 halftime lead.
“(Campanaro is) a good player and makes a lot of plays for us,” Grobe said. “But I think more than anything the other 10 guys feel good when he’s on the field. When he’s out there there’s just a feeling that something good can happen all of the time.”
Josh Harris added a 23-yard scoring run late in the third quarter, and finished with a game-high 84 rushing yards for the Deacons.
Chase Rettig went 29 of 49 for 357 yards and a touchdown for Boston College (2-7, 1-5). However, constant pressure by Wake Forest forced Rettig into four turnovers (three interceptions and a fumble) and three sacks.
The Deacons also held the Eagles to 12 yards rushing, and stopped Boston College on downs at the Wake Forest 2 in a key goal-line stand early in the fourth quarter.
“(Rettig) did make some plays, but there was too much pressure on him,” Eagles coach Frank Spaziani said. “On his performance, he’ll be the first one to tell you it needs to be better. But we’ve got to help him a little bit more. We made it a little bit too rough on him, and he’s only human.”