WINSTON-SALEM — N.C. State talked about its recent problems on the road against Wake Forest but the Wolfpack couldnt actually do anything about it on Saturday.
Senior quarterback Tanner Price threw for three touchdowns and ran for another to lead the Demon Deacons to a 28-13 home win over the Wolfpack.
N.C. State (3-2, 0-2 ACC) has lost six straight on the road to Wake Forest and eight of its past nine trips to Winston-Salem.
We talked about that all week, N.C. State quarterback Pete Thomas said. We talked about it every day, every meeting. Its very disappointing. We didnt get it done.
Wake Forest (3-3, 1-2 ACC) limped into the contest averaging 15 points a game against FBS opponents and coming off of a 56-7 loss at Clemson last Saturday.
Price and receiver Michael Campanaro turned the offense around Saturday. 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.
Wake coach Jim Grobe, who improved to 17-3 at home against in-state FBS teams, said he could tell his team was eager to prove it was better than the Clemson loss indicated.
There was electricity in the locker room before the game, Grobe said. I just had a sense that this was different.
It was just a really good feeling today and nice to see 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 Pack pay for the penalty with a 3-yard touchdown pass to receiver Jared Crump for a 21-10 lead with 7:25 left in the third.
Campanaros 27-yard touchdown catch with 10:43 left in the fourth quarter put the game away. The senior receiver has five total touchdowns in the past three games against the Wolfpack.
The coaching staff did a good job of scheming to get him the ball as many ways as possible, N.C. State cornerback Dontae Johnson said of Campanaro. He played great today. He just got the best of us.
N.C. States only lead all day was 10-7 in the second quarter when Thomas, who was 27 of 43 for 257 yards passing, hit receiver Quintin Payton (six catches, 98 yards) for an 11-yard touchdown with 39 seconds left in the half.
Paytons touchdown, his first of the season, capped a 10-play, 66-yard drive which only took 79 seconds. Wakes defense didnt let the Wolfpack in the end zone again.
And N.C. State still hasnt won in Winston-Salem since 2001.