The Demon Deacons started off slowly and tapered off against an N.C. State Wolfpack football team who moved to 6-5 on the season, ensuring that they will be bowl eligible at the end of the season. It was the second conference win in three weeks for State, who was winless in conference play over the past season and a half prior to a win over Syracuse two weeks ago. Wake Forest fell to 2-8 on the season and remain winless in ACC play with just two games remaining.
N.C. State struck first, driving down the field on their first possession following a Demon Deacon three-and-out and took a 7-0 lead in just under five minutes. Following a series of three-and-outs for both teams, freshman kicker Mike Weaver got Wake on the board to cut the Wolfpack lead to 7-3 with a 32 yarder just before the end of the first quarter. Wake was unable to get much going on the offensive side of the ball throughout the first half and was not faring much better defensively, as Wake allowed three different touchdown drives of 69 or more yards in the first half alone as N.C. State took a 21-3 lead into the break.
The second half would only get worse for Wake as the Wolfpack scored quickly to open on a Brian Underwood reverse for a touchdown on the opening play of the second half, stretching the lead out to an insurmountable 28-3 margin. Despite a solid effort by freshman quarterback John Wolford who ended up going 15 for 32 with 161 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions, the offense continued to stall until a touchdown run from Isaiah Robinson in the middle of the fourth quarter finally landed the Deacs in the end zone for the first time. Unfortunately for Wake, the game was well out of reach by that point as State held a commanding 42-13 advantage.
Wake was able to gain 219 yards on offense, marking only the second time in ACC play the team reached the 200 yard mark. Junior punter Alex Kinal featured prominently for the anemic Wake squad, booming nine punts and increasing his career total to 250 and is now just 34 punts shy of the career punt record of 284 held by Boston College's Ryan Quigley. For N.C. State, it was the first time the team scored over 24 points since September and ultimately guaranteed that the Pack will play 13 games in the 2014 season. With a young team the extra set of practices leading up to the holiday bowl game will be very welcome for Dave Doeren and the rest of the N.C. State football team.
Wake returns to action next Saturday in the home finale against Virginia Tech, who knocked off ranked Duke today by a 17-16 score. N.C. State has a bye next week before playing intra-state rival North Carolina in their final game. UNC bounced back from a rough stretch to beat Pittsburgh. Until next week - as always, go Deacs.