Deacs lights out on defense

Winston-Salem, NC - J. Cole's song "Lights Please" was appropriate … well at least the title of it was … near the end of the first quarter during a partial power outage at BB&T Field, which was followed by Wake Forest's defense cutting Presbyterian's lights off with six takeaways to catalyze a 31-7 season-opening win for the Demon Deacons.
"I told the defense in the locker room I don't think they could have played any better other than the one long run to start the game," Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe said. "From that point forward they played like I hoped they would. For us to be a good football team that's [takeaways] got to be the strength of our football team on defense."
Grobe was referring to PC running back Demarcus Rouse's 66-yard run on the first play from scrimmage, which led to Tamyn Garick's one-yard touchdown pass to Kris Hurley for the game's first points and the Blue Hose their only lead of the game.
The Deacs sputtered early offensively, but the engine came to a roar when Tanner Price connected with Spencer Bishop on a 20-yard touchdown pass at the 13:42 mark of the second quarter to put Wake up for good.
Price completed 14-25 passes for 219 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions, and led the Demon Deacons in rushing with 14 carries for 43 yards and a touchdown.
"I enjoyed it," Price said. "It was good to get to run a little bit more. I felt pretty good running, so I'm excited to be doing that a little bit more."
Wake Forest outgained Presbyterian 189-102 on the ground and 219-49 through the air, making for a balanced effort offensively and a dominating one defensively.
Observations …
--- Wake Forest nine true freshmen, which is the most Grobe has ever played during his tenure at Wake. He has played only 22 in his previous 12 seasons.
--- The Deacs essentially shutdown the Blue Hose following the Rouse's 66-yard and Hurley's touchdown reception, allowing PC to convert only one more first down the rest of the game.
--- Wake cannot afford for Chad Hedlund to miss 31-yard field goals.
--- Alexander Kinal did a solid job punting (36.4 yards per punt), especially on directional kicks.