Winston-Salem, N.C - No. 17 Virginia Tech (6-1, 2-1 ACC) spotted Wake Forest (4-2, 3-1 ACC) a 10-0 lead, but erased it with 28 unanswered points on its way to a 38-17 victory.
Instead of going into halftime with just a four-point deficit Tanner Price gave the Hokies the ball back at Wake's 26-yard line with 0:30 when Tariq Edwards intercepted him. Logan Thomas only needed 26 seconds to score four plays later when he entered the endzone on a three-yard read option keeper, giving the Hokies a commanding 21-10 advantage going into the intermission.
"That's my fault," Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe said. "Tanner does a really good job taking care of the football, and we really thought if we could hit a seam or hit Chris Givens underneath that we could at least chip our way into field goal range. We had three timeouts left, but Tanner got hit in the arm and it got picked. That decision was just me not taking care of our team."
Article Continues Below
It appeared the Demon Deacons had the Hokies offense figured out, not allowing a first down until the 14:03 mark of the second quarter when Logan Thomas connected with Jarrett Boykin on a nine yard pass. Virginia Tech was forced to punt four plays later.
Panic never set it in, as Thomas found Boykin six more times on his way to completing 17-32 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns, while Boykin pulled in seven receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown. Thomas also added 11 carries for 30 yards and two touchdowns rushing.
"It's answering the bell," Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. "I think we have a lot of guys, Logan being one of them, that want to step up and make a play when it's critical that you make a play. We did it at East Carolina. We saw it last week. We saw it this week."
Virginia Tech's defense certainly answered the bell. After giving up six first downs in the opening period the Hokies only allowed 11 the rest of the game. The Demon Deacons went 1-13 on third down conversions for the game, while VT was 7-15.
"I think a big part of being successful on third down is what you do on first and second down," Grobe said. "It's the type of third downs that you're facing that are important. We've been okay on third down both offensively and defensively; they haven't been a problem for us. Tonight, Virginia Tech made some great plays to convert third downs on our defense and our offense wasn't really clicking."
Wake's sputtering offense and inability to move the chains left its defense on the field five minutes longer than Grobe would have liked.
The physicality of the Hokies offensive line began to take its toll on the Deacs, and after struggling early to find holes David Wilson got in a rhythm to finish with 17 carries for 136 yards and a touchdown rushing.
Unlike in last week's 35-30 win over Florida State, Wake Forest was unable to get its rushing attack out of the gate, accumulating only 111 yards on 31 carries. The Demon Deacons were without their starter Josh Harris, who is recovering from a strained hamstring. Brandon Pendergrass gained 80 yards on 21 carries in his place.
"Somebody asked if not having Josh Harris was the problem and I really don't," Grobe said. "Brandon played really well, we just couldn't get anything going in the passing game. To a certain extent I feel like we didn't play as well as we needed to, but also Virginia Tech really did a good job defensively against us."