It was not pretty, but Wake Forest (4-3, 2-3 ACC) will gladly take its 16-10 win over woeful Virginia (2-6, 0-4 ACC) in Charlottesville after close losses to Duke and Maryland and a string of off-the-field incidents.
Deacons Illustrated rewinds back to Saturday for a look at how the Demon Deacons faired in "The five keys."
1) Value the football
Wake did not fumble the football nor throw an interception against the Cavaliers after giving it away a combined six times in its two previous games, losses to Duke and Maryland.
This proved to be especially critical, because the Deacs struggled to move the ball against UVA's scrappy defense. The Demon Deacons mustered an anemic 213 yards of total offense in the win.
2) Special teams
Chad Hedlund, who beat out Jimmy Newman for the starting place kicker job during the bye week, restored consistency to shaky position.
The redshirt freshman from Argyle, Texas made three field goals (22, 44 and 24 yards) and an extra point.
After struggling in the return game most of this season (16.6 yards per kick return and 8.4 per punt return) Lovell Jackson broke the negative trend with a 60-yard punt return that set up Josh Harris' 16-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
Chibuikem Okoro averaged a solid 19.5 per kickoff return Saturday.
3) Stop the run
Entering the game Wake Forest allowed an abysmal average 206.3 yards to its opponents, but the Demon Deacons held the Cavs to under 50 yards on the ground.
Virginia had averaged 139.6 yards rushing per game before the Deacs put the Cavaliers ground attack on lockdown.
4) Give Price more targets
To put it bluntly Wake's receiving corps is one of the worst in the ACC without Michael Campanaro in the lineup.
Tanner Price was limited to 7-19 passing for 102 yards, no interceptions and no touchdowns.
Lovell Jackson led the Deacs with a pedestrian three receptions for 37 yards, while Wake Forest had five other receivers catch only one pass.
Terence Davis, who had caught 13 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown the two previous games combined, only made one reception for three yards at Virginia.
Wake needs Campanaro in the worst way for this Thursday's meeting with Clemson.
5) Establish the run
After Harris' touchdown run the Demon Deacons rushing attack was stuck in the mud for the part. Wake Forest finished with a meager 105 yards on 41 carries.