Winston-Salem, NC - Jim Grobe said this was one of his longest days in coaching, but DeAndre Martin put the game out of Army's (0-3) reach when he took the handoff and sprinted for a 37-yard touchdown with 2:50 left in regulation as Wake Forest (3-1, 1-1 ACC) rebounded from last week's demoralizing loss at No. 4 Florida State with a hard-earned 49-37 win to celebrate Homecoming.
"The most comforting thing for me when DeAndre popped the run for the touchdown we had third and six and we were trying to decide run it or throw it and I think Lobo's thoughts were we probably need to throw it for the first down, but I think everybody's thoughts were with their timeouts burned if we run the ball we can kill quite a bit of time, so just as a coaching point to Lobo I want you to run it for a first down," Grobe said. "And so he did. Everybody on the sideline was yelling for DeAndre to go down, but he didn't hear us."
"One of the things you worry about is one loss causes you to lose the next one, and I've seen it work both ways. I think honestly our kids came back from Florida State embarrassed. We played a good team, but we didn't play very good in any area. Sometimes when you get embarrassed a little bit it's better for you if you've got kids. If you've got good kids that have some pride it helps they bounce back. It just says a lot about our kids to rally and come back. I thought they were going to do that."
Martin's late touchdown was his second of the day. He carried 13 times to finish with 115 yards rushing, while Josh Harris led the way with 129 yards and two touchdowns and 12 touches.
Wake finished with 296 yards rushing, the most since gaining 415 on the ground versus Presbyterian in the season opener of 2010, to pass the century mark for the first time this season.
At the same time the Demon Deacons were dealt the conundrum of Army's Wing-T option offense, yielding 429 yards rushing to the Black Knights.
Wake Forest caught a break midway through the fourth quarter when Army quarterback Trent Steelman, who carried 22 times for 82 yards and three touchdowns and completed 3-4 passes for 77 yards and a touchdown, was knocked out of the game with an apparent rib injury, forcing the Black Knights to go with backup Angel Santiago the rest of the way.
"That was huge," Grobe said. "I hate it. I never want to see kids get hurt ever, but that was huge. The kid that came in might be equally capable, but he hadn't played all game and you come in when it's on the line and you got to make it happen right now and then the thing that really … I thought [Army head coach] Rich [Ellerson] did the right thing. He used some timeouts. He wanted some time left. Of course I'm sure he's hoping they'll stop us. He didn't know DeAndre would take it in."
Grobe added that it was a bad situation for Army's backup quarterback to step into. The Deacs took advantage of the Black Knights vulnerability under center when Mike Olson tackled Santiago for a one-yard loss on fourth-and-three, giving Wake possession at its own 32 with 5:50 left in the contest. Martin iced the game nine plays and 3:06 later.
Olson tied Zach Thompson for the team-lead in tackles with 12 takedowns, while Justin Jackson added 11. Jackson also blocked the PAT after Army's first touchdown, and recovered the fumble that set up Harris' go-ahead 19-yard touchdown run with 12:05 remaining in the third quarter.
Army's final lead came from a 21-yard Daniel Grochowski to give the Black Knights a 23-21 halftime advantage.
Michael Campanaro scored all of Wake Forest's first-half touchdowns. He caught a game-high 12 receptions for 153 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed five times for 31 yards and a touchdown.
"We just had to put that Florida State game behind us," Campanaro said. "We couldn't let them beat us twice. I thought we came out here today and the offensive line set the tone up front. We ran the ball well, and they protected Tanner [Price] all day. When Tanner's got time back there he's an elite quarterback, and he's going to make the right decisions. He makes the receivers' jobs a lot easier."
"Our game-plan [was] we're going to come in here and throw it around a little bit. The other receivers did a great job blocking on those bubble screens. I think we went out there and we took what the defense gave us. They put a lot of guys in the box and they play with their safeties down, so Sherman [Ragland], T.D. [Davis] and B.T. [Terrry] were running deep routes. They had to respect them. I was just working my way through the middle. I think the running game helped out so much with the passing-game backers had to respect it and stay up. They protected Tanner back there, so he was finding me often."