WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Josh Gattis and Alphonso Smith
returned interceptions for touchdowns to lead Wake Forest to a
27-19 victory over North Carolina State in the Atlantic Coast
Conference on Saturday.
In the last two weeks, the Wake Forest defense has forced eight
turnovers, three of them for scores. The turnovers on Saturday
helped the Demon Deacons (3-5, 2-3 ACC) snap a two-game losing
N.C. State (2-4, 1-4 ACC) dropped into last place in the ACC's
Atlantic Division, losing for the fifth time in six games in
Marcus Stone replaced Jay Davis in the second quarter and threw
a pair of touchdown passes as N.C. State scored on three straight
possessions over the second and third quarters. But Stone also
threw the interception that Smith returned 23 yards for a touchdown
with 2:36 left in the third quarter, staking Wake Forest to what
turned out to be the final score.
Chris Barclay ran 36 times for 117 yards for the Demon Deacons,
whose offense added Nate Morton's 9-yard run on a reverse with 3:21
left in the third quarter.
It didn't take the Wolfpack long to slide into a hole. Benjamin
Mauk, the former starting quarterback pressed into action by an
ankle injury to his replacement, Cory Randolph, hit Demir Boldin on
a 46-yard pass play on Wake Forest's first possession. That led to
Sam Swank's 27-yard field goal at 11:22. Swank added a 40-yard
field goal at 4:36.
Davis, lately the target of boos from frustrated Wolfpack fans,
missed tight end T.J. Williams and hit Gattis, who returned the
interception 40 yards for a 13-0 edge at 4:26. Gattis scored on an
interception last week against Boston College.
Stone's entry drew cheers from Wolfpack fans frustrated with
Davis, but their joy was short lived when Stone was sacked for 20
yards in losses to take N.C. State out of field goal range after
the Wolfpack got to the Wake Forest 22.
A punt pinned Wake Forest back at its 7, and Mauk was sacked
twice, the second by defensive end Mario Williams for a safety at
7:08 in the second quarter.
Davis returned, but a crushing hit sent him to the sideline, and
Stone cashed in on the next play, scrambling for safety before
hitting Brian Clark on a 36-yard scoring play 49 seconds before the
John Deraney kicked a 21-yard field goal at 10:01, and Stone
found Tramain Hall on a 19-yard scoring pass with 8:55 left in the
third quarter for a 19-13 lead before the Wake Forest rally.
Punter Ryan Plackemeier dashed any N.C. State hopes for a
comeback with punts of 71 and 82 yards, the latter a school record.
The last gasp for the Wolfpack was a fake punt on fourth-and-3 at
its own 45 that lost a yard.