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ACC Game Stories, Sept. 21

Saturday, September 21, 2013 4:27pm

Welcome to Game Report Central! Here's a rundown of today's ACC Football Action: 

Harris Scores Twice, Wake Forest Beats Army 25-11 

WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) - Josh Harris rushed for 96 yards and two second-half touchdowns, Michael Campanaro had a 66-yard scoring catch, and Wake Forest rallied past Army 25-11 on Saturday.

It was the seventh straight victory in the series for Wake Forest (2-2), which overcame three costly errors to hold off the Black Knights (1-3).

Trailing 11-10 late in the third quarter, Wake Forest slowly assumed control as Harris came alive after a lackluster first half. He scored on a 15-yard run up the middle late in the third and gained 58 yards on seven carries on a decisive 62-yard drive midway through the fourth, scoring on a 6-yard run.

This was not the same Army team that fought No. 5 Stanford to a near standstill last week, winning the turnover battle against an elite team before falling 34-20. The Black Knights lost two fumbles and gave up 206 yards rushing, their vaunted triple option hampered somewhat by the loss of top backs Raymond Maples and Larry Dixon, who suffered lower body injuries against Stanford and did not play.

Terry Baggett led Army with a career-high 125 yards rushing on 16 carries, his second straight solid performance in relief of the injured stars, and quarterback Angel Santiago added 60 yards rushing as the Black Knights finished with 271 yards on 55 rushes. Daniel Grochowski kicked a career-high three field goals for Army.

The Wake Forest defense was allowing 17.3 points and surrendering just 296.3 yards a game and Army's triple option was averaging 314 yards rushing a game and 5.6 yards per carry.

Despite four punts and two lost fumbles in the first half, Army trailed only 10-5 at the break as Wake Forest also sputtered offensively. The Demon Deacons had a missed field goal, suffered a safety, an interception and a lost fumble in the opening half.

Campanaro, who tied an Atlantic Coast Conference record with 16 catches for a career-high 177 yards in last week's 21-19 home loss to Louisiana-Monroe, finished with four catches for 91 yards. Tanner Price was 6 of 17 for 132 yards passing with one interception and gained 66 yards rushing on 11 carries.

Army went ahead 11-10 on a pair of 32-yard field goals in the third quarter by Grochowski. His first kick capped the Black Knights' first possession of the second half as both teams continued to falter on third down. A key 14-yard rush by Santiago on a third-and-7 play and his 21-yard run on a quarterback draw set up Grochowski's second kick.

The one-point lead was short-lived as Price gave his teammates a charge. He rushed twice for 11 yards and then hit tight end Spencer Bishop for a 39-yard gain to set up Harris' 15-yard touchdown run up the middle. Price hit Jonathan Williams along the back of the end zone for the two-point conversion to give the Deacons an 18-11 lead with 1:42 left in the third quarter.

Wake Forest gave Army a dose of its own medicine on the decisive final scoring drive, running the ball nine straight times in taking 4:38 off the clock.

Richard Glover tackled Harris for the safety and a 2-0 Army lead with 3:14 left in the first quarter after a 51-yard punt by Alex Tardieu had pinned the Demon Deacons back at their own 6-yard line.

After the ensuing Wake Forest punt, the Demon Deacons quickly gained a great chance to take the lead when linebacker Hunter Williams recovered a fumble by quarterback A.J. Schurr at the Army 25. But the offense went nowhere and Chad Hedlund's 25-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright and bounced harmlessly away as the Black Knights maintained their 2-0 lead.

Army's Achilles heel has been turnovers. The Black Knights had three in a 40-14 loss at Ball State two weeks ago, and they committed yet another as Schurr mishandled a handoff and Williams again recovered for Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons took advantage this time on Hedlund's 35-yard field goal with 9:39 left in the first half.

After Army went three-and-out, Campanaro finally caught his first pass of the game, but it was for a 3-yard loss to set up a third-and-15 play at the Army 38. Campanaro caught 16 passes for a career-high 177 yards in last week's 21-19 home loss to Louisiana-Monroe, and it seemed only a matter of time before he would be a factor in this game after he caught a 19-yard pass over the middle for a critical first down on the next play as Wake Forest threatened again. But freshman cornerback Josh Jenkins intercepted Price in the end zone to thwart the drive.

Wake Forest then forced Army to punt for the fourth time and the Demon Deacons finally struck big. Price hit a wide-open Campanaro over the middle near midfield and he outraced the defense down the right sideline, plunging into the end zone as he was hit at the right pylon for a 66-yard score with 88 seconds left in the half.

Baggett's 51-yard run set up Grochowski's 39-yard field goal in the final minute as Army cut the deficit to five points.

Savage Throws 6 TDs, Pitt Beats Duke 58-55 

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Tom Savage tied an Atlantic Coast Conference record with six touchdown passes and Pittsburgh held on for a wild 58-55 win over Duke on Saturday.

Savage threw for a career-high 424 yards on 23-of-33 passing with three scoring passes to freshman Tyler Boyd.

The Panthers (2-1, 1-1) never trailed and claimed their first ACC victory despite receiving plenty of scares down the stretch from a persistent Duke team.

Brandon Connette had four touchdown passes and four interceptions, and he rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns for Duke (2-2, 0-2).

Connette's 4-yard touchdown run with 3:17 left pulled the Blue Devils within three. Pitt recovered the onside kick, and Savage's 15-yard pass to Kevin Weatherspoon on third-and-7 helped the Panthers run out the clock.

The teams combined for 1,130 total yards.

Savage surpassed both of the major career highs he set for Rutgers in 2009 - or, two transfers ago - before halftime of this one while becoming the first ACC player to throw for six scores since Virginia's Dan Ellis and Florida State's Chris Weinke both did it on Nov. 13, 1999.

He had plenty of help from his big playmakers: Devin Street had touchdown catches of 67 and 21 yards and finished with a career-high 166 yards receiving. Boyd scored on catches of 69, 27 and 14 yards to go along with his season-high 154 yards.

Freshman James Conner rushed for a season-high 173 yards and had a short, early touchdown run.

But every time it looked like the Panthers finally gave themselves some breathing room, the Blue Devils stormed right back.

Connette pulled Duke to within 10 points with 13:36 left when he threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Braxton and then rushed 1 yard for a TD to make it 51-41.

But he threw interceptions on both of Duke's next possessions, with linebacker Anthony Gonzalez returning the last one 33 yards for what seemed like the backbreaking touchdown with 8:30remaining.

Connette then started the Blue Devils' final comeback attempt with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Braxton Deaver with 5:30 left, making it 58-48.

Duke forced a punt attempt and got the ball at the Pitt 30 after punter Matt Yoklic had trouble with a long snap. That set up Connette's last touchdown run.

Connette finished 21 of 32 for 323 yards and also had a 16-yard touchdown pass to Max McCaffrey. The Blue Devils gained 532 yards but found it nearly impossible to stop a Pitt offense that entered at No. 66 in the Bowl Subdivision with an average of 412 total yards.

Boyd, who had 134 yards receiving last week against New Mexico, became the first Pitt freshman with three touchdown catches in a game since Larry Fitzgerald did it against Virginia Tech in 2002 and the first freshman with back-to-back 100-yard receiving performances since Antonio Bryant in 1999.

That overshadowed a huge day for Crowder, who had 279 all-purpose yards and scored touchdowns three different ways.

He rushed 7 yards for a touchdown, caught a 62-yard TD pass from Connette and brought back a punt 82 yards for a score to pull Duke to 30-28 late in the first half.

Savage countered with his fourth TD pass - and third to Boyd - with 24 seconds left, making it 37-28 at the break.

Savage then capped Pitt's opening possession of the second half with a 21-yard scoring strike to Street. Touchdown No. 6 - a 17-yarder to Scott Orndoff late in the third - gave the Panthers their largest lead at 51-28.

Hunt Leads Syracuse To 52-17 Win Over Tulane 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Terrel Hunt, making his first career start for the Orange, threw for four touchdowns and ran for another to help Syracuse rout Tulane 52-17 on Saturday in the Carrier Dome.

Hunt completed 16 of 21 passes for 175 yards.

Clay Cleveland snared two of Hunt's scoring strikes for Syracuse (2-2), which put the game away early and took a 42-17 lead into halftime.

Jerome Smith found the end zone twice, scoring on a run from the 1-yard line and another on a 15-yard touchdown catch. Prince-Tyson Gulley also ran for a Syracuse score.

Quarterback Nick Montana, who was playing in front of his father, former NFL great Joe Montana, took a brutal pounding while completing 22 of 38 passes for 213 yards and one touchdown for the Green Wave (2-2).

The win was the 700th in the history of the Syracuse program and came on a day when the Orange busted out stylish new helmets, a brushed blend of orange and blue stamped by a block letter "S."

The Green Wave was on the precipice of making it a game early in the second quarter before two more crucial special teams blunders buried the team.

With the Orange up 21-10, the Tulane defense held Syracuse on its own 34. Syracuse punted, and the ball bounced alongside of returner Kedrick Banks. Banks was uncertain whether to field it or back away, but instead he did neither. He sideswiped the ball with his legs, creating a live ball and allowing SU's Devante McFarlane to recover at the Tulane 15.

Three plays later, on a third-and-11 from the 16, Hunt broke free around the right side for a touchdown scramble that made it 28-10 with 13:39 left in the half.

Syracuse bottled up Tulane on its next possession, forcing Peter Picerelli to punt from the Green Wave 27. SU's Eric Crume rammed through the punt protection to block the kick, and the ball rolled out of bounds at the Tulane 17.

Three plays later, Gulley bulled through the middle for a 1-yard score that bloated SU's cushion to 35-10 with 10:43 remaining in the second.

The half only deteriorated from there for Tulane. With 5:33 left in the second quarter, the Green Wave's Cairo Santos lined up for a 32-yard field goal, a mere chip shot for him. Santos had converted 26 straight field goals, four shy of the FBS record held by former Washington kicker Chuck Nelson.

But the streak ended right there when Orange defensive tackle John Raymon seeped through the line to block the kick.

Santos played in the game after returning from Brazil, where he attended the funeral of his father who died in a stunt plane crash.

The Green Wave finally counter-punched with 1:44 left in the half when Montana found wide receiver Justyn Shackleford in the right corner of the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown that cut the Orange lead to 35-17. But Tulane couldn't escape the first 30 minutes without first serving up two more mental mistakes that gave Syracuse seven more points.

The Orange took over on its own 15, perhaps content to take an 18-point lead into the locker room. With a first-and-10 at his team's 25, Gulley picked up four innocent yards before going out of bounds. Tulane linebacker Zach Davis added 15 yards to that when he was called for a late hit.

The Orange drive later appeared stalled when Hunt was stopped for no gain on a third-and-3 on the Green Wave 36, but Tulane nose tackle Chris Davenport handed out a free first down when he tackled Hunt out of bounds, moving the ball to the Green Wave 21.

Syracuse waited until the final ticks of the half to cash in, when Smith powered around the left side for a 1-yard score and a 42-17 lead at the break.

Hunt orchestrated near-matching touchdown drives on SU's first two possessions to get the Orange revved-up. The first covered 75 yards in seven plays and 2 minutes, 21 seconds while the second chewed up the same amount of turf on the same amount of plays in one less tick of the clock.

Hunt put a bow on the opening march with a 15-yard pass to Smith on a crossing pattern for a score for a 7-0 lead. Santos answered with a 21-yard field goal with 7:31 left in the quarter to bring Tulane within 7-3.

But Hunt was ruthless again on his next drive, topping it with a 19-yard laser to wide receiver Chris Clark for a 14-3 SU advantage. Overall, Hunt was a sizzling 14-of-17 for 168 yards and three touchdowns in the first 30 minutes.

 


Virginia Tech 29, Marshall 21, 3OT 

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - Logan Thomas ran 2 yards for a touchdown and then ran for the 2-point conversion in the third overtime Saturday, as Virginia Tech overcame a sloppy performance and beat Marshall 29-21.

The Hokies (3-1), who tied the game with 3:09 left in regulation, got the ball first in the third overtime after neither team had scored in the first two.

Thomas put some plays together. He ran for 2 yards, hit Chris Mangus for 10, ran for 2, and hit Josh Stanford. After a pass interference call on the Herd, Thomas bolted through the line for the touchdown, and then the PAT.

Marshall (2-2) got to the Hokies 14, but then Rakeem Cato couldn't find a receiver, and when Davonte Allen couldn't come up with his fourth-down pass in the end zone, the marathon game was finally over.

The game was played in a sometimes driving rain, and it was especially sloppy for the Hokies.

Virginia Tech trailed 21-14 when it drove from its 17 to the Marshall 1, where it had a first down late in the fourth quarter. After Trey Edmunds lost 2 yards, Thomas fumbled the next snap and fell on it for a 3-yard loss. Thomas gained 4 back on third down, and then hit Willie Byrn for the touchdown.

The ball went through defensive back Darryl Roberts' fingertips before Byrn caught it.

Marshall had a chance to win it in regulation when Cato hit Devon Smith for 43 yards on third-and-13 from his 19 to the Hokies' 34. But when Smith got behind the defense again, and Cato hit him in stride, safety Kyshoen Jarrett met him at the ball and intercepted it, preserving the tie.

In the first overtime, the Hokies went backwards and sent backup placekicker Ethan Keyserling out to try a 50-yard field goal, and it never had a chance. Justin Haig had a chance to then win it for the Thundering Herd, but his 39-yard attempt was blocked by Derrick Hopkins, forcing the second overtime.

Hopkins came up big in the second OT, too, scooping up a fumble on a sack from Cato and trying to return it, but the 311-pounder was pulled down from behind after rumbling into Herd territory.

The Hokies played it safe for the field goal, but Keyserling missed wide right from 32 yards.

For much of the day, the Thundering Herd seemed in charge with Cato repeatedly coming up with big third-down conversions against the nation's second-ranked defense.

Marshall took a 21-14 lead by scoring on three consecutive possessions in the first half.

Cato's 12-yard pass on third-and-goal made it 7-all, and after the Hokies drove 89 yards to Thomas' 2-yard dive, Cato tied it again by scrambling 4 yards for the touchdown. On the play, officials ignored an apparent holding penalty, and Cato's fake flip froze linebacker Jack Tyler, allowing Cato to score.

Virginia Tech also was called for two 15-yard facemask calls on the drive.

Monterius Lovett's interception of Thomas, who threw into double coverage, set the Herd up at their own 28 on the next drive, and Cato needed just seven plays to go 72 yards for the touchdown. Taliaferro had consecutive runs of 19 and 23 yards, and Gator Hoskins 13-yard catch made put the Herd ahead, 21-14.

The Hokies drove from their 8 to the Marshall 19 late in the half, helped by a 12-yard run by punter A.J. Hughes and a pass interference call on a fourth-and-8 play, but Thomas threw incomplete on his next three attempts, and backup placekicker Ethan Keyserling's 36-yard field goal try hit the left upright.

The Hokies' regular kicker, Cody Journell, missed four kicks last week and was not dressed.

Very early, the Hokies looked like the team that rose to national prominence.

After Marshall drove to just past midfield, it was forced to punt, and Kyle Fuller darted it and blocked it, and Derek DiNardo picked up the bouncing ball at the 11 and walked into the end zone.

It was 7-0 after just two minutes.

Georgia Tech Rallies To Top North Carolina 28-20 

ATLANTA (AP) - David Sims ran for 99 yards and two touchdowns and Georgia Tech recovered to beat the Tar Heels 28-20 on Saturday.

North Carolina scored the first two touchdowns and held leads of 13-0 and 20-7 in the first half.

Georgia Tech (3-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) earned its eighth straight home win in the series. North Carolina (1-2, 0-1) has not won at Bobby Dodd Stadium since 1997. Overall, Georgia Tech has won eight of the last nine in the series.

Vad Lee's 1-yard run gave Georgia Tech its first lead at 21-20 in the third quarter. Sims' 6-yard scoring run added to the lead early in the fourth quarter.

Georgia Tech had 324 yards rushing, including 100 yards on nine carries for Robert Godhigh.

Bryn Renner threw touchdown passes of 19 yards to tight end Eric Ebron and 24 yards to Sean Tapley after a 4-yard scoring run by Romar Morris.

The Tar Heels didn't score again after Tapley's touchdown catch with 9:18 remaining in the first half.

Renner completed 14 of 29 passes for 218 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Morris had 11 carries for 54 yards and one touchdown.

Lee completed 7 of 12 passes for 104 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown pass to Darren Waller in the second quarter. Lee had 24 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown.

Steady rain throughout the game may have contributed to a key lost fumble by Lee late in the first quarter. Darius Lipford recovered for North Carolina at the Tar Heels' 46.

Renner led a quick six-play touchdown drive capped by Ebron's 19-yard scoring catch. Ebron pulled the ball in with one hand before falling back in the end zone, giving the Tar Heels a 13-0 lead.

Georgia Tech had trouble holding the ball even as it scored its first touchdown. Sims, hit by Tre Boston, was losing the ball as he crossed the goal line from the 1 early in the second quarter.

A video review confirmed the on-field ruling that Sims crossed the goal line before losing the ball.

Georgia Tech lost only one of four fumbles. North Carolina did not have a fumble.

North Carolina announced before the game tight end Jack Tabb was suspended for two games for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Tabb, listed as a co-starter with Eric Ebron, also will miss next week's home game against East Carolina.

Georgia Tech lost three starters from its defense to injuries during the game. Linebacker Quayshawn Nealy and safety Chris Melton left in the first half and did not return. Another starting safety, Jamal Golden, was taken to the locker room in the third quarter.