WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Senior quarterback John Wolford threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score as unbeaten Wake Forest defeated Utah State 46-10 on Saturday.
Arkeem Byrd had 120 yards rushing including a 59-yard TD scamper and Tabari Hines had a career-high 129 yards receiving for the Demon Deacons, who opened the season 3-0 for the second straight year. It’s the first time in six years Wake Forest has had a 100-yard rusher and receiver in the same game.
Wake Forest led 30-0 at halftime after outgaining the Aggies 397-77 in the first half.
“I feel like they have surrounded me with some really good skill (players),” Wolford said. “But I think the big jump for us is the offensive line.”
Demon Deacons coach Dave Clawson liked what he saw from this team all around.
“Good teams have balance and we’re getting that right now,” Clawson said.
This one was never close.
Wake Forest seized the momentum early as Cameron Glenn intercepted a Kent Myers pass on Utah State’s first possession and returned the ball 43 yards for an apparent touchdown. The play was called back for an illegal block, but it didn’t matter as Wolford hit freshman Greg Dortch on a slant route on Wake Forest’s first offensive play for a 43-yard touchdown. Wolford made it 14-0 on the next series finding a wide open tight end Cam Serigne on a seam route for a 45-yard TD.
Wake Forest’s defense was dominant.
They limited Utah State (1-2) to 1.98 yards per play in the first half and Boogie Basham recorded a safety.
“I obviously didn’t have them as ready as I thought to come out of the gate,” Utah State coach Matt Wells said.
KNOCKED OUT: Myers was 9 of 23 for 54 yards for Utah State before being knocked out of the game in the third quarter when he was hit on the return of a pooch punt. Jordan Love replaced Myers and threw a 75-yard touchdown pass on his second throw.
DORTCHED HIM: Dortch became the first freshman in school history to catch a touchdown pass in his first three games. It was Dortch’s team-high fourth TD catch of the season and he leads the Demon Deacons in yards receiving.
NEW STREAK BEGINS: Serigne had his 37-game streak of consecutive receptions snapped last week at Boston College, but started another on Saturday when he showed his speed by exploding down the seam and hauling in a TD catch in the first quarter.
SUPER SPECIAL TEAMS: Wake Forest gave up a first down on a fake punt, but otherwise dominated on special teams. Punter Dom Maggio pinned Utah State at the 1-inch line leading to a safety on Utah State’s next possession and Jessie Bates had a 75-yard punt return that led to a 1-yard run by Matt Colburn.
Utah State: The Aggies looked like a jetlagged football team that simply didn’t show up one week after a 51-13 win over Idaho State. They were beat up front on both sides of the ball. The Aggies couldn’t get anything going on offense and their defense did little to stop the Demon Deacons, who averaged 7.6 yards per play in the first half. Myers struggled at quarterback, but Love provided some spark.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons may be a little better than some are giving them credit for this season. They’ve opened the season with three straight 200-yard rushing games and have outscored their opponents 141-27 so far. Their other wins came against Presbyterian and Boston College.
Utah State: The Aggies look to get back on track when they travel to face San Jose State next Saturday.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons pack up and head to Boone, North Carolina to face Appalachian State on Saturday.
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