ACC Football: Wake Forest 42, Maryland 32
WINSTON-SALEM ó The records, yards and touchdowns keep piling up in Riley Skinner’s dream season at previously ground-oriented Wake Forest.
The style change has put the Demon Deacons in as good a position as any team to win the ACC’s unpredictable Atlantic Division.
Skinner threw for 360 yards and a career-high four touchdowns on Saturday, setting the school record for yards passing in a career in a 42-32 victory over Maryland.
Chris Givens was Skinner’s top target, catching five passes for 116 yards and two scores as the Demon Deacons (4-2, 2-1) moved into first place in the division by shredding Maryland’s suspect defense.
“We’re looking pretty good in the conference right now. But we’ve got Clemson and Miami and Georgia Tech and Florida State coming up, which isn’t fun to think about,” Skinner said. “But you know what, if we keep clicking like we are and our defense keeps getting better and better each week, we’ll put ourselves in a position to battle against those guys.”
Especially with the senior playing like perhaps the best quarterback in the ACC, a development that led coach Jim Grobe to change his offense.
Wake Forest scored touchdowns on its first five possessions in building a 35-10 halftime lead. Skinner moved past Brian Kuklick in the second quarter and has 8,296 yards passing. A week earlier he broke Kuklick’s career touchdown mark.
“That’s probably as good a first half of football that we’ve ever played,” Grobe said.
It looked easy against Maryland (2-4, 1-1), which couldn’t build on last week’s surprising win over Clemson. The Terrapins allowed 516 yards and their banged-up offense couldn’t keep up.
Chris Turner was 24 of 44 for 307 yards and three touchdown passes for Maryland, playing only its second road game of the season. Davin Meggett, filling in for injured running back Da’Rel Scott, was held to 21 yards on six carries.
Turner’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith with 1:37 left cut the lead to 10, but Wake Forest recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.
“We blew a lot of coverages in the first half,” Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. “I thought we played better in the second half, but it was too little, too late.”
With Wake Forest alum Arnold Palmer watching from the sidelines on homecoming, Josh Adams rumbled 48 yards for a touchdown on the opening possession.