ACC Football: Wake Forest 31, Maryland 10
WINSTON-SALEM ó After three weeks of trying and failing, Wake Forest is now bowl eligible for the first time since 2008.
For that, the Demon Deacons can thank quarterback Tanner Price and wide receiver Chris Givens.
Price threw for 320 yards and three touchdowns and Givens had a record-setting day, and Wake Forest snapped a three-game losing streak with a 31-10 victory over Maryland on Saturday night.
Brandon Pendergrass ran for 125 yards and a touchdown, a 2-yarder in the third quarter, and Jimmy Newman hit a 25-yard field goal for the Demon Deacons (6-5, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who became bowl eligible for the fourth time in the last six years.
ěThis is huge,î Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe said. ěThose last three losses have been so emotional … we were afraid weíd come out a little flat and not play very good. But we played pretty well all night.î
And that has lifted a big weight off the shoulders of the Demon Deacons, who led in their last two games ó against Notre Dame and then-No. 9 Clemson ó only to lose.
ěItís a big monkey off our backs,î said Price, who completed 20 of 32 attempts Saturday to finish just six yards from tying his career high, set earlier this season against Navy. ěItís a goal we set for ourselves at the beginning of the season, and to be able to accomplish it is really exciting.î
But the biggest star Saturday was Givens, who overcame flulike symptoms Saturday to pull in eight catches for a career-best 191 yards and a touchdown, breaking a 22-year-old Wake Forest single-season receiving record in the process.
ěîI felt pretty bad,î Givens said. ěI had a headache this morning that kept me up all night last night. I couldnít sleep. (Assistant coach Lonnie) Galloway just told me that we donít have time for you to be sick, so I just blocked it out of my head and played.î
Givens broke the record during the Demon Deaconsí lone scoring drive in the first half, pulling in a 14-yarder from Price to put the ball at the Maryland 2. Price then hit Cameron Ford on a 2-yard pass on the next play to put Wake Forest up 7-0 with 5:17 left in the first quarter.
Price also hit Terrence Davis with a 10-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, then gave Givens his career-high game with a 35-yard scoring pass with 7:48 remaining in Saturdayís game.
ěI didnít even know he was sick,î Price said of Givens. ěThe past two weeks, heís been getting double teamed, but today they kinda eased off and created some man matchups. He was able to play his game, and he had a really great game as a result.î
With one game remaining, Givens now has 1,207 yards, surpassing the old single-season mark of 1,053 yards set by Ricky Proehl in 1989. He is also one game away from tying the record for 100-yard games in a season, and two away from the career 100-yard game mark.
Quarterback C.J. Brown threw for 186 yards and a touchdown and ran for 110 more for the Terrapins (2-9, 1-6), who were tied 7-7 at the half but managed just a 42-yard Nick Ferrara field goal in the final two quarters.
Brown, who took over as Marylandís sole starting quarterback when Danny OíBrian suffered a broken arm last week against Notre Dame, put the Terrapins in position to tie the score with less than two minutes left in the first half.
Taking over with 1:27 remaining, Brown used runs of 14 and 20 yards to move the ball into Wake Forest territory, then found Justus Pickett in the back of the end zone on a 31-yard TD pass with 12 seconds left to tie the game.
ěWe had a lot of momentum coming in off that drive,î Brown said. ěI hit Pickett on a little rail route and had a lot of momentum, and we were fired up to come out and finish the second half. Unfortunately that didnít happen.î
However, Maryland also wasted two scoring opportunities, with Ferrara missing field goal attempts of 32 yards in the first quarter and 36 yards in the third. The Terrapins also had two other red-zone scoring opportunities in the fourth quarter stopped on downs.
ěWhen you have scoring opportunities and you donít take advantage of them … it makes it very, very difficult to win,î Maryland head coach Randy Edsall said after the Terrapinsí seventh consecutive loss. ěWe had too many missed opportunities in order to win the ball game.î
The Associated Press