WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Michael Campanaro caught three first-half touchdown passes from Tanner Price and Wake Forest took a step closer to becoming bowl eligible with a 28-14 win over Boston College on Saturday.
Campanaro tied an Atlantic Coast Conference record with 16 receptions for 123 yards and became only the eighth player in school history to catch three TD passes in a game.
Price was outstanding, completing 39 of 57 passes for 293 yards as the Demon Deacons (5-4, 3-4) bounced back from a 29-point thrashing last week to No. 9 Clemson.
Wake Forest came in with the lowest-scoring offense in the ACC, but looked sharp early with Price hooking up on touchdown strikes of 5, 27 and 16 yards to Campanaro to build a 21-7 halftime lead.
Chase Rettig threw for 357 yards for Boston College (2-7, 1-5), but turned the ball over four times, three of those on interceptions.
The Deacons need to win one of their final three games to become bowl eligible. They’re on the road at N.C. State and No. 4 Notre Dame before closing at home against Vanderbilt.
The Eagles will not be headed to a bowl for the second straight season after playing in 12 straight. The loss also means Boston College will finish in last place in the ACC’s Atlantic Division.
The previous nine meetings between these teams were decided by 10 points or less, but it appeared early on Wake Forest might run away with this one after jumping out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
But Rettig capped a 12-play, 95-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter with a 16-yard scoring strike to Alex Amidon to cut the Deacons’ lead in half. Amidon finished with 10 catches for 130 yards.
However, Wake Forest turned the tide late in the second quarter when defensive end Zach Thompson stripped Rettig of the ball in the backfield and recovered at the Eagles 15. Five plays later Price hooked up with a wide-open Campanaro on a wheel route for their third touchdown with 54 seconds left in the half.
Boston College would make it close.
After a 52-yard completion from Rettig to Johnathan Coleman, the Eagles went to their bag of tricks. Rettig threw a lateral to receiver Bobby Swigert, who promptly threw to a wide open Chris Pantale in the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 21-14.
That was as close as they’d get.
Wake Forest pushed the lead back to 14 when Josh Harris busted off right tackle for a 23-yard scoring run on a fourth-and-1 play to make it a two-possession game.
Harris finished with 82 yards on 16 carries.
Terence Davis added seven catches for 62 yards for the Deacons prior to leaving late in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.
Wake Forest’s defense had its share of big plays. Along with the four turnovers, they also had three stops on fourth-and-1 plays, including one near the goal line in the second half.
It’s been a tough year for the Deacons.
They’ve played all year with a makeshift offensive line, saw their defensive statistics balloon when their nose guard missed two early games due to injury and had eight players serve suspensions of varying length for off-field incidents.
But this win went a long way toward healing their pain.
The road doesn’t get any easier for Boston College, which hosts Notre Dame next Saturday.
Credit: The Associated Press.