Wake sets records in rout of Campbell

Wake Forest defensive lineman Carlos Basham Jr. (9) bows after sacking Campbell quarterback Hajj-Malik Williams during an NCAA college football game Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (Andrew Dye/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP)

WINSTON-SALEM — Wake Forest dominated visiting Campbell 66-14 in the lone nonconference game for the Demon Deacons this season. Wake picked up its first win after dropping ACC games to NC State and Clemson to start the year. It was the most points Wake has scored since beating Virginia 66-21 on Oct. 25, 1975.

Nine different Demon Deacon players scored, including two kickers, and four recorded their first collegiate points in the game. Wake scored on eight of its 10 possessions in the game, coming up short only twice on a missed field goal attempt in the first half and running out the clock to end the game in the second. The Demon Deacons went through a game without punting for the first time in their 112 years of football history.

Campbell finished its winless four-game season, getting outscored by four FBS programs by a combined 188-82 margin.

Three thoughts

1. Wake returned to the field after last week’s game against Notre Dame was postponed due to a COVID outbreak on the Fighting Irish. Now Wake has another two-week wait before playing again as the Deacs have a scheduled off week.

“In my mind, this will be our third bye week,” coach Dave Clawson said, pointing out that Wake’s original pre-pandemic schedule has a game on the weekend of Sept. 5, while the season didn’t end up starting until Sept. 12. “The only way to get better as a team is to play football games. But this is 2020, you’ve got to rock and roll with it. Now we’re off, and we may be off again.”

2. Wake Forest had approximately 2,200 fans in the stadium after the state of North Carolina loosened pandemic restrictions on gatherings to allow stadiums to allow fans to attend up to 7% of stadium capacity.

“It seemed like a loud and obnoxious crowd after the last two games,” Clawson said. “But 2,200 is better than 50, better than 250. Hopefully, as this moves along, we can get 10%. It’ll be good to be able to have our students there. That’s part of the collegiate experience. But these are new times.”

3. Wake scored multiple touchdowns on offense and added a defensive score when Zion Keith picked off a pass and returned it 45 yards to the end zone. Donovan Greene gave the Deacs a special teams score as well, returning a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown after Campbell scored on a double-pass trick play.

Number to Know

79 years — The 66 points Wake Forest put on the board were the most by the Demon Deacons against a nonconference foe since outscoring Camp Davis 66-0 on Sept. 20, 1941. Wake was a member of the Southern Conference at the time, as the ACC wouldn’t be created for another dozen years.

They Said It

“I’ll be honest with you, I really didn’t want to score 66. … I was very content when we were at 52, but we put our backups in and you have to let those guys play.”

— Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson

Player of the Game

Christian Beal-Smith, Demon Deacons running back — The redshirt junior led the way for a dominant Wake Forest ground attack. Beal-Smith finished with 130 yards on 20 carries for a 6.5 yards per attempt average. He also scored three touchdowns, giving Wake a back with three rushing touchdowns in back-to-back games. Kenneth Walker III scored three against NC State.

Critical thinking

There’s not much to nitpick in a blowout win against an overmatched foe. Clawson wasn’t happy at halftime after Wake hit the locker room leading by a 24-7 margin.

“I was frustrated at halftime,” he said. “They had the ball 19, 20 minutes in the first half. Part of that may have been due to Wake’s offense, which scored on drives lasting 1:07, 2:07 and 1:59.