WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WakeForestSports.com) – Behind a stout defense, Wake Forest defeated Syracuse 28-9 on Saturday in a rainy and windy affair at BB&T Field. The Demon Deacons are now 5-1 to start the season for the first time since 2006.
The Demon Deacons (5-1, 2-1 ACC) held a potent Syracuse (2-4, 0-2 ACC) offense to just 168 yards passing and 158 rushing yards. Coming into the game, Syracuse ranked 24th in the NCAA with 495.0 yards per game and ended the game with 326.
Marquel Lee led the way on defense with 15 tackles including 12 solo stops and 5.5 tackles for loss. The defense forced two turnovers with an interception from Amari Henderson and an 83-yard fumble recovery touchdown by Cameron Glenn. As a team, the Deacons had 11 tackles for loss with five sacks.
Wake Forest made the most of the running game with the blustery conditions. Cade Carney registered 104 yards rushing with one touchdown while quarterback John Wolford ran for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Cam Serigne had four catches for 68 yards while Cortez Lewis had five catches for 42 yards.
Syracuse got on the board early in the first half with a safety after a botched Wake Forest snap. The Deacons tallied their first points of the game later in the quarter when Wolford led a drive which featured several key runs by Carney and a 25-yard pass to Serigne. The drive was capped off by a 7-yard touchdown run from Wolford.
Late in the second quarter, the Orange put together a 10-yard drive over 3:22 and scored off a 1-yard touchdown run from Dontae Strickland as Syracuse took a 9-7 lead.
In the waning minutes of the first half, Wolford ran a quarterback draw and scampered 37-yards for his second touchdown of the game. Wake Forest went into halftime leading 14-9. Syracuse threatened in the final seconds of the second quarter but Henderson intercepted the pass at the goal line which ended the half.
After both teams traded punts throughout most of the second half, Wake Forest marched down the field courtesy of a 28-yard pass to Serigne, three runs from Carney, and an 18-yard pass to Chuck Wade. The drive culminated with a 3-yard touchdown run from Carney.
Wake Forest sealed the 28-9 win with a forced fumble from Brad Watson and was returned for an 83-yard touchdown by Glenn.