Wake Forest 31, East Carolina 17
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP)—Cory Randolph became the first Wake Forest player ever to total more than 300 yards passing and 100 yards rushing, leading the Demon Deacons to a 31-17 victory over East Carolina on Saturday night.
A week after he was benched against Clemson, Randolph finished 16-of-21 for 344 yards and ran for 107, including two clutch runs for first downs on the clinching drive in the final quarter. He threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score.
Both of his yardage totals were career highs.
Cornelius Birgs also ran for a TD for Wake Forest (1-1), which lost to Clemson 37-30 in double overtime a week ago.
The Deacons played nearly the entire game without leading receiver Jason Anderson. He sprained his ankle on a 32-yard reception on the second play and left for good, leaving Randolph to make most of the big plays on his own.
He did just that.
After the Pirates closed to 10-3 early in the third quarter, Randolph tossed a perfect spiral to a streaking Nate Morton for a 63-yard touchdown, then added a 35-yarder to Chris Davis about five minutes later to make it 24-3.
East Carolina rallied after a couple of mistakes by the Deacons. Willie Idlette fumbled while returning a punt, and Richard Koonce recovered to give East Carolina possession at the Deacons’ 48.
James Pinkney then threw a 29-yard pass to Damarcus Fox on third-and-9 to move the ball to the 18, then connected with a wide-open Bobby Good in the corner of the end zone on the next play.
On the ensuing drive, Randolph made one of his few mistakes when he overthrew Idlette over the middle, and safety Zach Baker was there for the interception. Two personal fouls after the turnover cost East Carolina field position, but on third-and-4 from the 14, third-string tailback Chris Johnson scampered around the right end and outran the defense to make it 24-17.
Randolph didn’t panic. He moved the Deacons 61 yards in nine plays for their final score, capping the drive with a nifty 18-yard run on a draw. Earlier, he had kept the possession going with runs of 13 and 3 yards on third downs.
Last week, Randolph was only 7-of-21 for 55 yards, and was replaced for a time by Ben Mauk.
Pinkey bounced back from a terrible start, during which he threw interceptions on his first two passes. He finished 20-of-37 for 233 yards and the one touchdown.