Jamie Newman returned from injury to throw for three touchdowns and run for two more as No. 23 Wake Forest beat North Carolina State 44-10 on Saturday.
Newman had missed one game and part of another with a shoulder injury, and his status was uncertain for the long-running instate series. But Newman and the Demon Deacons (7-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) got off to a dominating start that had this one wrapped up early.
Wake Forest said the 34-point margin was its largest ever against an ACC opponent at BB&T Field, where the Demon Deacons began playing in September 1968.
Newman scored twice on first-quarter keepers, taking a moment to extend his arms to the side in celebration as he crossed the goal line on a 20-yard run that started Wake Forest’s opening-period romp.
He also had the first of his three TD throws to Jack Freudenthal in the first quarter, with Wake Forest scoring touchdowns on its first three drives and taking a 24-0 lead early in the second.
Newman threw for 287 yards and ran for 30 more before checking out late in the third.
N.C. State (4-4, 1-3) never had an answer, with its defense unable to stop the Demon Deacons and its offense unable to sustain drives with first-time starting quarterback Devin Leary.
The redshirt freshman completed 17 of 45 passes for 149 yards and a second-quarter touchdown but had two interceptions. There was also Keyon Lesane’s fumbled kickoff return deep in Wolfpack territory that set up Freudenthal’s first TD grab.
N.C. State: It was another miserable every-other-year trip west to Winston-Salem, where N.C. State has won once since 2001. Worse, it came following an open date that allowed Leary to get plenty of first-team practice reps to prepare as the Wolfpack’s third starting QB this season in an attempt to regroup for a November push.
Wake Forest: The open week bought time for Newman to get healthy for the only team still with a chance to interrupt fourth-ranked Clemson’s march to yet another ACC Atlantic Division title. The Demon Deacons were 0-7 under coach Dave Clawson when emerging from an open week, but they ended that drought by beating the Wolfpack for the third straight year.
The margin was impressive enough to potentially give the Demon Deacons a boost in the AP Top 25 poll, as was seeing Newman back at the helm of the offense.
N.C. State: Reigning national champion Clemson visits the Wolfpack next Saturday night.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons visit Virginia Tech next Saturday.