COLLEGE FOOTBALL RECAP: Deacons top Flames
WINSTON-SALEM — Redshirt freshman Deandre Martin scored the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run as Wake Forest came from behind to defeat Liberty 20-17 Saturday.
The Flames led 14-7 late in the third quarter when Wake Forest safety A.J. Marshall stepped in front of a Brian Hudson pass and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown to help turn the tide.
On Wake Forest's next possession, Martin capped a nine-play, 60-yard drive by racing around right end to give the Demon Deacons their first lead at 20-14 with 13:24 remaining. Martin ran for 74 yards after taking over in the first quarter when starting running back Josh Harris left with a concussion and did not return.
Hudson threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns for Liberty.
Tanner Price, Wake Forest's junior quarterback, struggled all night with accuracy.
He finished 16 of 28 for 195 yards. He also had his streak of passes without an interception dating back to last season snapped at 181 when he was intercepted in the first half by Marques Jenkins.
The schedule gets tougher for the Demon Deacons from here on out as they host rival North Carolina next Saturday and then visit Florida State the following week.
North Carolina 62, Elon 0
CHAPEL HILL — Larry Fedora couldn't have asked his players for much more in his first game as North Carolina's coach.
Gio Bernard had three first-half touchdowns and the Tar Heels had their biggest scoring day in 17 years to beat Elon 62-0 on Saturday, turning in a performance featuring plenty of points, a lot of yards and relatively few miscues.
North Carolina finished three points shy of tying the school record and had its best output since beating Ohio 62-0 under Mack Brown in September 1995. It was the Tar Heels' first shutout since beating Duke 38-0 to close the 1999 season.
And the Tar Heels set an Atlantic Coast Conference record for punt-return yardage (260 on nine returns), bolstered by Bernard's 30- and 70-yard returns in his first game fielding punts.
While Bernard was the most impressive in the new no-huddle spread attack, Bryn Renner threw for 236 yards and three touchdowns before being replaced by Marquise Williams midway through the third quarter.
The Tar Heels had 524 total yards and ran 74 plays despite slowing things down in the fourth.
Elon finished with 170 total yards against UNC's new 4-2-5 defense. It was also the most points given up by Elon since allowing a school-record 70 to Appalachian State in 1968.
Duke 46, Florida International 26
DURHAM — Sean Renfree threw for 290 yards and two touchdowns, and Duke scored 30 points in the second quarter of its 46-26 rout of Florida International on Saturday night.
Jack-of-all-trades Brandon Connette ran for one score and threw for another, and Ross Cockrell returned a blocked field goal 75 yards for the TD that capped the Blue Devils' most productive quarter since 1999.
Renfree was 21 of 30. Conner Vernon had 10 catches for 180 yards and a 28-yard TD, and set a school record with his 208th career reception.
Duke opened by beating a Football Bowl Subdivision team for the first time since 2002. The Blue Devils led 44-14, improved to 3-2 in openers under David Cutcliffe and snapped a seven-game losing streak that dated back to last year's victory over FIU.
Wofford 34, Gardner-Webb 7
BOILING SPRINGS — Eric Breitenstein ran for 219 yards and two touchdowns to help lead Wofford to an easy 34-7 non-conference victory over Gardner-Webb Saturday night.
In the opening game for each team, the Terriers had an enormous 402-12 advantage in rushing yardage. Brian Kass also threw a 37-yard scoring pass to Donovan Johnson and C.J. Turner returned a fumble 12 yards for a touchdown to give Wofford a 14-0 first-quarter lead.
After a scoreless second quarter, Wofford's Christian Reed kicked the first of his two field goals in the third period to make it a 17-0. Then Breitenstein burst 64 yards to score.
Gardner-Webb quarterback Lucas Beatty hit Kenny Cook on a 24-yard touchdown pass later in the quarter, but Breitenstein concluded the scoring with a 19-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Wofford has won the last six meetings with Gardner-Webb. The Runnin' Bulldogs last beat Wofford in 1987.
NC Central 54, Fayetteville State 31
DURHAM — North Carolina Central used a balanced offensive attack and broke open a close game in the second half to beat Fayetteville State 54-31 Saturday.
The Eagles led by 3 at the half but outscored the Broncos 34-14 in a second half. Allonte Tuppins started the outburst with a 69-yard interception return, and Adrian Wilkins capped the scoring with a 46-yard punt return.
Matt Goggans passed for 223 yards and a touchdown on 15-for-26 passing for NCCU.
After Goggans' 20-yard touchdown pass to Geovonie Irvine, Fayetteville cut Central's lead to 34-24 with 8:22 left in the third quarter behind Michael Johnson's 94-yard kick return. The Broncos, though, could get no closer the rest of the way.
The Eagles' defense made its presence felt by forcing four turnovers and holding Fayetteville to 60-yards rushing.
Coastal Carolina 29, North Carolina A&T 13
CONWAY, S.C. — Aramis Hillary threw for 274 yards and Jeremy Height added 109 on the ground as Coastal Carolina beat North Carolina A&T 29-13 Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.
Hillary, who was 19-of-28 passing, opened the scoring with a 1-yard run midway through the first quarter. Height's touchdown from 22-yards out on Coastal Carolina's next possession gave the Chanticleers a 14-0 advantage.
North Carolina A&T cut the deficit to 17-10 at halftime, but Hillary capped off Coastal Carolina's 10-play, 75-yard opening drive of the third quarter with a 33-yard pass to Matt Hazel to put the game away.
Niccolo Mastromatteo led all receivers with seven catches for 114 yards.
North Carolina A&T's Kwashaun Quick managed 155 yards passing and 57 yards rushing but threw three interceptions. The loss marked the Aggies' fourth-straight to Coastal Carolina.
Presbyterian 45, Brevard 10
CLINTON, S.C. — Demarcus Rouse scored three touchdowns and Lance Byrd rushed for 109 yards to lead Presbyterian to a 45-10 victory against Brevard College in the season opener for both teams. It was the first meeting between the teams.
The Blue Hose's Michael Ruff took the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown.
Byrd surpassed 2,000 career yards rushing, the first player in Blue Hose history to reach that mark as a Football Championship Series member (Big South). The senior ran the ball 13 times and brought his career total to 2,058 yards.
Brevard quarterback Aaron Reese was 9 for 15 for 81 yards and a touchdown. Eric Watts caught the Tornados' touchdown pass, and his 68 receiving yards extended his school record. Watts also punted seven times for a 42.3-yard average. He was the South Atlantic Conference leader last season and was all-conference as a receiver and a punter.