NORFOLK, Va. (NSUSpartans.com) – Host Wake Forest scored the first seven times it had the ball Saturday en route to a 41-16 win over Norfolk State at Truist Field.
In their first-ever matchup with an ACC team, the Spartans (0-2) racked up 336 yards of total offense and posted their second-highest point total in 15 games against FBS teams. Juwan Carter led the way with 195 passing yards and two touchdowns through the air, but a quick-strike and balanced Demon Deacon offense proved too much for the Spartans.
NSU held the ball for more than 13 minutes of the first quarter, piecing together two long drives that reached Wake Forest (2-0) territory. Josh Nardone capped the game's first possession with a 41-yard field goal, the 12th play of the march, to give NSU a 3-0 lead.
The Demon Deacons answered quickly with a 4-yard TD run by quarterback Sam Hartman to cap a six-play, 65-yard drive and give Wake a 7-3 lead.
NSU drove into Wake territory on the ensuing possession, but was forced to punt. The Deacons drove down and scored again on a 3-yard Christian Beal-Smith plunge, and added to their lead on their next possession with a 1-yard run by Christian Turner with 4:35 left before halftime.
The Spartans scored just more than three minutes later as Carter engineered a nine-play, 75-yard drive. He capped it with a 10-yard TD strike to running back Rayquan Smith, cutting NSU's deficit to 21-9. But the Demon Deacons got on the board right before halftime on Nick Sciba's 46-yard field goal.
Jaquarii Roberson caught a 64-yard TD pass on the first play of the third quarter to extend Wake's lead. Sciba kicked a 22-yard field goal and Turner scored on a 7-yard run to widen the margin.
The Spartans added to their score in the fourth. The Spartans drove 59 yards in six plays for a touchdown, with Carter hitting tight end Anthony Williams on a 3-yard TD pass. The drive was highlighted by a 34-yard run by J.J. Davis and set up by an interception by Ricky Harleston, NSU's first takeaway of the season.
Hartman was 17-of-25 for 244 yards for Wake Forest, which posted 252 passing yards and 161 on the ground Saturday.
The Spartans return home next Saturday for their first game in the confines of Dick Price Stadium in almost two years, a 6 p.m. matchup with Elizabeth City State.