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November 12, 2012

Revisiting the five keys

It appeared Wake Forest (5-5, 3-5 ACC) did not show up till it was down 17-0 at NC State (6-4, 3-3 ACC), which was too little too late as the Wolfpack rolled to an easy 37-6 win.

Deacons Illustrated breaks down Wake's lackluster performance in regard the "Five keys."

1) Turnovers

The Demon Deacons only turned the ball over twice on an interception thrown by Tanner Price and a fumble by Sherman Ragland. However, it must have felt like more after the Black and Gold were forced to punt 12 times.

NC State scored 10 points off Wake Forest's turnovers.

It is not fair to depend on Wake's defense to bail out its patchwork counterpart for every blunder it makes, especially when facing an offense with the caliber the Pack possess.

2) Running games

Going into the game the Deacs were gaining just 112.3 yards rushing per game; however, State was allowing an average of 150.2 yards on the ground, giving the appearance of vulnerability.

The Demon Deacons found no room at all, as the Wolfpack held them to a suffocating 16 yards rushing.

3) What's in a name?

Aside from yielding a touchdown on a 39-yard flanker pass from Michael Campanaro to Terence Davis NC State's pass-defense dominated, limiting Wake's aerial attack to 22-40 passes for 169 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Also, Price was sacked five times, as he struggled to get into a rhythm throwing the football.

4) Getting to Glennon

Wake Forest sacked Mike Glennon twice and intercepted him once, but that was not enough to slow down State's senior quarterback. Glennon completed 25-41 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns.

He could have thrown for well over 300 yards if drops were not an issue for NC State's receivers.

5) Special teams

Tobais Palmer decimated any hopes Wake had for a comeback when he opened the second half with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to put the Pack up three scores.

The Demon Deacons struggled to cover NC State's returners, giving up a 28-yard punt return to Rashard Smith and a 26-yard kickoff return to Palmer.

Wake Forest was a few yards better than usual in the return category, but the Deacs would still be better off kneeling in the end-zone in exchange 25-yard placement to start each drive.

Alexander Kinal averaged an impressive 43.3 yards per punt, and pinned the Wolpack inside its own 20 twice. However, Kinal shanked two punts badly.

Niklas Sade missed two field goals and Chad Hedlund missed his only extra point attempt. All proved to inconsequential.

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