Walker runs for 3 TDs as Wake Forest beats Virginia 40-23

Sports

Wake Forest running back Kenneth Walker III carries while pursued by Campbell defensive back James Tarver (16) during an NCAA college football game Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (Andrew Dye/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Kenneth Walker III had 123 yards rushing and three touchdowns, including the go-ahead 75-yard scoring, run, and Wake Forest beat Virginia 40-23.

Walker took a handoff, bounced left, broke free from a Virginia tackler and raced down the left sideline to make it 30-23 early in the fourth quarter.

Virginia’s Perris Jones muffed the ensuing kickoff while attempting to make a fair catch, setting up Walker for a 4-yard TD run that put the Demon Deacons (2-2, 1-2 ACC) in control for good.

With starter Brennan Armstrong sidelined due to concussion protocol, Virginia used a combination of backups.

Those backups included Lindell Stone, Iraken Armstead and Keytoan Thompson, often rotating Stone and Armstead in the same series.

After a slow start, the trio lead the Cavs back into a 20-20 tie at halftime. Delaney, who kicked three field goals, missed a 36-yarder that would have given the Cavs the lead with 5:25 left in the third quarter.

Stone, seldom used in his first three seasons at Virginia, completed 24 of 42 passes for 193 yards and two interceptions. Led by Thompson’s 71 yards on 10 carries, the Cavs rushed for 218 yards on 38 carries.

Armstead scored Virginia’s first TD on a 4-yard run, capping an 11-play, 73-yard drive on the first play of the second quarter. The Cavs sent the game into halftime tied at 20 on Wayne Taulapapa’s 15-yard TD run in the final two minutes.

TAKEAWAY

Virginia: The Cavaliers let a great effort get away without a victory. Bronco Mendenhall’s team responded well after falling behind 14-0 in the first four minutes, but Walker’s 75-yard TD run and the kickoff muff were too much to overcome. The Cavs defense gave up some big passing plays but stiffened in short-yardage and third-down situations.

Wake Forest: The Deacons almost squandered a fast start against a Cavaliers team playing on the road without an established quarterback. The Deacons’ inability to mount a capable running attack allowed the Cavs to put the heat on Hartman, who was sacked three times while under a consistent pass rush. But the Deacons made big plays in the fourth quarter to hang on.

UP NEXT

Virginia: The Cavs play at Miami on Oct. 24 in an 8 p.m. kickoff.

Wake Forest: The Deacons play host to Virginia Tech on Oct. 24 in 3:30 p.m. kickoff.

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