No. 16 Wake Forest beats Army 70-56 behind Hartman

Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
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WEST POINT, N.Y. – Sam Hartman threw for a career-high 458 yards and five touchdowns in a big-play display and ran for another score, and No. 16 Wake Forest defeated Army with a 70-56 victory on Saturday to remain unbeaten.

Army (4-3), which lost its third straight, had not defeated a ranked opponent since a 17-14 victory over Air Force in 1972, but the Black Knights made Wake Forest (7-0) earn it.

Hartman was unstoppable and rarely pressured, completing 23 of 29 passes and hitting touchdown passes of 41, 54 and two of 75 yards as he matched the Michie Stadium record for scoring passes. Army never led, and a costly interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter gave the Demon Deacons the breathing room they needed.

Two touchdown passes by Army’s Jabari Laws, a 21-yarder to Isaiah Alston late in the third, and a 25-yarder to Tyrell Robinson midway through the fourth, kept it a one-possession game until Hartman scored on an 8-yard run with 6:57 left

Army rushed for 416 yards and finished with 595 yards offensively as the teams combined for 1,233 yards in a game that featured just one punt.

It was a one-possession game until the third quarter after Army knotted the score at 28-all on Jakobi Buchanan‘s 1-yard touchdown run.

Hartman came right back quickly, hitting Jaquarii Roberson over the middle for a 75-yard score.

The Black Knights then drove deep into Wake Forest on the ensuing possession and tried some trickery on a fourth-and-5. It backfired big-time when quarterback Cade Ballard, in his first play of the season, lined up as the holder and his pass into the left flat was intercepted by Traveon Redd, who returned it 83 yards for a touchdown and a 42-28 lead.

But the big plays just kept coming.

Anthony Adkins raced 71 yards for an Army score and Hartman responded with a 75-yard strike to Ke’Shawn Williams.

Army matched the Demon Deacons on the scoreboard in the first half until Christian Beal-Smith scored on a 13-yard run up the gut of the Army defense with 35 seconds left in the second quarter to give Wake Forest a 28-21 halftime lead.

Hartman guided the Demon Deacons to two quick scores in the first quarter. The second was keyed by two big plays. Pinned at his own 3, Hartman hit A.T. Perry for 50 yards down the middle and three plays later connected with Roberson for a 41-yard score and a 14-7 lead.

After Buchanan’s 3-yard scoring run knotted the score at 14-all early in the second quarter, Hartman connected on a 54-yard scoring pass to Perry, who was free and clear after Army defender Cam Jones fell.

Army, which used three quarterbacks in the first half, tied it at 21-21 on Tyhier Tyler‘s 24-yard run up the middle with 3:17 left in the second. Army had failed on a fourth-and-2 play, but after a video review by the officiating crew, Wake Forest was penalized for having too many players and Tyler took advantage.

HYPED UP?

Playing a ranked team at Michie Stadium for the first time this century, Army entered the game with the fewest penalties in the nation (21) and committed three on Wake Forest’s first possession, which ended with Christian Turner‘s 3-yard TD run.

RECORD FALLS

Hartman broke the Michie Stadium record for passing yards set in 2014 by Buffalo’s Joe Licata, who threw for 401 yards in Jeff Monken‘s first game as Army coach. The Black Knights won that one, 47-39.

THE TAKEAWAY

Wake Forest: With Hartman at the controls, the Demon Deacons are a force, but the defense didn’t measure up against Army and they face a huge test in November in the race for the Atlantic Division title in the Atlantic Coast Conference with consecutive games at North Carolina, home against NC State and at Clemson.

Army: The Black Knights have demonstrated that they can play with the best programs in the country. They rushed for a season high in rushing and threw for three touchdowns, a good sign going forward.

UP NEXT

Wake Forest returns to ACC action to host Duke next Saturday.

Army has a break before it faces a Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy matchup against service academy rival Air Force on Nov. 6 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. It’s the first neutral-site game in the series since 1965 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.