HOUSTON — Wake Forest quarterback Jamie Newman stayed hot on a hotter night in Texas in the Deacons' 41-21 win against Rice on Friday.
Newman, coming off a stellar performance in the season opener last week, completed 21 of 27 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns. He also never really came close to turning over the ball — addressing the only gripe that could be made about his performance last week.
His most-proficient target was redshirt senior wide receiver Scotty Washington, who had a career-high 158 yards on seven catches, two of them going for touchdowns. The second score was a 59-yard catch-and-run that saw him bully a couple of defenders en route to the end zone.
The competitive portion of this game was basically wrapped up in one two-play sequence early in the fourth quarter. First, it was Justin Strnad slicing into the backfield to snuff out a quarterback-run on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line.
And then the next play goes down in Wake Forest history, as freshman running back Kenneth Walker III burst through the middle, ran through arm tackles and stiff-armed his way to a 96-yard touchdown run — the longest run in school history. Walker played running back for the first time this season, after only appearing on kickoffs last week, and had 125 yards on nine carries.
Walker’s jaunt made the score 41-14. When Wake Forest’s took the field a couple of minutes later, every skill-position player was one who hadn’t taken an offensive snap yet this season.
The Deacons (2-0) led 24-14 at halftime after both teams scored two first-quarter touchdowns apiece.
Wake Forest’s go-ahead touchdown came on the first play of the second quarter, with Newman throwing a 25-yard touchdown to a leaping and tumbling Washington. The Deacons added a 26-yard field goal from Nick Sciba in the second quarter — after an offensive pass interference call negated a touchdown catch by Jack Freudenthal — to lead by 10.
Sciba made another field goal in the third quarter, pushing his streak of consecutive field goals made to 14 and tying Jimmy Newman’s school record.
The start couldn’t have gone much better for the Deacons, who marched the opening drive 75 yards and scored on Christian Beal-Smith’s 2-yard touchdown plunge — his second score in as many weeks.
And then on Rice’s first possession, Boogie Basham recorded a strip-sack and Rondell Bothroyd recovered the fumble. Four plays later, Newman threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Sage Surratt.
Wake Forest’s lead was 14-0 after 6½ minutes — the first two-possession lead of the season after last week’s see-sawing win over Utah State.
It didn’t last long.
Rice (0-2) scored on the next possession — but only after quarterback Wiley Green was knocked out and required a medical cart and ambulance to leave the stadium. Green rolled right near the goal line and darted toward the pylon, only to be slowed by Royce Francis, and then Strnad hit Green before he could reach the end zone. Green spent roughly 15-20 minutes on the ground before leaving the field on the back of a medical cart.
Tom Stewart, a graduate transfer from Harvard, entered in place of Green. Aston Walter scored on a 1-yard touchdown run after Green’s injury, and after the Deacons went three-and-out, Rice tied the game at 14-14 on Stewart’s 10-yard touchdown scramble.
Rice had seven first downs in the first quarter, and had nine in the next 2½ quarters.
Wake Forest was without senior running back Cade Carney, who was out with an unspecified injury.
The official game-time temperature was 95 degrees, tying the record for the warmest conditions Wake Forest has ever played in. The other 95-degree days were in 1940 and 1954 — both played in Wake Forest, N.C., before the school moved to Winston-Salem.