Beal-Smith rushes for 3 TDs, Wake Forest eases past Campbell
Christian Beal-Smith ran for three touchdowns and Donavon Greene returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown as Wake Forest won for the first time this season by defeating Campbell 66-14 on Friday night.
Wake Forest (1-2) matched the fourth-most points in program history, aided by collecting four Campbell turnovers.
“I liked the turnovers,” Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said. “I liked the pressure we got and the sacks we got.”
Beal-Smith scored from 2 and 10 yards out in the first quarter, giving the redshirt junior his first career two-touchdown game. He tacked on a 5-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Kenneth Walker III scored on a 12-yard run, Sam Hartman threw a touchdown pass and Zion Keith returned an interception 45 yards for a score as part of Wake Forest’s domination. Greene’s return marked the Demon Deacons’ first kickoff return for a touchdown in 13 years.
“There was like three major blocks I was reading,” Greene said.
Hartman completed 12 of 16 passes for 166 yards as the Demon Deacons won in their lone nonconference outing of the season.
Campbell (0-4), a Football Championship Subdivision program, completed its abbreviated fall schedule, which consisted of four road games against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents.
“We got through it. A lot of people didn’t think so,” Camels coach Mike Minter said. “We were able to get through these four weeks. I’m proud of that fact.”
Campbell quarterback Hajj-Malik Williams was 17 for 29 for 187 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Williams and receiver Mason Donaldson each threw and caught a touchdown pass, with Donaldson’s pass going to Williams on a 26-yard third-quarter trick play.
Wake Forest, which led 24-7 at halftime, scored three touchdowns in the first nine minutes of the third quarter, beginning with Hartman’s 9-yard toss to Taylor Morin.
Since the pandemic, it was the first major-college sporting event with fans permitted, at 7% of stadium capacity, in the state of North Carolina. About 2,200 spectators were on hand.
“It seemed like a loud and obnoxious crowd after the first two games,” Clawson said.
Campbell botched a chance on a game-opening 12-play drive when Robert Brown missed a 27-yard field goal. On their next two snaps, the Camels lost the ball on turnovers.
The game was moved up one week to accommodate Wake Forest’s schedule. The Demon Deacons’ scheduled Sept. 26 game with Notre Dame was postponed until December because of Notre Dame’s coronavirus concerns. Shifting the Campbell-Wake Forest game prevented the Demon Deacons from having two consecutive weeks without a game.
“The only way to get better as a football team is to play football games,” Clawson said. “We just have to make sure we’re making the best use of that time (off). … We just have to learn on the fly.”
Campbell: The Camels dropped to 0-8 all-time against FBS competition, including the four losses this season. Campbell dropped those games this year by an average of 26.5 points, beginning with a one-point setback at Georgia Southern.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons have returned two interceptions for touchdowns this season after Keith’s runback.
“All I could think about in my head was ‘Don’t drop this ball,’ ” Keith said. “Guys don’t only want to create turnovers, but want to score touchdowns.”
PROTECT THE PUNTER
It marked the first time in Wake Forest’s recorded history that it didn’t attempt a punt in a game. So it was an inactive night for punter Ivan Mora, who was called upon for 10 attempts across the first two games.
“We went the entire game without punting, which is hard to do,” Clawson said.
Campbell: This ended the fall season for the Camels, who’ve indicated they’ll pass on playing a potential spring schedule set up by the Big South Conference.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons are slated for what will become an open week for the second time in three weeks before playing host to Virginia on Oct. 17.