BC drops to 2-7 after 28-14 loss at Wake Forest

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BC drops to 2-7 after 28-14 loss at Wake Forest

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. Michael Campanaro caught three first-half touchdown passes from Tanner Price and Wake Forest took a step closer to becoming bowl eligible with a 28-14 win over Boston College on Saturday.

Campanaro tied an Atlantic Coast Conference record with 16 receptions for 123 yards and became only the eighth player in school history to catch three TD passes in a game.

Price was outstanding, completing 39 of 57 passes for 293 yards as the Demon Deacons (5-4, 3-4) bounced back from a 29-point thrashing last week to No. 9 Clemson.

Wake Forest came in with the lowest-scoring offense in the ACC, but looked sharp early with Price hooking up on touchdown strikes of 5, 27 and 16 yards to Campanaro to build a 21-7 halftime lead.

Chase Rettig threw for 357 yards for Boston College (2-7, 1-5), but turned the ball over four times, three of those on interceptions.

The Deacons need to win one of their final three games to become bowl eligible. They're on the road at N.C. State and No. 4 Notre Dame before closing at home against Vanderbilt.

The Eagles will not be headed to a bowl for the second straight season after playing in 12 straight. The loss also means Boston College will finish in last place in the ACC's Atlantic Division.

The previous nine meetings between these teams were decided by 10 points or less, but it appeared early on Wake Forest might run away with this one after jumping out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.

But Rettig capped a 12-play, 95-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter with a 16-yard scoring strike to Alex Amidon to cut the Deacons' lead in half. Amidon finished with 10 catches for 130 yards.

However, Wake Forest turned the tide late in the second quarter when defensive end Zach Thompson stripped Rettig of the ball in the backfield and recovered at the Eagles 15. Five plays later Price hooked up with a wide-open Campanaro on a wheel route for their third touchdown with 54 seconds left in the half.

Boston College would make it close.

After a 52-yard completion from Rettig to Johnathan Coleman, the Eagles went to their bag of tricks. Rettig threw a lateral to receiver Bobby Swigert, who promptly threw to a wide open Chris Pantale in the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 21-14.

That was as close as they'd get.

Wake Forest pushed the lead back to 14 when Josh Harris busted off right tackle for a 23-yard scoring run on a fourth-and-1 play to make it a two-possession game.

Harris finished with 82 yards on 16 carries.

Terence Davis added seven catches for 62 yards for the Deacons prior to leaving late in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.

Wake Forest's defense had its share of big plays. Along with the four turnovers, they also had three stops on fourth-and-1 plays, including one near the goal line in the second half.

It's been a tough year for the Deacons.

They've played all year with a makeshift offensive line, saw their defensive statistics balloon when their nose guard missed two early games due to injury and had eight players serve suspensions of varying length for off-field incidents.

But this win went a long way toward healing their pain.

The road doesn't get any easier for Boston College, which hosts Notre Dame next Saturday.

Three things we learned from the Red Sox’ 11-9 loss to the Twins

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Three things we learned from the Red Sox’ 11-9 loss to the Twins

Three things we learned from the Boston Red Sox’ 11-9 loss to the Minnesota Twins . . .

1) David Price isn’t having fun

Boston’s $217 million-dollar arm had another rough outing -- this time against a team that already has 60 losses.

Those are the team’s he’s supposed to dominate.

“It’s been terrible,” Price said on how his season has gone following the loss. “Just awful.”

Price’s mistakes have often been credited to mechanical mishaps this year. Farrell mentioned that following his start in New York, Price spent time working on getting more of a downhill trajectory on his pitches.

But Price doesn’t think his issue is physical.

So it must be mental -- but he doesn’t feel that’s the case either.

“Honestly I don’t think it’s either one of those,” Price said when asked which he thought was a factor. “It’s me going out there and making pitches. “

But when it comes down to the barebones, pitching -- much like anything else -- is a physical and mental act.

So when he says it’s neither, that’s almost impossible. It could be both, but it has to be one.

His mind could be racing out on the mound from a manifestation of the issues he’s had throughout the season.

Or it could just be that his fastball isn’t changing planes consistently, like Farrell mentioned.

Both could be possible too, but it takes a certain type of physical approach and mental approach to pitch -- and Price needs to figure out which one is the issue, or how to address both. 

2) Sandy Leon might be coming back to Earth

Over his last five games, Boston’s new leading catcher is hitting .176 (3-for-17), dropping his average to .395.

A couple things have to be understood. His average is still impressive. In the five games prior to this dry spell, Leon went 7-for-19 (.368) But -- much like Jackie Bradley Jr. -- Leon hasn’t been known for his offensive output throughout his career. So dry spells are always tests of how he can respond to adversity and make necessary adjustments quickly.

Furthermore, if he’s not so much falling into a funk as opposed to becoming the real Sandy Leon -- what is Boston getting?

Is his run going to be remembered as an exciting run that lasted much longer than anyone expected? Or if he going to show he’s a legitimate hitter that can hit at least -.260 to .280 with a little pop from the bottom of the line-up?

What’s more, if he turns back into the Sandy Leon he’s been throughout his career, the Red Sox will have an interesting dilemma on how to handle the catching situation once again.

3) Heath Hembree has lost the momentum he gained after being called up.

Following Saturday’s contest, the right-hander was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after an outing where he went 1/3 of an inning, giving up a run on three hits -- and allowing some inherited runners to score.

Hembree at one point was the savior of the bullpen, stretching his arm out over three innings at a time to bail out the scuffling Red Sox starting rotation that abused it’s bullpen.

His ERA is still only 2.41 -- and this has been the most he’s ever pitched that big league level -- but the Red Sox have seen a change in him since the All-Star break.

Which makes sense, given that hitters have seven hits and two walks against him in his 1.1 innings of work -- spanning four games since the break.

“He’s not confident pitcher right now,” John Farrell said about Hembree before announcing his demotion. “As good as Heath has been for the vast majority of this year -- and really in the whole first half -- the four times out since the break have been the other side of that.”

Joe Kelly will be the pitcher to replace Hembree and Farrell hopes to be able to stretch him out over multiple innings at a time, as well.