Wake Forest receiver Michael Campanaro wants to make the most of his last game against his home-state school.
Campanaro and the Demon Deacons will look to move back over .500 on Saturday when they try to continue their home dominance over a Maryland team that is one win from bowl eligibility.
Wake Forest (3-3, 1-2) hasn’t lost to the Terrapins (5-1, 1-1) at BB&T Field since 2005, and the home team has won the last six in this series.
The Demon Deacons came through in a similar situation two weeks ago when they claimed their sixth straight home win against North Carolina State.
That surprising 28-13 victory infused them with a shot of confidence that may have been lost during a stretch of three losses in four games – including a 56-7 blowout at No. 3 Clemson.
Coach Jim Grobe said the Demon Deacons “needed a win in the worst way” and Campanaro said it’s now “very positive around the program.”
The senior who leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in both receptions (8.8) and yards receiving (116.4) per game, grew up in Clarksville, Md., about 25 miles north of Maryland’s campus.
He missed last year’s loss to the Terps with a broken hand, caught 12 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns against N.C. State and could have a big day against an injury-depleted Maryland defense that has allowed 1,119 total yards in its past two games.
“That guy is a playmaker for them,” Maryland coach Randy Edsall said. “They always look to get him the ball in every situation that they can. … He’s a guy that can beat you underneath with his speed, can beat you deep and is a good punt returner.”
Five things to know about Maryland’s final visit to Wake Forest as an ACC member:
BOWLING FOR TERPS?: The Terrapins have five wins already after winning six times in their previous two years under Edsall. A victory will make them bowl eligible for the first time since 2010, when Ralph Friedgen was still their coach. Edsall isn’t concerning himself with that yet, saying that “if we get the win, we put it in the bank and let it draw interest.”
LESS IS MORE: Wake Forest isn’t asking four-year starting QB Tanner Price to do quite as many things, after the offense sputtered early in the season as it incorporated elements of the option. Price threw for three touchdowns, ran for another and finished with a career-high 82 yards rushing against N.C. State, and Grobe said the coaching staff has “found a couple things that have been good to us” and that “we are kind of settling in.” The Demon Deacons rolled up 382 total yards against the Wolfpack – their most since the opener against FCS member Presbyterian – and Grobe said that’s because “we’re starting to get a bead more on where our guys fit the best.”
BROWN IS BACK: Maryland expects to have C.J. Brown back at quarterback after he missed last week’s win against Virginia with a concussion suffered at Florida State. Edsall said Brown underwent “a whole battery of tests each day” last week and warmed up before the game against the Cavaliers but he didn’t receive clearance to play until the next day. Brown is third in the ACC in total offense – behind the league’s two main Heisman hopefuls, Tajh Boyd and Jameis Winston – with an average of 282 yards, and shares the lead among ACC quarterbacks with six rushing TDs. “He’s good to go, he’s cleared and he’s the starter,” Edsall said.
HE DIGGS IT: Grobe figures the best way to slow Maryland WR Stefon Diggs is to focus on stopping the rest of the Terrapins. Diggs averages nearly 87 yards receiving per game – and 20 yards per catch – and had a team-best six receptions for 96 yards against Virginia. He and Deon Long have combined for 54 catches – or, nearly 52 percent of the team’s completions. Grobe said the key is to “stop the other guys. You know Diggs is going to catch some balls. … The problem is, if you just try to focus on Stefon Diggs, you’re making a mistake because there’s so many other guys that can hurt you.”
PULLING EVEN WITH PEAHEAD: With his next victory, Grobe will match D.C. “Peahead” Walker with 77 wins at Wake Forest. Walker went 77-51-6 in 14 seasons from 1937-50. Grobe is 76-77 in is 13th season with the Demon Deacons.