WINSTOM-SALEM, NC (ABC4 Sports) – Utah State was so close to an impressive season-opening win at Wake Forest. But the Aggies could not finish.
Jamie Newman hit Kendall Hinton with the go-ahead 2-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with 1:08 remaining, and Wake Forest held on to beat Jordan Love and Utah State 38-35 in the opener Friday night.
“It’s a testament to our toughness,” Newman said. “We keep fighting to the end. That’s what our identity is. Deacon tough.”
Newman finished with three touchdown passes, and in the final moments he hit Sage Surratt with a 70-yard throw to the Utah State 1-yard line.
Cade Carney, who finished with 105 yards rushing, lost 1 yard on three straight runs up the middle.
On fourth down, Newman looked right for Hinton. The fifth-year senior — who started four games at quarterback from 2015-17 before switching positions a year ago — outjumped two Utah State defenders for the ball.
“Who doesn’t want to be in that position? Fourth down, last play and you get the chance to make a huge play,” Hinton said. “It was an awesome opportunity, a great ball and we made it happen.”
It helped the Demon Deacons earn a wild win that featured a combined 1,175 total yards, 53 first downs and 73 points.
Newman, who beat out Sam Hartman for the starting job during preseason camp, had earlier touchdown passes of 22 yards to Surratt and 9 yards to Scottie Washington and finished with 401 yards passing.
Love, who’s being promoted by Utah State as a Heisman Trophy candidate, was 33 of 48 for 416 yards with three touchdowns. He threw touchdowns of 27 yards to Jordan Nathan, 17 yards to Siaosi Mariner and 56 yards on a catch-and-run to Deven Thompkins.
“It went down to, really, the last play, I suppose,” Utah State coach Gary Andersen said. “I’m proud of this team.”
Love led the Aggies to the Wake Forest 31 in the final minute before Justin Strnad intercepted his final pass with 17 seconds to play — his third interception of the game.
Jaylen Warren rushed for 141 yards with a 4-yard touchdown and Gerold Bright added a 7-yard score for Utah State.
Surratt had 158 yards receiving, and Christian Beal-Smith added a 12-yard scoring run for Wake Forest.
David Woodward posted a career-high 24 tackles for the Aggies.
Mariner had 8 catches for 118 yards and a touchdown, while Jordan Nathan added 6 receptions for 83 yards and a score.
Utah State next plays its home opener September 7th against Stony Brook.