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October 28, 2012

Revisiting the five keys

Wake Forest (4-4, 2-4 ACC) has had the entire weekend to reflect then expunge the memory of Thursday's 42-13 bludgeoning it received from No. 10 Clemson (7-1, 4-1 ACC) in Winston-Salem.

Deacons Illustrated breaks down the Demon Deacons performance in regard to the "Five keys".

1) All Black & Gold

It was all Orange and White instead. The Tigers committed five penalties and Wake turned the ball over just once, but the Deacs yielded too many big plays to an explosive Clemson offense.

Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins connected three pass plays of 50-yards or more, including a 61-yard touchdown.

2) Get Price and Campanaro going

Tanner Price often went to Michael Campanaro in the Baltimore native's return to action after a three-week hiatus to nurse his broken right hand. Price completed 27-44 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns to no interceptions, while Campanaro reeled in six receptions for 52 yards.

A full week of practice should bring the duo back to form and Campanaro to full-speed.

3) Containment

Clemson's aerial attack exploded like a can of soda that had been shaken before it was opened. Boyd connected with five different receivers on touchdown passes, threw for a school record 428 yards, and 11 players made at least one reception for the Tigers.

Watkins was Boyd's primary target, as he gashed the Demon Deacons with eight receptions for 202 yards.

4) Special teams

Alexander Kinal was the only positive in this category. The redshirt freshman from Australia punted 10 times for an average of 41.9 yards, and pinned the Tigers inside their own 20-yard-line twice.

Wake Forest averaged an anemic 14.5 on kickoff returns, and Lovell Jackson gained just one yard on the Deacs only punt return. This remains an area of weakness for Wake.

The coverage units combined with Kinal's punting and good kickoffs by Jimmy Newman kept Clemson from making long returns.

5) Intangibles

It did not matter disciplined or mentally tough Wake Forest was Clemson had too much talent for the injury riddled Demon Deacons.

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