WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Ted Stachitas had 160 total yards in his first college start and Wake Forest had six rushing touchdowns in a 53-13 rout of Presbyterian in the season opener for both teams Thursday night.
Stachitas was 7 of 13 for 84 yards passing in two quarters of work and rushed for 76 more, including a 34-yard touchdown run that started the Demon Deacons' highest-scoring opener since 1941.
Backup tailback Josh Harris scored twice, Alex Frye returned an interception 44 yards for an early score and receiver Devon Brown took an end-around 85 yards for a fourth-quarter TD — the fourth-longest rush in school history.
Wake Forest gained 509 total yards, rushed for 415 and led 21-0 before allowing the outmanned Blue Hose a first down.
Each of Wake Forest's three tailbacks on the depth chart found the end zone at least once. Josh Adams scored early from 14 yards out, Brandon Pendergrass had a 16-yarder and Harris added a 3-yard TD to give the Demon Deacons a 35-7 halftime lead. Harris added a 46-yard touchdown run with 1:25 remaining.
By then, though, their new quarterback's night had long been over. All eyes were on that position this summer to figure out who coach Jim Grobe would anoint to replace Riley Skinner, the holder of just about every meaningful record in the media guide.
Stachitas, who took a few snaps in one game last season but did not attempt a pass, was No. 3 on the depth chart at the end of spring practice but won the job with his consistent play during preseason camp.
Once he finally got into a game — albeit, one against subpar competition — he showed some indications that he might be up to the task.
Then again, replacing supposedly irreplaceable players is nothing new for Stachitas, who succeeded Tim Tebow at their high school in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Right away, he showed he might have picked up some of his old prep teammate's moves.
On the third snap of the game, Stachitas looked left and found nobody open. So he tucked it under and ran to the right, juking past defensive lineman Keyadd Miller and dashing down the sideline for his first career touchdown, giving Wake Forest a 7-0 lead less than 90 seconds into the season.
Adams scored Wake Forest's second touchdown one possession later, and Frye made it 21-0 later in the first quarter.
He jumped in front of Anderico Bailey, picked off Miley's pass and raced untouched into the end zone for the safety's second touchdown of his career. His TD off an interception in last year's finale at Duke was the Demon Deacons' lone defensive score of a disappointing 2009.
They added two more defensive points in the third quarter. After Miley's 18-yard touchdown pass to Bailey, Kyle Wilber blocked the ensuing extra point and Kenny Okoro returned it for the first defensive two-point conversion in school history, making it 37-13.
Receiver Derrick Overholt threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Michael Ruff for Presbyterian, and Miley was 18 of 34 for 165 yards for Presbyterian, which is in the fourth year of its move to Division I. The Blue Hose were playing their first game against a team from one of the six power conferences.
It doesn't get any easier for them next week. Next up: Clemson.