WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - Greg Dortch caught 11 passes for 163 yards and four touchdowns and Wake Forest cruised to a 56-24 win over Rice on Saturday.
The Demon Deacons (3-2) punted on their opening drive, but that was their lone blemish in what was otherwise a nearly perfect start. Excluding a kneel-down to conclude the second quarter, the offense scored touchdowns on six of its subsequent seven possessions. The team's maligned defense chimed in, forcing a trio of turnovers and converting two into scores of its own.
By halftime, the hosts had built a 42-3 lead. The only questions remaining were the final margin of victory and how many times Dortch would score.
The sophomore receiver accounted for 134 of Wake Forest's 162 yards passing in the first half. His 54-yard reception opened the scoring. A 4-yard grab midway through the third quarter was Dortch's fourth touchdown reception, tying his own school record for a single game, set last October in a win over Louisville.
Rice (1-4) was led by running back Austin Walter, who accounted for 198 total yards and two touchdowns. But those scores came after halftime, when the outcome had already long been decided.
Wake Forest: No defensive coordinator? No problem. Less than a week after a 56-27 loss to Notre Dame led coach Dave Clawson to fire defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel (and not name a successor), the Deacons were dominant.
Rice trailed 21-0 before earning a first down. Wake Forest cornerback Essang Bassey tipped a pass to teammate Luke Masterson (who returned the interception 43 yards to set up a subsequent score) before finding the end zone himself with a 51-yard return of a recovered fumble.
Safety Chuck Wade, Jr. added a 60-yard interception return for a score in the third quarter. It was the Demon Deacons' first game with two defensive touchdowns since a 2008 loss to Boston College.
Rice: The Owls' early struggles under first-year coach Mike Bloomgren continued. While Rice eked out a 31-28 win over FCS foe Prairie View A&M in its season-opener, it has followed that up with four consecutive losses, each by at least 14 points.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons return to ACC play when they host No. 3 Clemson, which narrowly avoided an upset at the hands of Syracuse on Saturday.
Rice: The Owls will attempt to earn their first win against FBS opposition when they host Conference USA foe UTSA on Saturday.