Two of the more productive receivers in the Atlantic Coast Conference over the last two seasons were on display when Boston College hosted Wake Forest Friday night at Alumni Stadium.
Alex Amidon, who earned All-ACC first-team honors last season, establishing BC records for receptions (78) and receiving yards (1,215), got his senior season off to a rousing start in last Saturday’s 24-14 victory over Villanova.
Wake Forest senior flanker Michael Campanaro, the ACC’s active leader in career receptions (162), was idle during a season-opening 31-7 romp over Presbyterian last Thursday because of hamstring tightness.
“I think Camp could have played last week,’’ said Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe. “He had been having problems with his hamstring since our third scrimmage, and he really didn’t have what you’d call a pulled hamstring, but it just tightened up and it was sore.
“He didn’t practice much the week leading up to the opener, and we just felt like it would be not in his best interest and ours to try to play him against Presbyterian.’’
Redshirt freshman Johnathan Williams filled in admirably, hauling in five passes for 143 yards, the most receiving yards by a Demon Deacon in his first career game.
It was, however, 3 yards shy of matching Amidon’s season-opening performance. The senior from Greenfield had a career-high 13 receptions for 146 yards and a touchdown vs. Villanova to move into 11th place on BC’s all-time receiving list.
Amidon needed only 89 yards to reach 2,000 for his career — and had 93 Friday night on five receptions — to become the ninth Eagle to achieve that milestone.
“I would say they’ve embraced the fact that we are trying to utilize the talents we have best here at BC right now,’’ Eagles coach Steve Addazio said before the game. “We have a power back [Andre Williams], a pretty sizable offensive line playing hard, a quarterback [Chase Rettig] that throws it well, and we have one receiver who has a bunch of experience and has caught a bunch of balls.’’
Campanaro had five receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown.
“I think the commonality is there, they’re both really intense, competitive guys,’’ Addazio said. “Had a chance to meet Mike at the ACC media day. Struck me that they got that look in their eye, both of them.
“They’re competitors. On the field, they catch the ball well, run great routes. There are definitely some similarities there.’’
The fact Wake Forest played 10 true freshmen in its opener marked quite a departure for Grobe, who has taken great pains to redshirt his underclassmen to maintain a roster teeming with juniors and seniors. Entering the 2013 season, only 22 true freshmen had seen game action in Grobe’s tenure, with three being the most in any one season.
Asked what prompted the about-face, Grobe said, “I think we had a pretty good recruiting class. We’ve got some kids that we thought coming in were going to be pretty talented players and we weren’t disappointed when they got here.’’
Among them: center Cory Helms, who became the first Demon Deacon true freshman to start on opening night since 1987, and running back John Armstrong, who led the team in rushing with 38 yards vs. Presbyterian.
BC, meanwhile, listed four true freshmen on its two-deep roster — wide receiver Drew Barksdale, defensive end Kevin Kavalec, cornerback John Johnson, and strong safety Matt Milano — but none in a starting role.
Hitting the sack
After opening the season with four sacks against Villanova, the Eagles recorded two more in the first half against Wake Forest, by Mehdi Abdesmad in the first quarter and Brian Mihalik in the second – giving BC’s defense six sacks in the first six quarters of the season, matching the total BC had all of last season.Michael Vega can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.