BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Campbell scored on its first five possessions and opened an enlarged Barker-Lane Stadium Saturday night with a 56-21 win over UVA-Wise. The Camels made a winner of head coach Mike Minter in his home debut and second game of his career.
With a new 3000-seat West grandstand and press tower in place, the Camels set school Division I era (since 2008) records for total offense (659) and rushing yards (521) while playing in front of the largest crowd since the inaugural game of the school's modern era (Aug. 30, 2008).
The Camels matched their second-highest point total in their six-season tenure as an FCS member and did not punt until 2:01 was left in the game.
Wolf and Hudson combined to complete 8-of-10 passes for 138 yards, while the Camels picked off Wise quarterbacks four times and won the turnover battle 5-1. Wolf completed all 6 of his throws for 48 yards, while Hudson – a Liberty transfer – hit on 2-of-4 for 90 yards.
The Camels ran 81 plays to 55 for UVA-Wise, held the ball for 38:36 and scored on 8 of 9 trips to the red zone.
On Campbell's opening possession, freshman DeShawn Jones broke off a 59-yard run on his first career touch to give the Camels a 1st-and-goal from the 8. Wolf burst up the middle on the following play to put CU in front 6-0 with only 2:26 expired.
Goss scored on a 20-yard run with 9:24 left in the opening quarter to push the margin to 13-0.
Terrance Younger hauled in a 26-yard pass from Cullen LaVoi with 6:23 remaining in the quarter to cap a 7-play, 74-yard drive and cut the margin to 13-7.
Campbell answered when Wolf connected with Jabri Ridenhour on an 8-yard scoring pass as the Camels covered 75 yards in only 5 plays. Wolf accounted for 50 on a quarterback keeper and the Camels led 19-7 with 3:55 to go in the opening period.
After a defensive stop, Hudson tossed a 72-yard scoring pass to Ben Bolling for a 26-7 lead with 0:58 to go in the first quarter. A.J. Artis then hauled in an 18-yard scoring grab for a 33-7 edge with 9:52 remaining in the half.
James Long then rturned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards to bring Wise within 33-14. The Division II Cavaliers finally stopped Campbell after CU drove to the UVA-Wise 28, but sacked Hudson on 4th down.
Dalton Dillon ended an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a 5-yard run and Campbell led 40-14 at the half.
Bolling's 7-yard run on an end around pushed the advantage to 46-14 with 13:37 left in the third. Jarrett Ozimek made a 27-yard field goal with 46 seconds left in the period and the Camels led 49-14 at the end of three quarters.
Younger pulled in a 3-yard scoring toss from Jeremy Eubank with 12:04 to play to trim the gap to 49-21. Stephen Sladek's 5-yard burst capped a 75-yard drive and provided the Camels with the final margin.
LaVoi completed 8-of-23 passes afor 133 yards and one score, but the Wise signal caller was intercepted three times. Younger grabbed eight balls for 63 yards and two touch downs. Marcus Smith led the Wise ground game with 32 yards on 8 carries.
Campbell limited the visitors to just 36 rushing yards on 22 carries and only 234 total yards of offense.
Campbell returns to action next Saturday with a 6:00 p.m. kick-off at home against Charleston Southern.
Campbell's 40-points scored in the first half was the 2nd-most scored in a half by CU in the Division I (since 2008) era. CU scored 55 points in the first half of a 76-0 win over Apprentice (Sept. 10, 2011). CU scored 35 points in a 56-14 win over Valparaiso (Nov. 6, 2010).
Saturday's attendance of 5538 stands as the 2nd most in Campbell history. A greater than capacity 5845 fans jammed the facility on Aug. 30, 2008 when CU faced Birmingham-Southern in the inaugural Division I era contest.
Campbell produced the program's 2nd-highest scoring total (matching 56 against Valpo in 2010) behind a 76-point effort against Apprentice in 2011.
CU's previous school record for rushing yards (416) came against Valpo on Nov. 6, 2010, while the Camels amassed 544 yards of total offense against Methodist Sept. 5, 2009.
"Coming into this week, we talked about understanding how to win. I believe that there are four stages of becoming a champion. The first one is learning how to compete. I think we did that last week, but the score didn't show it. We played for four quarters, and we actually did some really good things against a really good and athletic football team in Charlotte. And I thought that we created the atmosphere of competition. The second thing is about learning how to win. You know the turnovers and the third down critical dropped passes that we had, and the big plays that we gave up on defense are the things that get you beat. We wanted to come out and sustain drives, and make some big plays of our own on offense and we did that, so I'm proud of those guys and how they came out and competed and took the second step of learning how to win. Now the next step is coming back with a win to back that one up."
"That first week to the second week is when you grow the most. Me, as a coach, our coaching staff and definitely our players. "
"I'm glad to be home! I think that crowd was electrifying and they gave us the extra energy to take care of business tonight, instead of being around 15,000 people who don't like you (laughing)."
"This win tonight mean's everything for us, and it's a huge morale boost. We haven't won a game in a year, and thinking about that, it's kind of crazy. This win just mean's everything for us right now as a program, and it's a big step for us going forward and I think we'll see a lot more to come this year."
On the new stadium
"I played in the stadium last year, and the atmosphere is completely different being on our home sideline with the big stands behind you and the crowd right there. 5,000 is a big number of people, and it's an exciting feeling. I'm really excited to see the games going forward and the big turn outs if we continue to win. I think we're going to pack this stadium out."