AP Sports Writer
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Liberty Flames have been looking for a quarterback to replace Mike Brown.
They may have found one in Brian Hudson.
Hudson started and threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns in Liberty's 20-17 loss to Wake Forest Saturday night. He had one costly interception _ one that Wake Forest's A.J. Marshall returned 39 yards for a touchdown to tie the game late in the third quarter _ but Liberty's first-year coach Turner Gill seemed impressed with Hudson saying he "played great."
Hudson played two series before Josh Woodrum got his shot.
But late in the second quarter Gill decided to go with Hudson for the rest of the game and the Football Championship Subdivision Flames nearly pulled off an upset over Wake Forest.
"That was already predetermined," Gill said of the quarterback rotation. "Hudson was going to play the first two series and Josh would play the next two series and we'd make a decision from there."
Liberty's schedule should get much easier beginning next week when the Flames begin playing against FCS schools.
"This was a real good confidence builder for the rest of the season," Hudson said. "Our guys came out and played hard all four quarters. Nobody gave up and nobody lost faith. We believed we could do it, and we almost pulled it out. We left a couple plays out there. If we hadn't done that, we could've come away with the victory."
Although he wouldn't tell his players, Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe had a feeling his team would find itself in a dogfight Saturday night with Liberty.
And he was right.
The Demon Deacons needed a go-ahead touchdown run from redshirt freshman Deandre Martin in the fourth quarter to post a come-from-behind win over Liberty. Martin, who took over after starting running back Josh Harris went down with a concussion, finished with 74 yards rushing.
On a rain-soaked evening, the Demon Deacons had all they could handle with Liberty.
"All in all it was a scary night," Grobe said. "It was good to get a win. I'm a little different than the players. They probably would like to win more convincingly, but for me I will take a three-point win just as much as a 40-point win."
The Flames led 14-7 late in the third quarter when Marshall stepped in front of Hudson's pass to help turn the tide.
"I just threw it late," Hudson said. "He was open and the window closed. I take responsibility for that, but I will learn from that."
On Wake Forest's next possession, Martin capped a nine-play, 60-yard drive by racing around right end to give the Demon Deacons their first lead at 20-14 with 13:24 remaining.
The Demon Deacons looked out of sync in the early going, failing to register a first down on their first three possessions. Even when they did finally move the chains late in the first quarter it looked ugly as quarterback Tanner Price scrambled for a 4-yard gain on third-and-4 on a busted play.
Wake Forest had 42 total yards midway through the second quarter and trailed 7- 0 until Price found his favorite target Michael Campanaro down the middle for a 31-yard touchdown pass to tie the game. Campanaro had 96 yards on nine catches.
Liberty outgained Wake Forest 178-145 in the first half.
Liberty proved it wasn't going to go away on the first drive of the second half as Hudson capped an eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to SirChauncey Holloway to take a 14-7 lead. It was Hudson's second touchdown pass of the game after hooking up with Elliott Dutra on a 37-yard scoring play in the first quarter.
Price, Wake Forest's junior quarterback, struggled all night with accuracy.
He finished 16 of 28 for 195 yards. He also had his streak of passes without an interception dating back to last season snapped at 181 when he was intercepted in the first half by Marques Jenkins.
"He missed three or four throws and then some of the great throws he made we dropped," Grobe said.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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