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(Saturday, November 23rd)
Final Score: (25) Duke 28, Wake Forest 21
Winston-Salem, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Anthony Boone threw three touchdown passes, and the 25th-ranked Duke Blue Devils moved closer to securing a spot in the ACC Championship Game with a 28-21 win over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
Boone had 256 yards on 24-of-29 passing and added 57 yards rushing for Duke (9-2, 5-2 ACC), which tied the school record for wins in a season, last accomplished in 1941.
If the Blue Devils, who have won seven straight games for the first time since the 1994 squad opened 7-0, close out the regular season with a victory over North Carolina next week, they'll lock up the Coastal Division crown and play Florida State in the conference title game.
"This will be our greatest challenge of the year coming forward," said Duke head coach David Cutcliffe. "Who knows what's going to happen. I think it's great for our program to be challenged the way we've been challenged with another big game. By winning we create another big game and I think it's a real growth process for our program."
Jamison Crowder was Boone's favorite target, hauling in 10 passes for 121 yards and two scores.
Tanner Price had a touchdown pass and ran for another score in Wake Forest's (4-7, 2-6) fourth straight loss.
The Demon Deacons turned the ball over on both of their final two possessions trailing only a touchdown. Josh Harris fumbled near midfield and after Duke's Ross Martin missed a 48-yard field goal, Ross Cockrell intercepted a pass thrown by Price.
"I thought we still had a great shot there at the end with two timeouts and over three minutes to go in pretty good field position," said Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe. "We turned the ball over and you just can't do that."
Duke ran off the remaining 2:30.
The Demon Deacons' offense was stagnant for much of the second quarter after Spencer Bishop caught a 6-yard touchdown pass.
Wake Forest failed to get a first down on each of its final four drives of the first half while Duke erased a 14-0 deficit.
The Demon Deacons made adjustments to begin the third quarter and regained the lead when Price capped a 9-play, 75-yard sequence by sprinting up the middle for a 12-yard touchdown on a QB keeper.
Duke, which had its own offensive struggles earlier in the game, quickly tied the score on Boone's 58-yard strike to Crowder.
Price converted a third down on the next Wake Forest drive, but was unable to convert a second, resulting in a punt.
Starting from his own 30, Boone led the Blue Devils down the field before giving way to short-yardage specialist Brandon Connette. The quarterback rushed in for a 3-yard TD to give Duke the lead with 3:21 left in the third.
The Demon Deacons, looking to respond, were driving to open the fourth quarter. However, Kenny Anunike sacked Price on consecutive plays for a combined loss of 20 yards to knock Wake Forest out of field goal range.
The Wake Forest defense forced four three-and-outs on the first five Duke drives and returned a fumble for a touchdown.
Boone threw a short pass on third down to Issac Blakeney and Kevin Johnson dislodged the ball as Blakeney fought for the first down. Thomas Brown scooped up the ball and raced 59 yards to the end zone with 5:02 remaining in the opening quarter.
It appeared Blakeney's knee was down before he lost possession. The touchdown went to review and was upheld.
Later in the first, a poor punt by Will Monday gave Wake Forest excellent field position.
The Demon Deacons began the second quarter inside the Duke 10. Facing a 4th- and-1 from the 7, Harris took a direct snap and moved the chains before Price hit Bishop for a touchdown on the next play.
After the early struggles on offense, Boone threw touchdown passes of 10 yards and four yards to Crowder and Max McCaffrey, respectively, on consecutive drives to tie the score at 14-all prior to halftime.
This game marked Duke's first as a ranked team since a loss to Wisconsin in the Hall of Fame Bowl on Jan. 2, 1995 ... Crowder (1,077) posted his second consecutive 1,000-yard season. He became only the second Duke player to reach 1,000 receiving yards multiple times, joining Clarkston Hines (1987-89) ... Connette tied the school single-season record of 26 total TDs set by Anthony Dilweg in 1988 ... Duke has won four road games in a single season for the first time since 1988 ... Wake Forest lost its ninth straight game to a ranked opponent ... Duke snapped a 12-game losing streak to Wake Forest last year ... Price completed 12-of-27 passes for 124 yards ... Harris had 67 yards on 19 carries.
11/23 17:13:52 ET
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