Winston-Salem, NC - After signing with Duke (4-1, 1-0 ACC) in February instead of Wake Forest (3-2, 1-2 ACC) Jela Duncan broke the Demon Deacons hearts for the second time when he sprinted up the middle for a 17-yard touchdown run with 2:50 remaining in regulation, as the Blue Devils hung on to win 34-27 and break its 12-game losing streak to the Black and Gold.
"I'm happy for a lot of Duke football players," Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said. "This is our fifth season, so we've had four classes of seniors that have fought in this game very hard. Just a tough series from the Duke standpoint so for all of those guys congratulations. For this team, we did what we had to do and we did it together."
The Deacs were dealt an uphill climb early when Michael Campanaro broke his hand in the first quarter, leaving Tanner Price without his top target.
"I really have to give credit to Duke," Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe said. "I thought they played really, really well. They made plays. They forced turnovers, and did what they needed to do to win the game."
"Certainly Mike's big for our football team, but I didn't think that was the key. I just thought that Duke's kids played really well, and we didn't make enough plays today."
Campanaro tweeted he will be out for four weeks; three at the least.
Wake struggled to defend the pass and oddly enough on third-and-long situations. The Demon Deacons allowed a 35-yard pass from Sean Renfree to Desmond Scott on third-and-26 that set up Brandon Connette's two-yard touchdown run. Renfree and Scott struck again on a third-and-19 when they connected on a 19-yard pass to keep a drive alive that culminated with a four-yard touchdown run by Connette. The duo nearly made it happen a third time on a third-and-18, but came up a yard short.
"We tried to take them out of field goal range," Grobe said. "In hindsight I probably wouldn't do that, because even with a good possession throw they're back in field goal range. That was probably my fault, but still you don't give up that big of a third-and-long."
After rushing for nearly 300 yards against Army the Deacs churned out another solid effort on the ground with 167 yards versus the Blue Devils, but four turnovers (two fumbles and two interceptions) did Wake Forest in.
"It's disappointing that a couple of the turnovers came when the game was on the line," Grobe said.