WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Backup quarterback Anthony Boone scored on a 4-yard touchdown run with 11:35 left, and Duke beat Wake Forest 34-27 on Saturday for its first win in the series since 1999.
Sean Renfree was 22 of 28 for 204 yards before leaving with an apparent right elbow injury. Brandon Connette finished with touchdown runs of 2 and 4 yards for the Blue Devils (4-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Tanner Price finished 19 of 38 for 230 yards with two touchdowns for the Demon Deacons (3-2, 1-2), but his fumble inside the Wake Forest 10 set up Duke’s winning drive. Two plays after Jordan DeWalt-Ondijo forced the fumble, Boone took a bootleg in for the go-ahead touchdown.
Wake Forest netted 11 total yards on its next two possessions before C.J. France intercepted Price, and Jela Duncan stretched it to 34-20 with a 17-yard touchdown run with 2:50 left.
Price hit Tommy Bohanon with a 4-yard touchdown pass with 42 seconds left to pull the Demon Deacons within seven points, but Conner Vernon sealed the win by recovering the ensuing onside kick.
Desmond Scott finished with 11 catches for 134 yards for the Blue Devils, who snapped an irritating 12-game losing streak in the series.
They also are off to their best start since the 1994 team started 7-0 – also the last time they appeared in a bowl game, the longest drought in major college football.
Bohanon also caught a 34-yard touchdown and DeAndre Martin had a 4-yard TD run for the Demon Deacons, who trailed 20-10 in the third quarter before rallying. Price started the comeback with his long scoring pass to Bohanon.
Chibuikem Okoro forced a fumble inside the Duke 10 – and knocked Renfree out of the game – on a cornerback blitz on the next possession.
Jimmy Newman tied it at 20 with 17 seconds left in the quarter with a 28-yard field goal for the Demon Deacons, who lost star receiver Michael Campanaro – who entered with an ACC-best 36 receptions – to a broken right hand in the second quarter.
Conner Vernon tied an ACC record with his 232nd career reception with about 3 minutes left for Duke.
Connette, the Blue Devils’ do-everything player, gave Duke its only double-figure lead by powering in from 4 yards out to make it 20-10 after its opening drive of the second half.
He also scored his team’s only touchdown of the first half when he took a keeper out of the wildcat formation 2 yards for a score with 6 seconds left in the first quarter.
Credit: The Associated Press.