Demon Deacons Hold Off Blue Devils 24-23
Oct. 22, 2011
DURHAM, N.C. - Wake Forest beat Duke for the 12th straight time Saturday, but this one wasn't quite as easy as some of the others. After jumping out to a 17-0 lead, the Demon Deacons watched the Blue Devils score 23 unanswered points before Tanner Price found Chris Givens for a 66-yard touchdown pass with 6:52 left in the game to hand Wake Forest a 24-23 win at Wallace Wade Stadium.
The Deacons moved to 5-2 (4-1 ACC) while the Blue Devils dropped to 3-4 (1-2 ACC). Wake Forest has now beaten Duke in every season since 1999. Today's one-point win was the first time Wake Forest had defeated any opponent by a single point since Chip Vaughn blocked a game-winning field goal attempt in a 14-13 win over Duke at Groves Stadium in 2006.
After Givens had given the Deacons the lead late, Duke drove to the Wake Forest 40-yard line with under 2 minutes left. Facing a fourth and five, Blue Devil quarterback Sean Renfree dropped back to pass, but Riley Haynes brought pressure and Josh Bush applied tight coverage, forcing an incomplete pass that gave Wake Forest the ball.
The Blue Devils got the ball back once more, deep in their own territory with less than a minute remaining, but forced to go for broke, Renfree threw up a prayer that Kenny Okoro intercepted to ice the game
It was fitting that Price and Givens hooked up for the game-winning score given that the combination had been Wake Forest's biggest offensive threat all game, if not all season. Givens caught six passes for 147 yards and two scores.
He is now tied for fourth in school history with 20 career touchdown catches and ranks eighth on the Wake Forest charts with 2,029 career receiving yards. His 886 receiving yards so far this season are the sixth-best season total for a Wake Forest receiver.
Price completed 15 of 25 passes on the day for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Brandon Pendergrass carried the ball 15 times for 43 yards and his 11th career touchdown.
For Duke, Renfree threw 45 times, completing 28 passes for 213 yards. Backup Anthony Boone ran for 19 yards and two scores.
The Deacons struck first on their second drive of the game, as Tanner Price and Chris Givens linked up four times, capped off when Price evaded pressure on third and long and found Givens in the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown. The Price-Givens combination accounted for 60 yards of the 80-yard drive.
Wake Forest picked up another score at the start of the second quarter to extend the lead to 10-0. A 23-yard rush by Tanner Price on a read option brought the Deacons into the red zone at the Duke 12-yard line, but two Blue Devil sacks forced a 38-yard field goal attempt that Jimmy Newman knocked through the uprights.
The Demon Deacons strung together a 12-play, 86-yard drive with four minutes remaining in the half to stretch the lead to 17-0. On fourth and one from the Duke 25-yard line, Price threw a fade to Chris Givens. Givens caught the ball at the four-yard line, but was originally ruled out of bounds before the call was reversed on review. Brandon Pendergrass finished off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 17 points.
Duke got on the board for the first time just before halftime. After a Wake Forest punt, the Blue Devils took over at the Deacons' 46-yard line. Renfree hit Cooper Helfet on back-to-back plays to get down to the Wake Forest 9-yard line. With eight seconds left on the clock, rather than taking a shot at the end zone, Will Snyderwine came on and made a 26-yard field goal to make the score 17-3 in Wake Forest's favor going into the break.
The Blue Devils got another field goal on their first drive of the second half. Juwan Thompson provided the key play on the drive, carrying the ball 27 yards down to the Wake Forest 16-yard line, but Nikita Whitlock tackled him in the backfield on the next play. Two incomplete passes later, Snyderwine connected on a 38-yard kick to cut the Wake Forest lead to 17-6.
Duke cut the lead to one score with two minutes left in the third quarter after a 15-play touchdown drive. The Blue Devils methodically edged their way down the field, with backup quarterback Anthony Boone taking it in to the end zone himself on fourth and goal from the one-yard line to make the score 17-13.
The Blue Devils took their first lead of the game with 11:35 to play after another long drive. Boone led the Duke offense as it picked up a few yards at a time and he finished things off with a two-yard keeper to vault the Blue Devils into the lead at 20-17.
Will Snyderwine pushed the lead to six points on Duke's following drive with a 20-yard field goal, making the Blue Devil lead 23-17.
All it took was one play for the Deacons to be back in the lead. Givens caught a deep pass from Price on the first play of the ensuing drive and sidestepped a couple defenders to take it all the way to the house. It went into the books as a 66-yard touchdown that put Wake Forest ahead 24-23.
The Demon Deacons will face another in-state foe on the road when they travel down to Chapel Hill next Saturday to take on North Carolina at 3:30 p.m. at Kenan Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU and can also be heard on the Wake Forest Sports Network from IMG College.