WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest closed out the regular season by dropping a 31-23 decision to Duke Saturday afternoon at BB&T Field.
The Demon Deacons finish the regular season at 7-5, including a 4-4 mark in ACC play. For the second consecutive season, Wake Forest is bowl eligible and will learn its bowl game on Sunday, Dec. 3 following the conclusion of league championship games.
John Wolford threw for 191 yards while rushing for 48, bringing his 2017 total offense yard total to 3,407, surpassing Riley Skinner's single-season record of 3,216 in 2009. Wolford threw two touchdown passes, marking the sixth-consecutive game in which he threw for multiple touchdowns. He broke the school record of five straight held by Foy White in 1985.
The Wake Forest defense recorded eight tackles for loss bringing the season total to 98. That total exceeds the school record of 94 set last season. Jaboree Williams led the Deacons with 12 total tackles, including two for loss, achieving a career high tackles for a third straight week. Cameron Glenn also recorded two tackles for loss and nine total tackles.
Mike Weaver converted three field goal attempts, including a 43-yard attempt that matched his season-high. Weaver also went 2-for-2 on point after attempts, giving him the school record in PATs with 45. He eclipsed Same Swank's school record of 44 set in 2007. Dom Maggio also had a record day, recording the second-longest punt of his career at 74-yards.
Despite trailing for three quarters, the Blue Devils recorded 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to take a 31-23 lead. Duke opened the final frame with an 11 play, 75-yard scoring drive that ended in a one-yard rush and followed with four-yard rushing touchdown the next drive. After an interception from Strnad ended Duke's opening drive, Wolford gave the Deacons the lead early with a three-yard touchdown pass to Tabari Hines. The Deacs extended that lead to 10-0 when a drive to the red zone set Weaver up for a 29-yard field goal.
The Blue Devils used a 38-yard field goal of their own to get on the board at 10-3.
The Deacons extended their lead to 17-3 when Wolford led a one-play scoring drive with a 43-yard touchdown pass to Alex Bachman. The Blue Devils quickly responded with an 18-yard pass of their own to cut the lead to 17-10 at the half.
After the break, Henderson recorded his second interception of the season on a fourth down attempt by the Blue Devils. The Deacs finished that drive with a 41-yard field goal by Weaver to bring the score to 20-10. The Blue Devils replied with a six-play, 65-yard drive that ended in a 6-yard pass to Noah Gray to bring the score to 20-17.
For the third time during the game, Weaver knocked one through the uprights to extend Wake Forest's lead to 23-17. The 43-yard attempt matched his season-long but the lead didn't last long as the Blue Devils recorded 14 unanswered points to bring the score to 31-23 in favor of the Blue Devils.
Why Not John? John Wolford totaled 239 yards of total offense on Saturday, bringing his season total to 3,407. Wolford's 3,407 total offense yards breaks Riley Skinner's single-season record of 3,216 yards in 2009. In throwing two touchdown passes Saturday, Wolford set the program record by throwing at least two TD passes in six consecutive games.
Iron Man: Wendell Dunn made his 49th start at defensive end on Saturday, tying the school record set by Aaron Curry (2005-08).
In the Backfield: The Wake Forest defense recorded eight tackles for loss on Saturday, giving them 98 for the season. That total sets the school record for most tackles for a loss, replacing the previous best of 94 set last season.
Deacons on Defense: Linebacker Jaboree Williams recorded a career-best 12 total tackles, the third consecutive week he has had a career-high in tackles. Cornerback Essang Bassey tied his career high with two pass breakups. Defensive end Carlos Basham Jr. tied his career high with five total tackles. Safety Cameron Glenn had a career-best two tackles for loss. The team intercepted three passes, the second time this season the team has picked off three passes. The first occurred against Boston College (Sept. 9).
Solid Special Teams: Wake Forest punter Dom Maggio had an outstanding day, averaging a career-high 52.0 yards per punt, including two inside Duke's five-yard line and five inside the 20. Kicker Mike Weaver converted all three of his field goal attempts, including a 43-yarder which tied his season-long.