Wake Forest 28, Duke 14
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) _ Keith West completed 23 of 37 passes and Todd Dixon had three touchdown receptions Saturday as Wake Forest defeated Duke 28-14 and moved into bowl contention.
Retiring coach Bill Dooley won his 96th Atlantic Coast Conference game, tying him with former Clemson coaches Frank Howard and Danny Ford as the league’s all-time winningest coach.
Wake Forest (6-3, 3-3 ACC) was picked to finish last in the league, but has played error-free ball recently to win five straight, matching the school’s best winning streak since 1987.
Wake Forest is within a half-game of third place in the conference, but must finish its season on the road against Georgia Tech and No. 17 North Carolina State. The Demon Deacons last played in a bowl game in 1979, losing 34-10 to LSU in the Tangerine Bowl.
Duke (2-7, 0-6), which lost its 11th straight ACC game over two years, was unable to stop Wake Forest’s balanced attack and ball-control offense.
West, who finished with 263 passing yards, completed his first nine passes, including a 23-yard scoring pass to Dixon on the game’s opening series and a 21-yarder to Bobby Jones on the next drive.
After Duke narrowed the lead to 14-7 at halftime, West found Dixon on a 35- yard scoring pass on the Demon Deacons’ first series of the second half.
Wake Forest broke the game open midway through the third period when Jones took a reverse and threw his first career pass - a 51-yarder to Dixon, who was 20 yards behind the fooled Blue Devil defense.
Dixon, who has caught at least one pass in 22 straight games, has five touchdown receptions in Wake Forest’s last two games.
Both of Duke’s scoring drives were for 94 yards, but Spence Fischer was intercepted twice by Kevin Cole deep in Wake Forest territory in the opening half to waste two other scoring opportunities. Fischer, the ACC’s second-rated passer, was replaced by Steve Prince after one series in the second half.