Despite an exceptionally strong start to the game, the Blue Devils fell to Wake Forest by 10 after failing to establish anything resembling a rushing attack on Saturday.
Wake Forest freshman running back Cade Carney ran for three touchdowns and 108 yards while quarterback Kendall Hinton threw for 133 yards and rushed for an additional 63 to give Wake Forest it’s first win over Duke in the last five games between the teams.
Duke entered the game looking to be the stronger of the two teams after throttling NC Central in the season opener while the Demon Deacons struggled to get by Tulane. And for the first few possessions it seemed as though that narrative would hold.
The Blue Devils opened the game by driving into the redzone and scoring on their first attempt. After forcing three and outs on the next two Wake Forest possessions, Duke seemed ready to move forward and put more points on the board.
However, a swing pass was thrown behind the line and Wake Forest forced a fumble before freshman kicker AJ Reed missed the first of his two field goal attempts, to leave the score at just 7-0. Reed would miss again just before halftime, leaving the game tied at 7 at intermission.
After a Duke turnover to start the second half, Wake Forest would make it 14-7 on a one yard run by Carney.
The Blue Devils would march down the field to tied the game and seemingly recapture some of the momentum, but Carney would turn the game again on a 55 yard touchdown run with just 4 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Next up for Coach Cutcliffe’s team is an out of conference trip to Northwestern for an out of conference game that is now a must win if Duke is to maintain a realistic chance at a fifth straight bowl game.