TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- John Parker Wilson threw two touchdown
passes and Alabama pulled away with two late scores to beat winless Duke 30-14 Saturday night.
Wilson's 9-yard scoring pass to Keith Brown put the Tide ahead for good at 16-14 late in the third quarter after Ramzee Robinson's interception gave 'Bama the ball at the Duke 40.
But the Tide (4-2) never got any breathing room against Duke
(0-5) until the waning minutes of the game, when Jimmy Johns capped
a nine-play drive with a 2-yard touchdown run and Lionel Mitchell
returned an interception 50 yards for another score.
Duke's losing streak extended to 13 games, second-longest in the
There was a bright spot for the Blue Devils, who have been shut
out three times: They scored more points in the first half they had
in an entire game all season, building a 14-10 lead at the half.
Trying to get his team going at back-to-back losses to Arkansas
and Florida, Wilson hit D.J. Hall for a 33-yard gain on Alabama's
first possession. The play gave Bama a first down at the Duke 8.
But in a sign of things to come, Alabama's offense stalled and
actually went backwards after a sack. There were scattered boos as
the Tide settled for a 37-yard field goal by Jamie Christensen.
Alabama punted on three of its next four possessions, and Duke
built its first-half lead on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Thaddeus
Lewis to Eron Riley and a 5-yard TD run by Lewis.
The Blue Devils held Alabama to 17 yards rushing in the first
half and gained 158 yards of their own.
Wilson finished 18-of-30 passing for 220 yards with an
interception, and Kenneth Darby led Tide runners with 115 yards on
Re'quan Boyette had 97 yards on nine rushes for Duke. Lewis was
7-for-18 for 74 yards with two interceptions, including the one
that set up the go-ahead score.
Packed houses are more the rule than an exception at
Bryant-Denny Stadium, but hundreds of seats were empty as some fans
took the day off.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher hopes quarterback Sean Maguire is ready to go full speed by the middle of June.
Graduate transfer quarterback Davis Webb has officially joined California, giving the Golden Bears an experienced option to replace No. 1 overall NFL draft pick Jared Goff.
First-year football coach Dino Babers, hired by former Syracuse AD Mark Coyle, is on the committee that will search for Coyle's replacement.
Hugh Freeze has some major holes to fill on offense with the departures of Laremy Tunsil and Laquon Treadwell, but there is Chady Kelly and good depth.
After transferring in from Montana State, Dakota Prukop has a checklist he's working from as he prepares to compete for the Oregon job.
The destination for Week 6 of the Big 12 Ultimate Road Trip is unanimous, as all three conference reporters would head to the Red River Rivalry.