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.