Popham hits 28-yard field goal in OT to propel Wake Forest past Duke

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Shane Popham kicked a 28-yard field goal in overtime, and Alphonso Smith intercepted Thaddeus Lewis' last pass near the goal line to seal Wake Forest's 33-30 victory over Duke on Saturday night.

Riley Skinner finished 18-of-31 for 232 yards yards with a touchdown and added a short scoring run for the Demon Deacons (5-3, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who blew a 12-point second-half lead but made it to overtime when Duke's Nick Maggio missed a 41-yard field goal as time expired.

The Demon Deacons gained 14 yards on six plays in OT to set up Popham's third field goal. Then Smith ended Duke's possession on its second play, when he jumped in front of Lewis' long pass to Eron Riley at about the 2 for his second interception of the game.

Lewis finished 18-of-26 for 229 yards with two touchdown passes to Clifford Harris for Duke (4-4, 1-3), and he led four consecutive scoring drives in the second half to rally the Blue Devils from a 19-7 deficit. They hooked up from 20 yards out to tie it 30-30 with just under 7 minutes remaining.

That score came after Wake Forest seemed to have taken control. The Demon Deacons recovered Donovan Varner's fumbled punt return at the 33 to set up Skinner's 20-yard scoring pass to D.J. Boldin with about 12 1/2 minutes to play. They hooked up on the subsequent 2-point conversion to put the Demon Deacons ahead 30-23.

Smith blocked a punt for a safety and Popham -- filling in for injured all-ACC kicker Sam Swank -- added field goals of 24 and 44 yards.

Boldin caught eight passes for 89 yards and Brandon Pendergrass finished with 64 yards rushing and a 2-yard touchdown run for the Demon Deacons, who gained 344 total yards and turned them into touchdowns for a change.

They entered having scored just two offensive touchdowns in four previous league games, a big reason why they entered having lost two straight.

The Blue Devils gained 276 of their 376 total yards in the second half, but couldn't overcome four turnovers.

Instead, they wound up losing for the ninth straight time in the series and were denied their first ACC road victory in five years. Their second straight visit to Winston-Salem ended with a fouled-up field goal attempt at the buzzer costing them a win -- two years ago, Wake Forest blocked Joe Surgan's 28-yard field goal as time expired, a victory that propelled the Demon Deacons to the ACC title.


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