College Football Preview: Wake Forest vs. Duke
DURHAM ó Duke and Wake Forest entered the second half of their schedules believing they were in good position to reach a bowl game.
And yet, when they meet today, both the Blue Devils and Demon Deacons know they’re taking the field for the last time this season ó and for the final time under their four-year starting quarterbacks who seemingly have been around forever.
They’ll also carry a similar feeling of regret for how the season slipped away.
“Obviously, the way this year’s gone is not how we wanted to end it,” Wake Forest senior quarterback Riley Skinner said. “We could have very easily (had) an eight- or nine-win season. But woulda, coulda, shoulda. We didn’t make enough plays, and that’s where we left ourselves. At least we’ve got one more left to end on a good note, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Duke (5-6, 3-4 ACC) won three straight games in October, ending with a comeback win at Virginia that moved the Blue Devils within two wins of bowl eligibility. But the Blue Devils’ passing attack got nothing going against North Carolina’s stout defense in a 19-6 loss, then Georgia Tech handed Duke a 49-10 loss.
Last weekend, Duke lost to Miami, meaning quarterback Thad Lewis will end his Blue Devil career without a bowl trip.
Still, despite the disappointment of the late-season fade, Duke knows it has made a significant leap forward in its second season under David Cutcliffe. And with a win against Wake Forest (4-7, 2-5), the Blue Devils can finish at .500 ó quite a feat for a program that hasn’t won more than four games since last going to a bowl 15 years ago.