WINSTON-SALEM — It was the kind of game Wake Forest had won many times before and the kind Duke had seen and won just a week ago.
Experience and an old Duke bugaboo won out on Saturday.
Duke got snakebit by another last-second missed field goal at the end of regulation as Wake Forest pulled out a 33-30 overtime victory over the Blue Devils in a seesaw battle at BB&T Field.
Wake Forest kicker Shane Popham, filling in for Wake’s injured star Sam Swank, nailed a third field goal of the game, the last from 28 yards in overtime to seal the victory and end Wake’s two-game losing streak.
Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis saw his second attempt on Duke’s try intercepted by Alphonso Smith, his second of the game and the 20th of his career.
Duke had a chance to win at the end of regulation.
Duke lost at Wake Forest in 2006 when the Devils played great defense throughout the game but the Demon Deacons blocked Joe Surgan’s potential game-winning field goal at the end.
This time Duke sophomore Nick Maggio missed from 41 yards out with two seconds left in regulation.
Wake Forest is 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the ACC’s Atlantic Division. Duke is 4-4, 1-3 in the Coastal, and still without an ACC road victory in 18 tries.
The teams traded mistakes and great plays throughout a second half that saw the lead change hands nearly every possession in the fourth quarter.
Wake Forest went up 30-23 when D.J. Boldin scored from 21 yards out then caught a two-yard pass from quarterback Riley Skinner for the two-point conversion.
Duke’s defense had been saving the Blue Devils all day long but Duke’s special teams gave Wake Forest great field position when Donovan Varner fumbled a punt return and Wake’s Greg Bechtel recovered at the Duke 33 to set up that scoring drive.
But Duke tied the score at 30 when Lewis found running back Clifford Harris for their second touchdown hookup of the game, this one from 20 yards out, and Maggio made good on the point-after attempt with 6:48 left in the game.
Right before that, Duke made a huge mistake. Duke had just scored to take a 23-22 lead Lewis, for the first time in awhile, found his favorite target Eron Riley for a 52-yard gain through the air at the beginning of the fourth quarter to set up Maggio’s 20-yard field goal with 12:23 left in the game.
Four minutes earlier, Wake Forest had grabbed a 22-20 lead on Popham's 44-yard field goal with 1:27 left in the third.