WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest had fought to the final minutes with four conference opponents only to see a chance at victory slip away.
On Saturday, the Demon Deacons finally - barely - got a league win.
Chris Barclay rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown to lift Wake Forest 24-22 past Duke in a matchup of teams looking for their first ACC win. Ben Mauk also had a touchdown pass for the Demon Deacons, who beat the Blue Devils a fifth straight time. Wake Forest avoided its first 0-5 league start in four years.
Wake Forest had lost four league games by a combined 23 points, including overtime losses to Clemson and North Carolina State. Last week, the Demon Deacons lost to Florida State 20-17 on a field goal with just over a minute to play.
There was more late-game drama in this one. Wake Forest had to hold off the Blue Devils in the final 90 seconds to seal it.
"We've played some tough games in the ACC and they've all been close," said linebacker Jonathan Abbate, who had 17 tackles. "Sometimes it wasn't pretty out there, but we got the "W' and that's all that counts."
CLEMSON 26, N.C. STATE 20: The host Tigers forced six turnovers - as many as they had in their first seven games - to hold off the Wolfpack. Clemson, which started the season 1-4, has won three in a row and is back in the bowl picture.
Even with all the mistakes, N.C. State had a chance to win. The Wolfpack drove to the Clemson 12 with 29 seconds left, but Jay Davis threw three straight incompletions before defensive end Charles Bennett picked off his fourth-and-10 pass.