Renfree finished 23 of 36 for 276 yards for Duke (6-2, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) and converted three third-and-longs during the game-winning, 87-yard drive. That came after the Tar Heels (5-3, 2-2) erased a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit and took the lead when Duke fumbled after forcing a turnover and Gio Bernard ran it in for a touchdown.
Renfree led the Blue Devils into the red zone in the final minute, and after Jela Duncan’s 2-yard run on third-and-4, Duke called its final timeout with 19 seconds left. Renfree then rolled and found a leaping Crowder over the middle for the go-ahead score.
Duke snuffed out a series of laterals on the Tar Heels’ final play, and the students poured onto the Wallace Wade Stadium field to celebrate the Blue Devils’ first win against North Carolina since 2003 and their first home victory in the series since 1998.
Backup quarterback Anthony Boone and Duncan each had 2-yard scoring runs and Ross Martin kicked four field goals for the Blue Devils, who have their best record through eight games since the 1994 team opened 7-1 on its way to the Hall of Fame Bowl — the school’s most recent postseason appearance.
Bernard had 143 yards and two touchdowns — including the bizarre one with 3:12 left that gave North Carolina a short-lived lead.
Bryn Renner hit a wide-open Erik Highsmith over the middle for 36 yards to the Duke 24. Jordon Byas knocked the ball loose and when it slipped away from Duke teammate Ross Cockrell, Bernard gleefully scooped it up and took it in from 4 yards out to make it 30-26 and send the UNC bench into delirium.
Renner finished 19 of 32 for 198 yards — he was 9 of 13 for 162 in the fourth quarter — for North Carolina. An offense that entered averaging 40 points and 486 total yards managed only three Casey Barth field goals through three quarters before reeling off three touchdowns in the fourth.
Its defense was gashed by Duke’s previously nondescript rushing attack, with the Blue Devils rolling up 510 total yards and 234 yards rushing — the most ever on the ground by a David Cutcliffe-coached Duke team, and the most allowed this season by a North Carolina defense that entered ranked in the ACC’s top tier in every significant stat category.
Three rushers had at least 64 yards apiece for Duke, with Josh Snead leading the way with a career-high 99.
Wake Forest 16, Virginia 10
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Chad Hedlund kicked three field goals and Wake Forest returned from an open week with a much-improved defense and beat mistake-prone Virginia 16-10 on Saturday, the Cavaliers’ sixth consecutive loss.
The Demon Deacons (4-3, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) came in allowing more than 206 rushing yards and 31 points, but limited the Cavaliers to 48 yards on 32 carries. They also stymied a late Virginia drive with a 6-yard loss on second down and an 11-yard sack of Phillips Sims on third down.
The Cavaliers (2-6, 0-4) had driven to the Demon Deacons’ 36 before those two plays.
On its previous drive, Virginia reached the Wake Forest 34 and faced second-and-1 when Sims tried to float a pass to 5-foot-11 wide receiver Darius Jennings near the end zone. Instead, Demon Deacons 6-1 cornerback Kevin Johnson got inside position on the throw and intercepted, ending the possession. Johnson also recovered a fumble earlier.
No. 14 Clemson 38,
Virginia Tech 17
CLEMSON, S.C. — Tajh Boyd ran for two touchdowns and passed for another and Jonathan Meeks had a 74-yard interception return score as No. 14 Clemson won its third straight over Virginia Tech, 38-17, on Saturday.
Andre Ellington had a 12-yard touchdown run and 96 yards for the Tigers (6-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who relied on their much-maligned defense to bail them out of this one.
Clemson finished with three interceptions and twice stopped fourth downs to end drives by the Hokies (4-4, 2-2). Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas passed for 207 yards and ran for 99, accounting for two touchdowns. Still, he was continually harassed by the Tigers and threw two of the three picks.
Boyd was just 12 of 21 for 160 yards, 131 fewer than he averaged coming in.
N.C. State 20, Maryland 18
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Mike Glennon directed a frantic drive to set up a 43-yard field goal by Niklas Sade with 32 seconds left, and North Carolina State overcame a valiant performance by Maryland backup quarterback Devin Burns in a 20-18 victory Saturday.
After Sade’s kick, the Terrapins moved 60 yards in five plays behind third-string quarterback Caleb Rowe before a 33-yard field goal try by Brad Craddock hit the left upright with two seconds remaining.
The Wolfpack (5-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed 18-17 and had no timeouts left upon getting the ball at their own 20 with 2:17 left. Glennon completed a 14-yard pass to Quintin Payton on a third-and-10 and pushed N.C. State into field-goal range with a 14-yard completion to Rashard Smith.
Burns replaced injured Perry Hills and nearly produced a stunning victory for Maryland (4-3, 2-1) against all odds in the first extensive action of his college career.
No. 12 Florida State 33,
MIAMI — EJ Manuel threw for 229 yards, Devonta Freeman ran for a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns and No. 12 Florida State overcame a shaky start to beat Miami 33-20 on Saturday night, the Seminoles’ third straight win over their archrival.
Manuel completed 21 of 31 passes for Florida State (7-1, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), which won despite 12 penalties and five fumbles, two of them lost.
Dustin Hopkins kicked four field goals for the Seminoles, and James Wilder added a touchdown run.
Stephen Morris, playing a week after spraining his left ankle, started and threw for 223 yards and a late touchdown for Miami (4-4, 3-2), which has lost three straight but controls its Coastal Division destiny.
Mike James had a touchdown run for the Hurricanes, who lost freshman Duke Johnson in the second half with an undisclosed injury.
Miami finished with 29 yards rushing on 21 attempts.
Freeman’s 3-yard run with 11:53 left helped seal the win for Florida State, which was outgained 71-67 in the first quarter — and outgained Miami by more than 200 yards the rest of the way.
The Seminoles led by only three entering the fourth, then took control with a seven-play drive highlighted by Manuel finding Kelvin Benjamin for a 39-yard gain.
Four rushes later, Freeman scored and Florida State could finally exhale. Freeman scored again with 2:45 left, making it 33-13 and sending much of the crowd toward the exits. The win put the Seminoles a half-game ahead of Clemson in the ACC’s Atlantic Division, which has four teams with one loss in league play.
The first half had a little of everything: Nine Florida State penalties, four Seminoles fumbles, two departures by the entire Miami roster for halftime before time actually expired, two coaches livid with officiating decisions made in the final 9 seconds alone, and one fan running onto the field during a play.
It all added up to Florida State 13, Miami 10 at the break.
By halftime, a slew of pregame activity seemed forgotten, such as Miami announcing just before kickoff that Morris — listed as doubtful on the final injury report — was starting at quarterback, and Miami Heat stars Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Udonis Haslem and Mario Chalmers hanging out on the sideline.
All that got overshadowed quickly, as the three-touchdown-underdog Hurricanes ran out to a two-score lead.
Florida State tight end Nick O’Leary fumbled the ball away on the Seminoles’ first play from scrimmage, losing control as he leapfrogged Brandon McGee and landed on the helmet of Miami linebacker Denzel Perryman, who knocked the ball away. Mike James ran in from 9 yards out four plays later, and Miami struck first.
After Florida State shanked a punt 17 yards on its next possession, Jake Wieclaw connected on a chip shot and the Hurricanes had a 10-0 edge.
The Seminoles clawed back, taking a 13-10 lead at the break despite two offensive pass-interference calls — there was a third in the second half — and even after losing top rusher Chris Thompson to a left knee injury. Wilder’s 17-yard touchdown run tied the game at 10, and Hopkins hit a 46-yard field goal to end an eventful flurry in the final seconds of the half.
Originally, after a Florida State penalty, officials ruled the half over because the 10-second runoff would have erased the remaining time, so Miami left the field. But Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher used his last timeout to nullify the runoff, giving Hopkins a chance to kick — which counted, even though replays showed Miami coach Al Golden clearly signaling timeout to a linesman, who apparently didn’t notice. So the Hurricanes left again, unaware 3 seconds remained.
“We got it straightened out. It’s amazing,” Fisher told ABC in a televised halftime interview.
His team had the lead at the break despite nine penalties, including two on kickoff returns and an offensive interference call against Rodney Smith that nullified a 50-yard gain and left Fisher fuming.
“That interference on the offense on that big play right there, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one like that for a guy not extending his arms,” Fisher said. “But that’s ball. We played a sloppy half.”
And of course, there was a wide left — almost obligatory in a Florida State-Miami game, though hardly as dramatic as miskicks that doomed the Seminoles so many times before in this series. Hopkins missed from 44 yards with 12:31 left in the third, as Miami got away with giving Florida State a short field after an unsuccessful onside kick opened the half.
Hopkins and Wieclaw traded field goals late in the third quarter, sending the game into the final 15 minutes with the Seminoles up 16-13.
It didn’t stay close much longer.