Wake Forest Edges Stanford in Closing Seconds, 24-17
Sept. 12, 2009
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - Riley Skinner scored on a 1-yard keeper with 2 seconds remaining and Wake Forest rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat Stanford 24-17 on Saturday.
Skinner finished 18 of 26 for 187 yards with a touchdown pass for the Demon Deacons (1-1). His 44-yard pass to third-stringer Lovell Jackson with less than a minute left set up his winning score.
Skinner's score capped a remarkable second-half rally for the slow-starting Demon Deacons, who trailed 17-3 at halftime before scoring touchdowns on consecutive possessions - and big plays on fourth downs led to both scores.
Mike Rinfrette ran 3 yards for a TD, one play after Josh Adams' 15-yard run on fourth-and-2, and Skinner tied it early in the fourth quarter with a 19-yard scoring pass to Jordan Williams on fourth-and-4.
The decisive drive was all Skinner. He ran 12 yards on an option keeper and hit Devon Brown over the middle for 20 yards before hitting Jackson - a redshirt freshman who didn't appear on the depth chart - behind cornerback Corey Gatewood. He was tripped up at the 2, and three plays later, Skinner pushed into the end zone to give Wake Forest its first lead of the season.
There were seven laterals on the ensuing kickoff before the Cardinal fumbled the ball near midfield and Scott Betros pounced on it to end the game.
It marked the end of a dominating second half by Wake Forest, which gained 311 of its 458 yards and scored all three touchdowns after the break. The Demon Deacons have scored 35 of their 45 points this season in the second half.
Nate Whitaker kicked Stanford's longest field goal in two decades, a 54-yarder on the final play of a first half in which the Cardinal rolled up 275 total yards and had the ball for nearly twice as long as Wake Forest did.
Playing its first game in the East since 2005, Stanford didn't seem at all sluggish early. Luck capped his opening possession by floating a pass to the corner of the end zone to a diving Whalen, who beat Brandon Ghee - the Demon Deacons' most experienced player in their back seven - to put the Cardinal up 7-0 barely 4 minutes in.
The two hooked up again midway through the second quarter, with Luck finding Whalen over the middle from 17 yards out to make it 14-3.
Shane Popham kicked a 20-yard field goal for Wake Forest. Whitaker's kick clipped the crossbar and trickled over to match a 26-year-old BB&T Field record and stretch the lead to 14.