DURHAM, N.C. - Florida State tailback Cam Akers raced 42 yards down the field into the end zone with 8:23 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Seminoles held off the Blue Devils on a final drive to earn a 17-10 victory over Duke at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium Saturday afternoon. The Blue Devils tied the game late in the third quarter, but couldn’t find points in the final 15 minutes.
The Blue Devils, trailing 17-10 with 1:32 left, drove down to the Florida State 30-yard line, but came up just short in the waning seconds. Jones threw for 61 yards on five completions to keep the comeback effort alive for Duke and finished the day 22-of-35 for 204 yards.
Akers finished the game with a game-high 115 yards of rushing to lead a Florida State offense that amassed 425 yards of offense. The 17 points scored by the Seminoles are the second fewest scored in a game by Florida State this season. Senior Alonzo Saxton II was outstanding defensively, making 15 tackles, including six solo stops, while Jordan Hayes had a career-high 10 tackles.
Shaun Wilson paced the Duke rushing attack with 66 yards on 13 carries. Brittain Brown added 43 yards and a touchdown on six touches. Junior T.J. Rahming had eight catches for 111 yards, his sixth game with over 100 yards receiving.
Florida State controlled play in the first quarter, outgaining Duke 154-17 in total yards, but only had seven points to show for it as Duke’s defense shut down the Seminoles on their second drive thanks to a Mark Gilbert interception after the Blue Devils forced Florida State into a 3rd-and-20 situation. The interception was Gilbert’s fourth of the year.
Duke’s offense found its rhythm on its second possession of the afternoon, leaning on Shaun Wilson’s ground success to cut the Seminole lead to 7-3 with a 37-yard field goal from Austin Parker. Wilson accounted for 44 of the 66 yards on the drive. Jones added three completions for 22 yards before the drive stalled on the Florida State 19-yard line.
The Blue Devils and Seminoles traded possessions to end the second quarter with Duke forcing and 3-and-out and Florida State pulling in an interception on a pass from Wilson after Duke crossed into Seminole territory for the second time of the day.
Duke turned the tables on Florida State in the second quarter. The Blue Devils defense held the Seminoles to only 58 yards of offense, while amassing 108 of its own on the other side of the ball. The first quarter yardage totals were 154-17 in favor of Florida State.
The third quarter was an even affair, but the play of the period came courtesy of Jones’ arm. The second-year quarterback hit Rhaming in stride for a 57-yard completion to set up the tying touchdown for the Blue Devils. The reception was the longest of Rhaming’s career and the second longest completion of Jones’. Brown finished the drive with a four-yard reception and a nine-yard dash up the middle to the end zone for six points.
Prior to Duke’s tying touchdown, the Blue Devils held Florida State to a field goal. The Duke defense continued to come up with big plays as Jeremy McDuffie picked off Blackman for the second Seminoles turnover of the day. It was McDuffie’s second interception in as many games and sent the Blue Devils and Florida State tied heading into the decisive and thrilling fourth quarter.
Duke remains at home for its next contest Oct. 21, hosting Pittsburgh at 12:20 p.m., on the ACC Network. The Blue Devils’ final home game comes Nov. 18 against Georgia Tech.