WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Cory Randolph threw a 6-yard
touchdown pass to Kevin Marion with 33 seconds left and Wake Forest
rallied to hand Clemson another heartbreaking loss, 31-27 Saturday
The comeback wasn't sealed until the final play, when Tigers
wide receiver Curt Baham was stopped at the 3-yard line after a
27-yard gain just as time expired. The referees huddled briefly
before agreeing that it was over, setting off a raucous celebration
by the Demon Deacons (2-3, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).
They drove 66 yards in slightly less than 2 minutes for the
winning score after Clemson coach Tommy Bowden called for a fake
field goal instead of letting Jad Dean attempt a 44-yarder that
would have put the Tigers up by six. The poorly executed play was
stopped easily, and Wake Forest took over on its 34.
Randolph, who replaced Ben Mauk at quarterback this week as part
of a shake-up by coach Jim Grobe, was 5-for-6 on the final drive
and finished 20-for-25 for 222 yards. He threw for a total of three
The loss was the third in a row for Clemson (2-3, 1-3), but at
least this one didn't go into overtime. After winning their opening
two games by a total of five points, the Tigers lost in triple
overtime to Miami and in one extra period to Boston College.
Charlie Whitehurst bounced back from a rough start to go
28-for-42 for 304 yards for the Tigers, and James Davis ran for his
first two touchdowns of the season. They rallied from a 21-7
deficit to take a a 27-21 lead on Dean's 47-yard field goal late in
the third quarter.
Those were their final points.
Wake Forest got within three points on Sam Swank's kick from 33
yards out, but Clemson's Nick Watkins appeared to seal it by
intercepting a pass from Randolph with about 3 minutes left. That's
when it got really interesting.
Two runs netted the Tigers only 3 yards, and Whitehurst's pass
on third down was incomplete. Dean trotted out for a field goal
that would have made it 30-24 and forced the Deacons to look for
seven points. Instead, holder Cole Chason, who doubles as the
punter, took the snap and ran the option with Dean to the left.
No one was fooled, and Wake Forest had another shot. It paid
off, thanks to Randolph.
He completed his first eight passes -- including two that went
for scores -- and added a 4-yard TD run of his own as the Deacons
build their lead. They were helped by Whitehurst, who threw a pick
on his first pass and another two possessions later.
Wake Forest also blocked a punt in an inspired effort following
three losses in its first four games.