Carney runs for 223 as Wake beats Duke

Published 9:43 am Friday, November 30, 2018

Duke was supposed to be a challenge for visiting Wake Forest, a 10-point underdog, on Saturday. Instead, Cade Carney and the Deacons took down Duke like bowling pins, 59-7.

Carney, a junior running back from Advance, had a monster game, setting career highs with – wait for it – 31 carries and 223 rushing yards. He scored touchdowns on 5- and 12-yard runs on a cold, rainy day in Durham.

When the first quarter ended, Carney was on pace for 344 yards. When the first half ended, Wake (6-6, 3-5 ACC) had an eye-popping 31-7 lead.

“The offensive line took quite a bit of pressure off of me today with how well they did,” Carney told reporters. “I just had to hit the wide-open holes that were there for me.”

The Deacons have been ridiculously unlucky with injuries. They sustained six season-ending injuries before the season even began and seven more during the season. By destroying Duke (7-5, 3-5), they will head to a bowl game for the third year in a row. That has only happened one other time in program history (2006-08).

Carney, who had 108 yards and three TDs at Duke as a freshman in 2016, said: “I like coming over here to Durham and playing these guys.”

The 52-point margin of victory was the largest for Wake since a 53-0 win over Presbyterian in 1945. It handed Duke its worst loss in David Cutcliffe’s 11 years as coach of the Blue Devils.

“All week we talked about extending the season for our seniors,” Carney said. “So it was living to fight another day. It was very exciting. There was a lot of juice coming into this game.”

Carney has been quite good as a junior. Not only has he paced Wake’s rushing attack the past three games, he’s fifth in the ACC with 954 yards. He’s averaging 5.4 yards per carry and has eight TDs.