Alabama 30, Duke 14
By Jay Reeves, AP Sports Writer
October 7, 2006
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- John Parker Wilson threw two touchdown passes and Alabama pulled away with two late scores to beat winless Duke 30-14 Saturday night.
Wilson's 9-yard scoring pass to Keith Brown put the Tide ahead for good at 16-14 late in the third quarter after Ramzee Robinson's interception gave 'Bama the ball at the Duke 40.
But the Tide (4-2) never got any breathing room against Duke (0-5) until the waning minutes of the game, when Jimmy Johns capped a nine-play drive with a 2-yard touchdown run and Lionel Mitchell returned an interception 50 yards for another score.
Duke's losing streak extended to 13 games, second-longest in the nation.
There was a bright spot for the Blue Devils, who have been shut out three times: They scored more points in the first half they had in an entire game all season, building a 14-10 at the half.
Trying to get his team going at back-to-back losses to Arkansas and Florida, Wilson hit D.J. Hall for a 33-yard gain on Alabama's first possession. The play gave Bama a first down at the Duke 8.
But in a sign of things to come, Alabama's offense stalled and actually went backwards after a sack. There were scattered boos as the Tide settled for a 37-yard field goal by Jamie Christensen.
Alabama punted on three of its next four possessions, and Duke built its first-half lead on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Thaddeus Lewis to Eron Riley and a 5-yard TD run by Lewis.
The Blue Devils held Alabama to 17 yards rushing in the first half and gained 158 yards of their own.
Wilson finished 18-of-30 passing for 220 yards with an interception, and Kenneth Darby led Tide runners with 115 yards on 18 carries.
Re'quan Boyette had 97 yards on nine rushes for Duke. Lewis was 7-for-18 for 74 yards with two interceptions, including the one that set up the go-ahead score.
Packed houses are more the rule than an exception at Bryant-Denny Stadium, but hundreds of seats were empty as some fans took the day off.