DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke coach Fred Goldsmith likes the grit he sees in his Blue Devils this season and he thinks other teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference need to take note.
"I think Clemson came here expecting little `Dookies.' But we're a lot tougher than that now," said Goldsmith after Duke's 28-23 win over Clemson Saturday -- its second conference victory in its last three games.
The Blue Devils (4-4, 2-4) won a conference home game for the first time since a 42-26 win over Wake Forest on Oct. 28, 1995 without two key players. Richmond Flowers, the ACC's No. 3 receiver, sat out the game after an appendectomy, and Duke's leading tackler Chris Combs was sidelined early Saturday with a sprained knee.
"With those guys out, it became a real team effort. Everyone had to rise up," Goldsmith said.
The Tigers (2-6, 1-5) drove 99 yards using a no-huddle offense to get within five points in the late going. Brandon Streeter completed six straight passes on the drive, the last a 25-yarder to wide-open Marcus Martin with 3:54 to play.
But Duke safety Kenan Holley broke up Streeter's 2-point pass attempt, then ended Clemson's last comeback hope with his second interception of the game with 35 seconds left.
Bobby Campbell was 13-of-23 for 155 yards for Duke (4-4, 2-4). Scottie Montgomery caught seven passes for 102 yards.
"Kenan's two interceptions were huge plays for us," Goldsmith said. "Scottie came up with big plays. Bobby Campbell hit some key passes. Everyone rose up to the challenge."
Streeter completed 19-of-40 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns, helping Clemson take a 362-268 edge in total yards. But he also had two interceptions.
"We're a better team than we've been, but nothing came easy," Goldsmith said. "I was proud of the way our team blocked and ran and fought up front. It's been a long time since we've played that tough."
Campbell scrambled into the end zone on Duke's first possession and Wilks had two short touchdown runs in the second quarter to help Duke to a 21-3 halftime lead.
On Clemson's first possession of the second half, running back Brian Wofford burst through the middle for 39 yards and a touchdown. The run was Clemson's longest from scrimmage this season and trimmed Duke's lead to 21-10 with 11:37 left in the third quarter.
Clemson closed to 21-17 with a 22-yard pass from Streeter to leaping Mal Lawyer in the end zone with 2:22 remaining in the third quarter.
Hill scored on an 8-yard run early in the fourth quarter to cap an 80-yard drive, Duke's only sustained drive of the second half, to push the lead to 28-17 lead with 13:34 to play.
"Duke had a huge touchdown in the third quarter that really hurt us, but we had already dug a hole for ourselves early," Clemson coach Tommy West said. "After being down 21-3, we challenged them about as hard as you can challenge anyone."
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