Liberty coach Hugh Freeze went for two and the win after a Flames TD got them within a point of #18 Wake Forest with 1:11 to go, but the reverse to wideout CJ Yarbrough came up short, and the Deacons recovered the onside kick to preserve a wild 37-36 win on Saturday in Winston-Salem.
The Flames (2-1) trailed 20-8 at the half, but took a 23-20 lead less than five minutes into the third on a 43-yard TD run by Dae Dae Hunter.
Wake (3-0) tied the game on a 46-yard field goal by Matthew Dennis with 12:39 to go, then took the lead on a 3-yard TD pass from Sam Hartman to Jahmal Banks at the 9:14 mark.
Demario Douglas would tie the score at 30-30 on a 38-yard TD reception, but Wake Forest got the lead back on a Justice Ellison 1-yard TD run with 3:39 to go.
Liberty QB Kaidon Selter, who was 19-of-34 for 256 yards and two TDs and two INTs on the day, led the Flames on an eight-play, 70-yard scoring drive, connecting with Douglas on an 18-yard scoring pass.
Freeze called timeout to set up the two-point try, which had Salter handing off to Hunter, who then pitched the ball Yarbrough for what looked to be a run-pass option.
With no receivers open in the end zone, Yarbrough was forced to try to run it in, and was stopped at the Wake 4.
Liberty had the advantage in total offense, outgaining Wake 437-346, but three Flames turnovers and a 4-for-17 showing on third downs were issues.
The defense did intercept Hartman twice, as the Wake signal-caller was 26-of-44 for 325 yards and three TDs.