The Hurricanes defeated the Blue Devils 30–27 with an eight-lateral kickoff return as time expired. The ACC announced the referees made four errors during the return, but did not mention any other play in which the referees could have potentially made mistakes. The ACC listed the errors in its announcement:
- The replay official erred in not overturning the ruling on the field that the Miami player had released the ball prior to his knee being down. If called, this would have ended the game.
- The on-field officials erred by failing to penalize Miami for an illegal block in the back at the Miami 16-yard line. If called, the ball would have been placed at the Miami 8-yard line and the game would have been extended for an untimed down.
- A block in the back foul was called at the Duke 26-yard line. After the officials conferred, which is appropriate, they correctly determined that the block was from the side, which resulted in the flag being picked up. The replay official was not involved in the decision to pick up the flag; however, the referee did not effectively manage communication and properly explain why the flag was picked up.
- In addition, the on-field crew failed to penalize a Miami player for leaving the bench area and entering the field prior to the end of the play. This foul would not have negated the touchdown because it would have been enforced as a dead ball foul.
After the game, Duke coach David Cutcliffe criticized the officials.
“There were all sorts of issues that the conference has to resolve,” Cutcliffe said. ”That’s not my job. Call the ACC, they should have answers.”
Miami’s win, the first for interim coach Larry Scott, moved the Hurricanes to 5–3 overall and 2–2 in conference play.
- Rohan Nadkarni