After a two-week break, due to an open date and a COVID-related cancellation, Duke returns to the field for the first time in three weeks, at Georgia Tech.
The Blue Devils are looking to finish the season on a positive note and may be headed into their final game. Florida State, next week’s opponent, only had 44 eligible players this week due to COVID testing and contact tracing, and many will need to be quarantined for 14 days, putting next week’s game in jeopardy.
Duke, who hadn’t had a positive test for most of the season, finally had an up-close brush with the virus. Duke redshirt sophomore linebacker Rocky Shelton II will miss the game at Georgia Tech due to the school's COVID-19 protocol.
Shelton II did not travel with the team to Atlanta on Friday. An assessment by Duke's medical personnel indicated no other members of the program are at risk with this particular circumstance.
A native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Shelton II started the first eight games of the 2020 season and compiled 34 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 quarterback sacks and one interception. He recorded a career-high eight total tackles against N.C. State on October 18.
Duke will need to find a way to contain Georgia Tech’s mobile quarterback Jeff Sims and will look to get its own run game on track against the Yellow Jackets
Here we go. On Georgia Tech's fourth snap of the game, Gibbs goes 61 yards for the score. Duke down very early, 7-0.
Stop us if you've heard this before. Chase Brice sacked on second down, then nearly throws an interception on third. Tech defender dropped it, and Duke is punting it away.
Duke with a break. After Chase Brice overthrows a receiver deep under pressure on third down, Duke punts. Tech fumbles it into the end zone and Shaka Heyward recovers for a game-tying score. 7-7
Duke is getting carved on the run in the early going. Tech breaks off a 48-yarder to reach the red zone. And a 12-yard pass finishes off the drive. 14-7 Tech
Georgia Tech does a crazy light show with the stadium lights after scores ... and they didn't come back on. So we have a delay to reboot the system
So, in case you were wondering this is the night ... the lights went out in Georgia. I'll show myself out
Mataeo Durant gets the majority of the touches on Duke's drive and finishes it off from the one for a touchdown. 14-14.
Brice with a 44-yard completion to start Duke's next drive. Hit his man in traffic down the middle of the field. Two plays later, he's hit as he throws and is down holding his shoulder.
Holmberg comes in for a play due to the injury and can't handle the snap. 30 yards downfield, Georgia Tech recovers.
26 yard run for Tech puts the Jackets back on top, 21-14.
Duke on the move again. Brice finds Calhoun for 22. Then Jackson breaks through the pile for 40 yards but it's coming back. Block in the back on Garner.
Cutcliffe brings out the punt team from the Tech 34. It goes 17 yards to the 17. Terrible mistakes have blown up the last two drives.
And Tech does exactly what you'd expect to a team that punts from the 34, pass to Gibbs goes for 43 on the first snap.
The Mataeo Durant show continues. Leaps up with a defender to come down with a 30-yard touchdown, one handed. After some early trouble, Brice has been very accurate in traffic on the last few drives. We're tied at 21.
Tech with another boneheaded special teams play--return man steps out after fielding kick at the four. A first down penalty backs them up even further and Duke gets a safety. 23-21 Duke leads. It's Duke's first safety since 9/2/17 against NC Central.
Duke with a boneheaded special teams play of its own. Damond Philyaw-Johnson jogs after the free kick after the safety and signals for a fair catch after it stops rolling. Doesn't work that way. He manages to pick the ball up before the defense arrives but gets brought down at the one.
Brice sacked, fumbles, touchdown Tech. You can't make this stuff up. 28-23 Yellow Jackets
Michael Carter with an interception, returns it to the 17, giving Duke a chance to score just before half.
Three incompletions later, Duke settles for a field goal. 28-26 Tech.
Coming out of halftime, David Cutcliffe said Brice had "more ups than downs" in the first half. He was 12-of-26, so mathematically, that's untrue.
That's at least the third high snap from Duke tonight. It's also at least the third time they've had Durant run toward the sideline and have him get nowhere near getting around the edge before getting tackled for a loss.
Duke with a jump pass fake punt that works. The drive continues.
For one snap. Then Brice is picked off and it's returned to the 23.
Next play, touchdown Tech. Duke now down 35-26.
Duke has apparently shaken off the rust and is back on its turnover game again here in the second half. Deon Jackson fumbles. Tech ball. Could be looking at an early knockout here.
Tech was on the move but Duke manages to get on a fumble.
And Duke gives it back. Backwards pass is dropped and Jake Marwede stands there as two Tech defenders push past him and jump on it.
Just when it seems like Duke is about to go down, the Blue Devils respond. Brice to a wide open Garner for a touchdown, and it's 35-33 Tech
And just when Duke appears to be back in it... Blue Devils kick off out of bounds for the second time. Would be third, but Tech return man caught it just before it went out once.
And Tech gets another explosive play--28 yards on the first snap. And a missed tackle leads to a 24 yard touchdown pass. Tech up 42-33
Tech rushes for 36 and another touchdown. Tech has 323 yards on the ground today. It's now 49-33, and Duke might be done.
Tech turning it into a rout. Another long touchdown run. Tech has 369 rushing yards on the day. 56-33 Tech. Duke is allowing eight yards per rush
55-yard touchdown pass to Eli Pancol ... called back. Illegal man downfield
And we're done. Duke loses to Tech 56-33