Duke vs. Miami: Gameday Open Thread
Duke faces Miami in Wallace Wade Stadium on Senior Day with slim hopes of giving the senior class one more game still alive.
The Blue Devils need to win their fifth game of the year, against the Hurricanes, then do some scoreboard watching. With West Virginia and App State both winning last night and eliminating TCU and Troy, respectively, the Blue Devils now need seven of the remaining eight five-win teams to lose. That will leave the bowls one six-win team short, opening a spot for Duke to get a bid.
First, however, Duke needs to win to send its senior class out on a high note. The pregame ceremony will allow fans to bid farewell to quarterback Quentin Harris, linebacker Koby Quansah and safety Dylan Singleton, among others, including a half dozen juniors who will be getting their Duke degrees and moving on. The most prominent names from that group are receiver Scott Bracey and kicker AJ Reed.
It's wet and cold at Wallace Wade, with temperatures falling from the high to mid 40s. It rained much of the day, and, while there's currently no precipitation, there's a good chance it will start again after kickoff.
There are bowl scouts in attendance, both to check out Duke and Miami, who is already eligible. Representatives from the Belk and Independence Bowls are expected to be here, as well as scouts from the Giants, Ravens and Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Two five-win teams also kick off at 3:30--Boston College (at Pitt) and Michigan State (Maryland). Oregon State (at Oregon) kicks at 4:00. The rest are night games.
Only pregame change to the depth chart is for Miami: DeeJay Dallas is replaced at starting running back by Cam'Ron Harris. Dallas dislocated his elbow last week.
Crowd is about a 50/50 split between Duke and Miami fans ... and there aren't many Miami fans here.
Toss Miami picks heads. It's heads. They defer. Duke ball, heading toward the open end of the stadium.
The rain has started again just before kickoff.
After an exchange of three-and-outs, Duke gets good field position from a bad punt. A first down puts Blue Devils on the Miami 25.
Duke with two sacks allowed and a chop block flag on this drive so far.
Harding gets open in the end zone and drops a ball that hits him in the hands, and Duke had an illegal man downfield anyway. Reed for a 46-yard field goal, wide left. Good field position was just strangled in its crib. Still no score.
Harris was in open field and slid short of the first down marker. Fifth year senior (and a Duke player) can't make that mistake. Duke punts
Harris with completions of 15 and 27 yards puts Duke just outside the red zone. An ill-advised Jake Bobo trick play pass is luckily just incomplete. And Reed comes out to kick again.
40-yarder is good. 3-0 Duke at 3:06 left in the first.
Hornbuckle gets a sack. Miami guard Navaughn Donaldson injured on the play
Fake punt by Miami gains 21. Miami crosses midfield
At the end of 1, Duke leads 3-0 but Miami is driving
8 seconds into the third quarter, Miami scores on a Harris run.
Duke responds with a Harris TD of its own. A Quentin H keeper puts Duke up 10-7
Durant running with authority. Just ripped off a 43 yard gain. Duke over 100 on the ground.
Miami lb Michael Pinckney still down after the play.
AJ Reed hits from 36. 13-7 Duke. 7:18 to go in the half
Tough day for Marquis Waters.. He’s missed tackles, got flagged for holding and just got beat by the tight end for a long gain on third down
Screen pass to Burns goes for 15 & a go ahead score. 14-13 Miami
After a slow start to the third quarter, a special teams play sets Miami up in the red zone. Duke punted 40 yards from the 17, gave up a 43 yard return.
Defense tightens up, forces a 27 yard field goal. 17-14 Miami, 6:05 to go in the third.
That punt went a bit better for the Blue Devils. Austin Parker kicks it 71 yards to the two. No return. Of course, it came at the end of another three-and-out.
Duke defense forces a three and out. Duke gets the ball just shy of midfield. Incompletion, rush for loss, sack and fumble. Not counting the kneel down before half, this is the fifth straight three and out for the offense. They've gained a total of 2 yards over that span.
We're through three. Duke down 17-13 and needs a spark.
It's moot unless Duke wins, but a roundup of the other relevant games: Boston College is winning 23-16 in the fourth. That would require five-win teams to lose the other six yet to be played. Michigan State losing in the fourth, 16-13. Oregon State losing 17-3 in the third. Door might be open if Duke can get it together to step through.
Michigan State ties it. Door may be slamming shut.
Another three and out for Miami followed by a bad punt. Duke ball at the Miami 40. This might be the Blue Devils' best chance... 11:26 to go, down four.
Duke does exactly what it needs to do. Pounds Deon Jackson early. Connects with Jalon Calhoun inside the five, runs it into the end zone. Blue Devils take a 20-17 lead with 9:30 left.
Elsewhere, Boston College wins to get bowl eligible. There is one spot left for Duke. Six teams that can still take it. And Michigan State has taken the lead with 1:21 left. That would eliminate Duke.
As Michigan State finishes off the win to become bowl eligible, Harris finds Jalon Calhoun for 49 yards and a score. Duke up 27-17 with 6:55 left. But it will be too little too late.
Duke kneels it out and wins 27-17. The Blue Devils finish the season at 5-7.