Duke returns to Wallace Wade Stadium on Saturday to host ACC Coastal Division rival Georgia Tech.
The Blue Devils are coming off of a disappointing 38-7 loss to UNC in their ACC opener, which dropped Duke to 3-2, 0-1 in the conference and snapped a three-game winning streak.
Georgia Tech is 2-3, 1-2 in the ACC and coming off of a blowout home loss to Pitt, 52-21. The loss came after back-to-back impressive performances against ranked teams, losing to then No. 6 Clemson 14-8 where Tech had a chance to win at the end, and a 45-22 blowout of then No. 21 UNC.
David Cutcliffe was frustrated with his team following last week’s loss in Chapel Hill.
“Really, it comes down to we didn't do anything consistently that wins games,” he said. “We did some good things on both sides of the ball, but nothing consistently that will win you football games.”
Cutcliffe pointed out Duke’s turnovers against the Tar Heels as well as the large number of penalties as areas the team needs to fix. He also emphasized the need to finish drives on offense and avoid explosive plays on defense. The Tar Heels had seven plays against Duke that gained 275 yards.
Tech and Duke will kick off at 12:33. It’s been raining much of the morning, with flash flood warnings throughout the area. The chance of rain continuing through opening kick is about 50 percent, and the temperature should remain in the high 60s for the contest.
The Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos have seats in the press box for today’s game.
Fashion update: Duke is wearing black jerseys, pants and shoes, blue helmets with script “Duke”. Tech has gold helmets and pants, white jerseys and shoes.
Duke will get the ball first as Tech kicks off with a blowing rain at its back.
Quick three and out for Duke and then the explosive play Cutcliffe said the Blue Devils needed to avoid. Swing pass to RB Jahmyr Gibbs had no Blue Devils in the vicinity. He takes it 77 yards for the touchdown. 7-0 Tech.
And there's the penalties Cutcliffe wanted to avoid. Long Mataeo Durant run wiped out by a holding penalty. Duke now has 1st & 20.
Tech with a 40-yard pass play on a free play (Duke offsides--another penalty). Lummie Young got outmuscled on a tackle attempt at the 10 and Jaylen Stinson got dragged several yards. First and goal Tech.
And they punch it in. 14-0 Georgia Tech. Still 6:53 to go in the first quarter.
Duke gets one back. Jake Bobo gets behind the defense and catches a 37 yard pass to cut the lead to 14-7. 3:31 to go in the first
Jeremiah Lewis gets a pick on the sideline at the 40, brings it back to the Tech 29. Duke has all the momentum right now.
Three Mataeo Durant runs gain nine yards. Duke goes for it on fourth and short from the 20, and Holmberg is short. Tech ball. wasted opportunity for Blue Devils.
Dominique Long hits Tech punt returner Azende Rey as he catches the ball but misses the tackle. He returns it 35 yards past midfield.
Duke with a facemask on the first snap of the Tech drive. Same mistakes, over and over again.
Duke offsides. Duke missed tackle gets Tech a first down. Tech moves inside the 10
Gary Smith bats a third-down pass and Tech settles for a field goal. 17-7 Yellow Jackets, 10:42 before half
For as mistake-prone as Duke has been, the Blue Devils are hanging in. Durant caps a drive with a one-yard touchdown run. Duke then gets hit with a false start on the PAT. Charlie Ham misses the longer attempt but Tech gets hit with an offsides. Ham hits attempt three, and it's 17-14 Tech, 6:40 before half.
Duke called for defensive holding on third down to keep Tech's drive alive. Missed tackle on next play adds 10 yards to a 20-yard pass.
Leonard Johnson steps in front of a Tech pass on the sideline and takes it across midfield. Duke in business with 2:06 left in half.
Ham misses a 42 yard field goal attempt with 49 seconds left.
And Tech runs a couple of plays to finish the half. 17-14 Tech at the break.
Cutcliffe passes up on a fourth and short in the red zone and Charlie Ham hits a 35 yarder to tie it at 17.
Tech makes short work of Duke's defense, hitting 39 and 18 yard passes back-to-back for a score. 24-17, 6:30 left in the third.
Charlie Ham misses a 31-yard attempt. Duke still down 7.
Duke with some luck. Blue Devils muff a punt and recover just outside the end zone. Replay shows that it actually went into the end zone, but it's ruled a touchback, not a safety. Starting at the 20, Holmberg hits Calhoun past midfield.
We head to the fourth with Duke on the march, down 24-17.
Fourth and two from the 7, Cutcliffe leaves the kicker on the bench. Holmberg rolls out and passes to Nicky Dalmolin in the end zone. We're all tied at 24, 12:33 to play.
Cutcliffe goes for it on fourth again and gets it. Pass interference moves Duke into the red zone.
Durant gives Duke a scare with a fumble, but Marwede recovers.
Ham hits a 22-yarder to give Duke a 27-24 lead. 5:06 to play.
Tech on the move inside the final minute. Close to field goal range already but has 58 seconds to shoot for end zone
And Adonicas Sanders gets behind Jermiah Lewis (who is also flagged for interference) for a 36-yard touchdown catch. Tech takes the lead with 51 seconds left.
And that'll do it. Holmberg had Duke on the move and threw an interception on an overthrow. Tech ball with 15 seconds left. They'll kneel it out and take a 31-27 win over the Blue Devils.