Yesterday, Virginia Tech out-Duked Duke, beating them in the exact same style in which the Blue Devils are used to winning games. It wasn’t pretty, and it was the “nearest run thing you ever saw” as Wellington said at Waterloo. But it was a win, and winning is always better than losing. The Hokies are now just one win away from bowl eligibility.
Heading into yesterday’s game, Duke had been outgained by at least 110 yards in four of their five ACC games. However, they still managed to have a 4-1 ACC record because of their excellent turnover margin, and their ability on special teams. In their previous three games, they won games that were tied at the beginning of the fourth quarter because of their ability to not make mistakes and win the kicking game battle.
On Saturday, it was the Hokies who won the kicking game battle and who committed fewer turnovers. Here’s a quick recap…
1: Ross Martin, who was perfect on his field goal attempts this year and who booted two 50+ yarders last year to beat Tech, missed his first two field goals of the season. His miss from 40 yards with 2:26 remaining would have given Duke the lead.
2: Duke had three turnovers to Tech’s one. Their three turnovers led to all 17 of Tech’s points. One of their turnovers was an interception at the Tech two. Had Duke been able to punch it in there, they would have held a commanding 17-0 lead.
3: Jamison Crowder had just two punt returns for six yards, and the Blue Devils even fumbled a kickoff.
One of the questions after the game was “Did Duke lose it, or did Virginia Tech win it?” I think it was a little bit of both.
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