Mataeo Durant ran the ball greater than every other Duke participant has in a recreation on Saturday.
It nonetheless wasn’t sufficient to get the Blue Devils a much-needed win.
On a day Durant set the college file with 43 speeding makes an attempt, Georgia Tech’s landing with 51 seconds left gave the Yellow Jackets a 31-27 ACC win at Wallace Wade Stadium.
A senior operating again, Durant gained 152 yards on his 43 speeding makes an attempt. That surpassed a file that stood at Duke for 51 years.
However Georgia Tech (3-3, 2-2 ACC) walked off the sector a winner because of quarterback Jeff Sims finishing a 36-yard landing go to Adonicas Sanders within the ultimate minute. That play accomplished an 88-yard drive after Georgia Tech took over with 1:30 to play.
Duke’s ultimate try and win the sport ended when a Holmberg go was intercepted by Juanyeh Thomas with 15 seconds left on the Georgia Tech 20.
The Blue Devils (3-3, 0-2) dropped their second consecutive ACC recreation.
Right here’s what we realized concerning the Blue Devils on Saturday:
Duke determined to lean on Durant much more
Durant entered the sport with 106 carries, second solely to Syracuse’s Sean Tucker (107) amongst ACC operating backs. So he has been busy this season.
However Duke opted to make use of him much more in opposition to Georgia Tech. Fairly than give again up Jordan Waters the carries he normally receives on each third possession or so, Durant was the one Duke operating again to aim a rush within the first half. He carried 24 instances for 83 first-half yards.
He adopted that up with 5 carries on Duke’s first possession of the second half earlier than freshman again Jaylen Coleman bought two carries on the Blue Devils’ second drive of the quarter.
Holmberg’s accuracy charge is powerful
Duke beginning quarterback Gunnar Holmberg accomplished 22-of-29 passes for 292 yards with two touchdowns in a strong day of play.
He confirmed clutch play with a 7-yard landing go to Nicky Dalmolin on a fourth-and-2 play that tied the rating at 24.
Holmberg entered the sport having accomplished a formidable 71.9 p.c of his passes this season and added to that on Saturday.
Duke got here up empty on two early fourth-down performs
Duke coach David Cutcliffe is an enormous believer in analytics, which frequently leads him to eschew kicking and punting in favor of operating a play to maintain possession of the ball.
However two selections, on reverse ends of that spectrum, left Duke with no factors on two drives deep into Georgia Tech territory within the first half.
Down 14-7 late within the first quarter, Duke took over on the Georgia Tech 29 following an interception. Going through third-and-1 from the 20, Durant was stopped for no acquire. On fourth-and-1, relatively than trying a discipline purpose, Duke had Holmberg try a rush up the center. However he was stopped brief and Georgia Tech took over.
On Duke’s ultimate possession of the primary half, trailing 17-14, the Blue Devils took over on the Georgia Tech 34 following one other interception. With two timeouts obtainable, Duke ran a operating play to Durant that misplaced a yard. Holmberg threw a go to Durant to realize 8 yards and Durant gained a yard on third down.
On fourth-and-1 from the Georgia Tech 25 with 55 seconds left within the half, Cutcliffe referred to as a timeout. Charlie Ham tried a 42-yard discipline purpose that may have tied the rating, however he missed extensive left and Georgia Tech took a 17-14 halftime lead.
Nonetheless, within the third quarter, confronted with one other fourth-and-1 contained in the purple zone, Cutcliffe referred to as on Ham once more. This time, Ham efficiently kicked a 35-yard discipline purpose that tied the rating at 17.
Kicking is changing into an issue
Ham missed two discipline targets and in addition had a missed extra-point kick that, fortunately for Duke, was worn out by Georgia Tech being offsides.
He did make a 35-yard discipline purpose in opposition to Georgia Tech and booted a 22-yarder within the fourth quarter. However the redshirt sophomore is now 7 of 11 kicking discipline targets on the season.
He confirmed leg power by knocking in a 50-yarder earlier this season. He was 13 of 15 on discipline targets final season so accuracy wasn’t an enormous subject in 2020.
Nevertheless it’s attending to be that method now.
This story was initially revealed October 9, 2021 4:06 PM.