Notes from Duke's 20-13 win over Virginia, including Breon Borders' big day and a look at the offensive line's stellar effort
Michael Dyer rushed for 173 yards, including a game-sealing 46-yard touchdown run with 44 seconds remaining, and Louisville held off N.C. State 30-18 on Saturday.
When Shaquille Powell reached Duke’s locker room after the Blue Devils posted a hard-fought 20-13 win over Virginia on Saturday, Blue Devils coach David Cutcliffe was there to present him the game ball. Powell’s Blue Devils teammates gave him a standing ovation.
Morgan State's Robert Council finds Andrew King from 15 yards out with 36 seconds left to cap a fourth-quarter comeback from a 20-7 hole.
While showing flash and dash offensively as wins came more easily over the last two seasons, Duke quietly worked to develop a grittier, harder edge as well.
Saturday’s ACC Coastal Division showdown with Virginia (4-3, 2-1 ACC) is where that work paid off.
Duke’s defense limited the Cavaliers to one touchdown in the game and a mere field goal in the second half as the Blue Devils stopped Virginia twice in the fourth quarter to protect a seven-point lead.
The Blue Devils mixed in an effective running game offensively, with the running of Shaquille Powell and Anthony Boone keying a fourth-quarter touchdown drive that lifted Duke to a 20-13 win before a crowd of 28,131 at Wallace Wade Stadium.
“We weren’t always clicking on all cylinders offensively,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. “Defensively you might say the same thing, looking at the numbers. But you talk about clutch and consistently clutch plays? It was there.”
The Blue Devils (6-1, 2-1 ACC) played without committing a turnover for the second consecutive game. They averaged 5.2 yards per carry against a Virginia defense that entered the day tied for second in the nation by allowing just 2.7 yards per carry.
N.C. Central vs. Morgan State
Duke used an overpowering running game and tight ball security to pull an upset last Saturday at Georgia Tech. To win again over Virginia Saturday (12:30 p.m., WRAL), a similar strategy appears the best course of action if the Blue Devils hope to take key step toward winning the ACC Coastal Division championship for the second season in a row.
Before Week 1, Mack said the Eagles would use a two-quarterback system this season. But Billerman essentially was the No. 1 signal caller and was getting most of the game reps until Week 3, when Bell threw for 337 yards and two touchdowns in a backup role during a loss to Charlotte. Bell answered the bell.
To ensure that each player on the defense takes care of his assignment, North Carolina’s scout team didn’t use a football during practice this week when imitating Georgia Tech’ s triple option.
Danny Kanell remembers the long, quiet plane ride home from South Bend, Indiana, after No. 1 Florida State was beaten 31-24 by Notre Dame back in 1993, a 1 vs. 2 matchup of unbeatens billed as the Game of the Century.
Louisville knows there’s no room for errors when it hosts N.C. State Saturday (3:30 p.m., Fox Sports Carolinas). That was hard-learned lesson in last week’s 23-17 loss at Clemson, when Louisville (5-2, 3-2 ACC) gave up touchdowns on a 72-yard punt return and an end-zone fumble. Penalties also doomed the Cardinals, who aim not to beat themselves against the Wolfpack (4-3, 0-3).
Malachi Briggs, Powell's 7-year-old brother, undergoing surgery for complications with his cancer treatments
Dezmond Johnson, Duke’s starting defensive end who has been sidelined for a month, practiced all week and is likely to play when the Blue Devils face Virginia on Saturday (12:30 p.m., WRAL). Johnson started Duke’s first three games before suffering a right knee injury during a 41-3 win over Kansas on Sept. 13.
N.C. Central quarterback Malcolm Bell might have to outrun a Bear in Baltimore named Christopher Robinson. “Christopher is a young man who you always have to know where he’s at on the field. You’ve always got to be conscious of that,” NCCU coach Jerry Mack said.