Halftime adjustments key in Duke win over Virginia
Posted October 6, 2012
As Virginia faced off against Duke Saturday both teams were relying on first-time starting quarterbacks. Duke’s Anthony Boone started in place of Sean Renfree who has a shoulder injury and Virginia’s Phillip Sims took the place of Michael Rocco after he had three costly interceptions in the Wahoos loss to Louisiana Tech.
Both back-ups proved to be able to handle their own. In the first quarter each quarterback drove their team into the end zone twice, keeping a quick pace and tying it at 14.
But the second quarter was a different story, neither side could put together anything consistent offensively and it became a punting battle.
Boone was accurate, showed he had the arm strength to pull off the long passing plays and did it without any interceptions. At the half he was 12-23 with 134 passing yards and two touchdowns.
It was Duke’s defense that didn’t do their part in stopping the Virginia rush and the Wahoos grabbed the halftime lead with a late field goal.
Out of the half, Duke’s defense stepped up, making several big stops and easily handling Virginia. Midway through the third, Virginia opted to go for it on fourth and one but Walt Canty wasn’t having it. He stopped the run himself and Duke took over on the UVA 45.
The turnover would set up another Duke touchdown and a 28-17 lead. From there Duke just continued to roll. Later in the fourth Boone threw an absolute bomb to Vernon for a 47-yard touchdown.
Kenny Anunike got in on the feeding frenzy with a huge sack late in the fourth as the defense continued to hold Virginia scoreless in the second half.
Without seven starters on the defensive end, they still managed to maintain the second half shutout and a 42-17 win.
Boone showed he is a very capable quarterback but as soon as Sean Renfree is healthy he’ll be back at the helm. No matter how good Boone looked, Renfree won’t lose his starting spot due to injury. Halftime adjustments were key for Duke and proved to be the difference maker. The Blue Devils clearly improved offensively and defensively in the second half.
Duke has a tough game ahead of them as they travel to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech next week. It will be Duke’s first big test since Stanford and they just may not have the size or power to compete against the Hokies.