Joe Ovies

Talking Points: Duke goes bowling

Posted October 21, 2012

1. Perhaps the only talking point necessary -- Duke snapped 17 years of futility and became bowl eligible for the first time since 1994 with a 33-30 win over North Carolina.

The milestone gives head coach David Cutcliffe tangible validation for the incredible work he and his staff have done in Durham. The process likely took longer than anyone would care to admit, but culture change doesn't happen overnight.

Rivals might not like the Blue Devils in general, but it's difficult not to respect how Cutcliffe goes about his business.   Duke defeats UNC Slideshow: Duke comes back to beat Tar Heels

2. Duke stemmed the flow of momentum picked up by North Carolina late in the 4th quarter with a 14-play, 87-yard drive that ate up most of the time remaining. It came down to a "4th and bowl" situation for the Blue Devils with 13 seconds left on the clock.

Sean Renfree managed to find Jamison Crowder through a small window from 5-yards out for the touchdown. More impressive than the throw was Crowder holding on to the catch after getting upended by two North Carolina defenders in the endzone.  

3. Duke had ground out a 23-9 lead entering the fourth quarter, but failed execution on a fake punt at the start of the final period suddenly became the turning point of the contest.

North Carolina extended the following drive when Bryn Renner converted a 4th-and-6 with a 34-yard pass to Eric Ebron. Giovani Bernard rushed for a touchdown a handful of plays later and cut the Blue Devils' lead to 23-16. Duke at UNC Inside the Rivalry: Duke vs. UNC Football

Following a Ross Martin field goal to give Duke a 26-16 cushion, the Tar Heels answered with a 75 drive that was capped by Renner's 5-yard touchdown pass to Sean Tapley. Duke was forced to go 3-and-out on the next drive and things got weird. 

North Carolina looked like they were going to win the game when they literally got a great bounce in their favor. Renner passed to Erik Highsmith, but the ball popped loose near the 20-yard line and Ross Cockrell jumped on it. The football didn't cooperate for Cockrell, but Bernard hustled and snatched it up in stride for the touchdown. The Tar Heels were now up 30-26 and all the momentum with 3:30 left in the game. 

Well, at least it felt that way at the time. 

4. Duke was physically superior and set the pace against North Carolina for the majority of the game. The Blue Devils offensive line pushed the Tar Heels defensive line, which allowed for big runs up the middle. Check the box score.

  • Josh Snead: 15 carries for 98 yards
  • Jela Duncan: 22 caries for 75 yards
  • Juwan Thomason: 11 carries for 64 yards

North Carolina didn't help itself with poor tackling, which lead directly to many of Duke's 30 first downs.  

5. The red zone continues to be an area of concern for North Carolina. Prior to Bernard's rushing score with 13:51 to go in the 4th quarter, the Tar Heels had settled for three field goals. The Tar Heels hadn't scored a touchdown since the 2nd quarter of the win at Miami.

Renner was decidedly off in the first half, completing only 8-of-13 for 28 yards. He shook off the bad start with several key throws late in the game and put the Tar Heels in position to win.

6. Break of the game? Tre Boston's interception of Sean Renfree was called back thanks to a North Carolina penalty early in the 1st quarter. Potential point swing went in the Blue Devils favor when they took a 7-3 lead instead of a possible 10-0 deficit. 

7. Dream the impossible dream, kids. Duke and NC State control their own destiny in their respective ACC divisions.

10 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Dudeanonymous Oct 22, 7:50 a.m.

    But according to some unc posters (and a few others on here) was that we haven't beaten a worthy opponent and won't win another game! Maybe the "worthy opponent" part is still true even after Saturday night. LOL! GO DUKE!!!! 6-2 and 3-1 in the ACC!

  • BattlingBishop 5 Oct 21, 9:06 p.m.

    I forgot to congratulate the fans. Great for you guys too. I know ol Battling Bishop is happy.

    — Posted by wallhokievt94

    Yep...thanks, Hokie. VT is having one of those seasons (very rare for them to struggle). They'll... View More

    — Posted by BattlingBishop 5

    3 1st half TO's hurt us. We had 406 total yards to 294. We had 23 1st downs to 15 for Clemson.... View More

    — Posted by wallhokievt94

    Looks like the Hokies should have won that game. It's tough enough beating good teams, throw in a few TOs, & it's next to impossible. Guys have to protect the ball.

  • StunGunn Oct 21, 8:34 p.m.

    As much as last night's game hurts me as a Carolina fan, I can't help but be happy for Coach Cut and his team. Duke has had so many disappointments - coming oh so close, only to fall short. But not this year. Coach Cut is about so much more than football. The man is an inspiration. Nice guys don't always finish last. Congrats Coach Cut.

  • DurhamDevil Oct 21, 8:17 p.m.

    Being bowl eligible 8 weeks into the season is an incredible feat, given where Duke has been over the past 18 years. However, I feel Cut has these guys wanting more...

    8 - 4, with a Coastal Division title is no longer completely out of the question.

    GO DEVILS!!!

  • wallhokievt94 Oct 21, 7:04 p.m.

    I forgot to congratulate the fans. Great for you guys too. I know ol Battling Bishop is happy.

    — Posted by wallhokievt94

    Yep...thanks, Hokie. VT is having one of those seasons (very rare for them to struggle). They'll... View More

    — Posted by BattlingBishop 5

    3 1st half TO's hurt us. We had 406 total yards to 294. We had 23 1st downs to 15 for Clemson. Rushing was up, and possession. But 4 T0's and you're supposed to lose. Duke looked really good in all phases yesterday. That last drive was something special.

  • BattlingBishop 5 Oct 21, 6:14 p.m.

    I forgot to congratulate the fans. Great for you guys too. I know ol Battling Bishop is happy.

    — Posted by wallhokievt94

    Yep...thanks, Hokie. VT is having one of those seasons (very rare for them to struggle). They'll bounce back soon enough.

  • wallhokievt94 Oct 21, 5:09 p.m.

    I forgot to congratulate the fans. Great for you guys too. I know ol Battling Bishop is happy.

  • Last Word Oct 21, 2:41 p.m.

    Nice to get that bowl monkey off your backs. Not a Duke fan but hats off for putting together a program thats competitve. Sounds alot like whats happening in Raleigh.

  • wallhokievt94 Oct 21, 2:34 p.m.

    Congrat's to Duke University. A huge congrat's to Coach Cut and his staff and the players. Great win and the season isn't over yet.

  • BattlingBishop 5 Oct 21, 11:03 a.m.

    "7. Dream the impossible dream, kids. Duke and NC State control their own destiny in their respective ACC divisions."

    True...helps to have an experienced O-line. It's a process but Cut seems to be turning the corner.

    GO DUKE!

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Kentucky at Missouri

    Tonight at 9:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. St. Louis

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
NBA
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
MIL
7:00pm Tonight
IND
NYK
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DEN
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
CHI
2:00pm Today
PROV
DEP
6:00pm Tonight
RUTG
MSU
7:00pm Tonight
ARMY
BU
 
7:00pm Tonight
RFLSH
BRY
 
7:00pm Tonight
MERC
CHAT
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIU
CCST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOWS
COC
 
7:00pm Tonight
UMASS
DAY
7:00pm Tonight
FUR
ETST
 
7:00pm Tonight
ODU
FIU
7:00pm Tonight
RMU
FD
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHAR
FATL
7:00pm Tonight
LIB
HIGH
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNF
KNST
 
7:00pm Tonight
FLGC
LIP
 
7:00pm Tonight
OSU
MD
7:00pm Tonight
Terriers
MNTER
 
7:00pm Tonight
STET
NKENTUCKY
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAGN
SHU
 
7:00pm Tonight
GMAS
STLU
7:00pm Tonight
JVU
USCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
VMI
WCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
LATU
WKENT
7:00pm Tonight
UNCG
WOFF
 
7:00pm Tonight
DET
YOUNG
 
7:30pm Tonight
GSOUT
APP
 
7:30pm Tonight
TENNM
EILL
 
7:30pm Tonight
GHND
HC
 
8:00pm Tonight
CIN
UCONN
8:00pm Tonight
NDST
DEN
 
8:00pm Tonight
SD
MAST
 
8:00pm Tonight
UWMIL
ILLCH
 
8:00pm Tonight
BEL
JVST
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMISS
MARS
8:00pm Tonight
TXSA
MTST
8:00pm Tonight
PETE
RIDE
 
8:00pm Tonight
SEMIZ
SIUE
 
8:00pm Tonight
TENST
TENT
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
WEBER
 
8:05pm Tonight
SALA
LALAF
 
8:15pm Tonight
TXARL
UGST
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARKST
ARKLR
 
8:30pm Tonight
TROY
LAMON
 
9:00pm Tonight
MURST
EKENT
 
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
IDST
 
9:00pm Tonight
MIZZ
KENT
9:00pm Tonight
GONZ
PORT
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
UAB
9:00pm Tonight
GRCN
UMKC
 
9:05pm Tonight
WLVRN
CHIST
 
9:30pm Tonight
USC
COL
10:00pm Tonight
UCI
CPSL
 
10:00pm Tonight
CSNO
HAW
 
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
PEPP
 
10:00pm Tonight
SDU
SCU
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UCSB
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCLA
UTAH
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
MONT
 
10:05pm Tonight
SACST
MNTST
 
10:30pm Tonight
CSFU
LBSU
 
10:30pm Tonight
GAELS
LMU
 
11:00pm Tonight
WASU
CAL
11:00pm Tonight
BYU
USF
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
MON
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
WIN
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
ARI
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CLB
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
DAL
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
DET
8:00pm Tonight
STL
NAS
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
MIN
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
BUF
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
ANA