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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.

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  • 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 Hokies94

    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 Hokies94

    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.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh 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!!!

  • Hokies94 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 Hokies94

    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 Hokies94

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

  • Hokies94 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.

  • Hokies94 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!

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
MIA 94
CHA 93
Final
MIA 94
CHA 93
Final
MEM 107
LAC 91
Final
BOS 88
POR 94
Final
OKC 86
GSW 91
 
1st
LAL 6
DEN 6
 
Final
GMAS 60
COC 61
Final
FSU 69
UMASS 75
Final
SHSU 53
WOFF 64
Final
UNCG 67
YOUNG 76
Final
CMICH 75
ARKPB 43
 
Final
ILLCH 60
SILL 67
Final
MORE 46
AMER 51
Final
CORN 59
DREX 61
Final
CCST 60
COOK 65
Final
ARKLR 94
CSNO 88
Final
LEH 44
CLMB 54
 
Final
USB 89
MERMAR 54
 
Final
NMU 51
TEXAM 64
Final
STLU 56
TAMCC 62
 
Final
FAIR 80
SD 72
Final
EMICH 79
LONG 48
Final
ND 74
PROV 75
Final
RAD 88
CATAWBA 52
 
Final
DEN 80
COPST 54
 
Final
UAB 58
JST 50
 
Final
WICHS 105
NWM 57
Final
OKLA 90
NWST 68
Final
KSU 59
YALE 66
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
UCR 102
STKAT 49
 
Final
PSU 63
USC 61
Final
HC 101
NICHOLSCOL 70
 
Final
BC 53
DAY 65
Final
MON 75
TOWS 79
Final
HOF 93
WAGN 71
 
Final
CIN 54
EILL 49
Final
UGA 74
FATL 61
Final
BRAD 58
NCAT 50
 
Final
LATU 76
PBY 48
Final
RUTG 76
Terriers 73
 
Final
SAMF 64
UMKC 55
Final
NAVY 70
BING 68
Final
SHU 85
GWEBB 67
Final
UNT 58
IONA 78
Final
KENT 86
MNTST 28
Final
FORD 57
MLOWELL 64
 
Final
UCF 76
USCU 69
 
Final
SCAR 63
AKR 68
 
Final
WVU 78
UCONN 68
 
Final
CALST 70
DEL 52
 
Final
HOW 78
HOOD 51
 
Final
OSU 106
SHU 48
Final
VANDY 78
TENST 46
2nd
NE 63
MAN 45
 
2nd
COLST 68
MERC 58
 
2nd
MISS 61
NARZ 51
 
2nd
WASH 57
PAC 51
 
Final
LMU 82
SDCHR 60
 
1st
CHAR 25
MIAMI 28
 
1st
GAELS 21
UCI 21
 
1st
ILLST 17
ODU 6
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCLA
LBSU
10:30pm Tonight
SEAT
MONT
 
Final
WIN 2
STL 4
Final
NYR 5
MON 0
 
2nd Intermission
ANA 2
ARI 0
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
CHI
Final
HOU 13
CIN 22
Final
ATL 24
CLE 26
Final
NEP 34
DET 9
Final
MIN 21
GBP 24
Final
IND 23
JAC 3
Final
CHI 21
TAM 13
Final
PHI 43
TEN 24
Final
SEA 19
ARI 3
Final
SDC 27
STL 24
Final
DEN 39
MIA 36
Final
SFX 17
WAS 13
2nd
NYG 21
DAL 10