Found October 21, 2012 on Fox Sports Carolinas:
DURHAM, NC --- Conner Vernon didn't want to join in the celebratory scrum rapidly mushrooming in the middle of the football field at Wallace Wade Stadium late Saturday night. He wanted to take it in. He wanted to soak in the euphoria that filled this old place that once played host to a Rose Bowl and on this night welcomed Duke's thrilling 33-30 victory over arch rival North Carolina. But the win was more than finally beating the Tar Heels, who had taken 21 of the past 22 meetings in the series. It was a lot more. It was the Blue Devils' sixth victory of the season against two defeats and for the first time since 1994, Duke is bowl eligible. "It was a sight to see," Vernon said of the sea of students, older fans and players dancing, high-fiving, and hugging. The victory was in part a culmination of a process that began when David Cutcliffe was hired five years ago to restore Duke's program to respectability. Many men have been charged with that responsibility, though few have come close to accomplishing the mission. Cutcliffe, however, is different. He came from a football world that wasn't the same as many of the coaches before him. He's an SEC guy: Played for Bear Bryant at Alabama; offensive coordinator at Tennessee; head coach at Ole Miss. The man is southern football through and through. But he's also a people person. In fact, if ranking Cut's attributes, that comes long before his football qualities. He's a good man, and he's a good salesman. When Cutcliffe arrived at Duke the program was an absolute mess. It had won two games over the previous three seasons, and 10 over its previous eight campaigns. From 1994 to 2007, Duke went winless four times overall and eight times in the ACC. Cutcliffe believed in Duke, though. Unable to sleep the night before his interview, Cutcliffe drove over night from Tennessee and arrived on campus long before the morning light. So he walked around taking in everything and thinking about his future. "When you walk Duke's campus in the dark in the wee hours of the morning, there's a lot to see, there's a lot of tradition here," Cutcliffe said. "Wallace Wade, I'd never seen it, just impressed me sitting there quietly I just had a good feeling when I was there." He called his wife following the interview telling her he would take the job. She reminded him it hadn't been offered. "It will," he replied. But a coach needs players in order to win. And Cutcliffe secured a couple of skill guys who could have gone just about anywhere, but quarterback Sean Renfree and wide receiver Conner Vernon believed in him. They bought in. That brings us back to Vernon and why he delayed his personal celebration following the emotional victory. "I took it all in and was thankful," said Vernon, the ACC's all-time leading receiver with 243 catches in his career. "That's why I came to Duke to see coach Cutliffe's vision finally unfold. And for me to be a part of it is incredible." The ride wasn't so incredible. Duke went 4-8 in Cutcliffe's first season and 5-7 in year two but fell to 3-9 each of the last two campaigns. Yet, while it wasn't showing up in the standings, Duke was making progress. Its losses were by narrower margins and it was building depth. Quality recruiting will do that. And even in a season that has included a plethora of injuries, the Blue Devils have managed to persevere and march on. They did that after UNC scored three straight touchdowns in the final quarter to take a 30-26 lead on a crazy play with 3:12 left on the clock. But Duke didn't wilt like it had so many times to so many teams. Cutcliffe told his troops the Tar Heels had left too much time on the clock. "We have them right where we want them," he barked. Jamison Crowder's 5-yard touchdown reception from Renfree with 13 seconds left sealed the deal, making Blue Devil history, as Duke is headed to just its third bowl game since 1961. "It's impossible for me to describe," Renfree said. "There's been so many frustrating times in my career here and things have been tough. And for us to come together as a team like this and do something special, I'm just lucky to be a part of this." Duke actually has plenty more to play for. It could still represent the Coastal Division in the ACC title game, but first things first. This program, university and community are allowed to soak this in any way they can, just like Vernon did. It's been a long time coming.

UNC-Duke Report Card

DURHAM, NC --- Duke became bowl eligible for the first time since 1994 with 33-30 victory over North Carolina on Saturday night. Duke beat the Tar Heels after Jamison Crowder caught a touchdown pass with 13 seconds left, which ended a three-touchdown run by the hard-charging Tar Heels. Here are the grades for Dukes sixth win in eight tries and UNCs third defeat in eight games:...

Duke stuns UNC on TD with 13 seconds left

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Sean Renfree's 5-yard touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder on fourth down with 13 seconds left lifted Duke past North Carolina 33-30 on Saturday night and made the Blue Devils bowl eligible for the first time since 1994. Renfree finished 23 of 36 for 276 yards for Duke (6-2, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) and converted three third-and-longs during the game...

Duke 33, UNC 30

DURHAM, N.C. - Sean Renfree's 5-yard touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder on fourth down with 13 seconds left lifted Duke past North Carolina 33-30 on Saturday night and made the Blue Devils bowl eligible for the first time since 1994.

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Duke Beats Virginia 26-23 to Win USTA Tennis On Campus Invitational

Duke Team photo by Thomas Love / TR Media World HILTON HEAD, S.C., Oct. 21, 2012 – The sting of losing in last year’s USTA Tennis On Campus Fall Invitational championship match never really left the returning players for Duke University. On Sunday, many of the same Duke players who experienced that tough loss one year ago were able to avenge that defeat and celebrate a huge...

Official suspended by ACC for call in FSU-UM

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- The Atlantic Coast Conference has issued one-game suspensions to North Carolina freshman linebacker Shakeel Rashad for colliding with a Duke player during a substitution, and three officials from the Duke-UNC and Florida State-Miami games. In the Duke-UNC game, Rashad knocked down receiver Conner Vernon -- who was already lined up -- from behind while running...

Countdown to Craziness Inspired Imagination

The theme of the night was imagine and Mike Krzyzewski encouraged his team and the fans to imagine what this team can do if they play together and have the fans support. It may have been a week later than everyone else’s but Duke’s Countdown to Craziness was no less spirited than any of the midnight madness events from a week ago. The Blue Devils unveiled their 2012-2013 team...
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