Brandon Connette scored 4 rushing touchdowns and threw for one more to help Duke run past No. 23 Miami Saturday at a nearly filled Wallace Wade Stadium
Anthony Boone started for the Blue Devils, and alternated snaps throughout the game, though Connette’s four scores stood out as the
Duke students rush the field after the Blue Devils 48-30 victory over No. 23 Miami.
key factor as he would become Duke’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns.
The Duke offense racked up 543 total yards, 358 coming on the ground an all-time high for any David Cutcliffe coached team. Josh Snead did all of the set up work, rushing for 138 yds on 9 carries, but no touchdowns, but his explosiveness wore down the Miami defense.
Shaquille Powell was the only other Blue Devil to find the endzone . He was on the receiving end of a 22 yd pass from Connette, and a game-ending 33 yard run late in the fourth quarter. The Blue Devil would add another Ross Martin field goal.
Speaking of Martin, he banked the final go-ahead field goal off of the left upright from 44 yard out putting Duke up for good 31-30 with 2:47 remaining in the 3rd. He added the final points with a 32 yarder with a minute to go.
Duke Defense started slow, but as they have seemed to have done all season long, dominated the last half, and held Miami to just 10 points in the second half. On the season the Blue Devils have not allowed but 4 fourth quarter touchdowns, an incredible stat.
The victory puts Duke in control of its ACC Coastal destiny. Surprising they were in a similar position last season but couldn’t find its winning ways late in the season after a 6-2 start. Now at 8-2 (4-2 ACC) Duke needs only to win its last two games to guarantee itself the program’s first ACC Coastal Division Championship, something that the Blue Devils will not shy away from.
“It is real. That’s not something we don’t need to realize. When you get this late in the year and you control your own destiny it’s not distracting to say that. That’s a misnomer. They know that goes away if you don’t play well in the next game. Its not what we are thinking about when we are working.”
“We got two rival games coming up. That’s enough in itself to stay focused,” Cutcliffe said.
Duke will most likely get into the Top 25 for the first time this season and the first time since 1994, a feat Cutcliffe fills is due to his team for their work this year.
“I have enough respect for our team, I’m going to vote for our team. I think we’ve earned that respect from my vote but I can’t control what anybody else thinks,” Cutcliffe said.
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