RB Snead fumbles away Belk Bowl for Blue Devils

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 28, 2012
Duke seemed to have its first bowl win since 1961 well in hand - and then the bottom fell out. With the game tied at 34 and the Blue Devils working on the clock while setting up for a potential go-ahead field goal, Josh Snead fumbled on a second-and-goal at the Cincinnati 5-yard line and the Bearcats recovered. Four plays later, game MVP Brendon Kay connected on an 83-yard touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce to help lift Cincinnati to a 48-34 victory in the Belk Bowl. ''It's heartbreaking, because we wanted to win this game for our seniors,'' Snead said. ''But as a team, we're going to learn from this and build off the momentum from this.'' After the game, Duke coach David Cutcliffe refused to pin the loss on Snead, saying there were numerous missed opportunities. Snead said he'll move on and learn from the mistake. ''I've got great teammates,'' Snead said. ''They encouraged me to keep my head up. If you have a little adversity, you've got to face it. I'm one of the leaders on the team, and I can't show myself being down. I know my team's got my back. We just need to build off this. We've got to come back out in 2013 with this in the back of our head. It's going to help me grow as a man, too. You really can't learn from winning; you can learn from losing. We can learn from this.'' As for the fumble, he couldn't explain what happened. ''The exchange to my handoff carrying the ball, it just popped out,'' Snead said. ''Somebody got their hand in there and it popped out.'' Kay threw for 332 yards and his four scoring passes were a Belk Bowl record. His biggest TD pass came when Kelce got behind the Duke defense on a seam route, caught the ball in stride and raced the final 60 yards to the end zone as Blue Devils fans looked on in stunned silence. Cincinnati (10-3) sealed it on the next series when Maalik Bomar came crashing into Duke quarterback Sean Renfree, forcing a deflection that Nick Temple returned 55 yards for a touchdown. Renfree threw for 358 yards - another Belk Bowl record - for the Blue Devils (6-7). Conner Vernon, the ACC's all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards, had 10 catches for 119 yards and a touchdown in his final game for the Blue Devils. Duke, which came in having allowed 51 points and an average of 294.5 yards rushing over its previous four games, struggled to stop Cincinnati after the first quarter. The Bearcats piled up 554 total yards of offense, including 130 yards on the ground by George Winn. Duke wasn't too shabby on offense, either, combining with the Bearcats for a Belk Bowl-record 1,114 yards. Kay's MVP performance comes after a career beset by injuries, but this turned out to be his night to shine. The Bearcats trailed 16-0 before rattling off 27 straight points to seemingly take control, and the big turning point came from Cincinnati linebacker Greg Blair. With Duke leading 16-3 and looking for more, Renfree fired a pass over the middle for running back Jela Duncan, who lunged for the goal line but was hit by Blair and fumbled. Blair recovered and suddenly the Bearcats had a shot. Cincinnati came to life a short time later when Kay connected on a 25-yard touchdown pass to Anthony McClung, cutting the Duke lead to 16-10. Kay's second scoring pass, a 41-yard strike to Abernathy, capped a 98-yard drive in the final two minutes of the first half and gave the Bearcats their first lead. Cincinnati carried the momentum into the second half, scoring on their first two possessions. Tony Miliano connected from 25 yards out and Winn cut back against the grain and raced 46 yards for his 13th touchdown of the season. But the Blue Devils stormed back to take the lead on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Renfree to Vernon and a 2-yard pass from reserve quarterback Brendon Connette to David Reeves. The game went back and forth from there before Kelce, who finished with 123 yards receiving, put the Bearcats ahead for good. NOTES: Duke punter Will Monday set a Belk Bowl record with a 79-yard punt. ... The two teams set a combined record for most first downs in the Belk Bowl.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eddie Lacy defends Mike McCarthy for weight loss comments

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Iowa researchers say they can optimize Monday Night Football ratings with scheduling

Terrelle Pryor can visit Ohio State as five-year ban comes to a close

Rudy Gay admits to having ‘no idea’ about what the Kings are doing

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker