NCAA Game Summary - Duke at Virginia Tech|
(Saturday, October 26th)
Final Score: Duke 13, (16) Virginia Tech 10
Blacksburg, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - An opportunistic defensive effort and two
long field goals from Ross Martin helped Duke to its first road win over a
ranked opponent in 42 years, a 13-10 shocker over No. 16 Virginia Tech at Lane
Despite being outgained by a 387-198 margin in total yards, the Blue Devils
prevailed by intercepting Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas four times and
getting clutch kicks of 51 and 53 yards out of Martin. Duke (6-2, 2-2 ACC),
which came in 0-7 lifetime in Blacksburg, knocked off a Top 25 foe on the road
for the first time since a 9-7 decision at Stanford on Oct. 2, 1971.
The Blue Devils also notched their first victory over the Hokies (6-2, 3-1)
since 1981 and became bowl eligible for a second straight year for the first
time in school history.
"It is a historical victory and they should be proud of that," Duke head coach
David Cutcliffe said of his players. "It is a distinct step in the right
direction, and it is a big step."
Duke signal-caller Anthony Boone also threw four picks -- three to VT freshman
Kendall Fuller -- while completing just 7-of-25 attempts for 107 yards, but
delivered a key 9-yard touchdown run that gave Duke a 13-0 third-quarter lead
it held onto.
Thomas rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries and added 214 yards
on 21-of-38 passing in the loss, Virginia Tech's first since a season-opening
35-10 setback to No. 1 Alabama in Atlanta.
"Obviously, it's frustrating," Thomas said afterward. "We did a lot on offense
that was good."
Martin was the star of a first half marred by sloppy play from both offenses
and a combined five interceptions thrown by the two participating
quarterbacks, booting a pair of challenging field goals to send Duke
into the break owning a slim 6-0 edge.
Thomas' first interception was returned 24 yards by Garett Patterson to the
Hokies' 24 late in the opening quarter. However, Fuller picked off Boone for
the second time in the game three plays later to thwart Duke's scoring chance.
The Blue Devils were given good field position again early in the second
quarter, this time the result of a Hokies' three-and-out, and a 19-yard run by
Jela Duncan put Duke in position for Martin's 51-yard kick that broke the
Virginia Tech responded with a lengthy 16-play drive that nearly ended in a
go-ahead 2-yard touchdown pass from Thomas to D.J. Coles, but the score was
waved off for an illegal motion penalty. Thomas then fired into traffic on the
subsequent snap and was intercepted in the end zone by Ross Cockrell.
Boone threw another pick deep in VT territory late in the first half to
prevent Duke from extending the lead, but Hokies kicker Cody Journell hit the
upright on a 45-yard attempt after the change in possession to keep it a 3-0
Getting the ball back with under a minute left, Boone strung together three
straight completions to place the Blue Devils in range for Martin's 53-yard
try, which the 2012 Lou Groza Award semifinalist split through the uprights on
the final snap of the half.
The Duke defense came up with one more big play during the initial stages of
the second half, stoning VT running back Trey Edmunds on 4th-and-1 from the
opposing 37-yard line. The Blue Devils proceeded to march 63 yards in six
plays, aided by a pair of costly penalties by the Hokies, and went up 13-0
when Boone broke free on a 9-yard designed run with 6:14 left in the third
"We had a game plan and we just made plays. That's what it came down to," said
Brown. "We made plays in critical situations in the red zone. We came up big
every time we needed to."
A 56-yard connection from Thomas to Demetri Knowles with Virginia Tech backed
down to its own end zone finally sprung the Hokies to life. Thomas ripped off
a 17-yard scramble shortly after the long gainer, and later capped the 99-yard
series by plowing into the end zone on a 5-yard quarterback draw with 11
seconds to go in the third quarter.
After Virginia Tech forced a quick three-and-out on the ensuing drive to get
the ball back near midfield, the Hokies marched 31 yards in 10 plays to set up
Journell's 42-yard field goal that trimmed the deficit to 13-10 with 9:23
Fuller's third interception, which came on an underthrown deep ball by Boone
less than a minute after Journell's kick, gave Virginia Tech a chance to tie
when Journell lined up for a 40-yard field goal with around six minutes to
play. However, the try was pulled wide to the left and Duke remained in front.
"I'm concerned when a guy as steady as Cody misses two," said Virginia Tech
head coach Frank Beamer. "There was some pressure on that last one. I don't
know exactly what happened, but there was some pressure."
Kelby Brown kept the Blue Devils ahead by intercepting a Thomas bullet that
went through Knowles' hands with under 4 1/2 minutes left, and a short rush by
Brandon Cornette on 4th-and-1 followed by Boone's 11-yard scramble after
Virginia Tech used its last time out enabled Duke to run out the clock.
Virginia Tech had won 12 straight meetings in the series ... Duke finished 0-
for-11 on third-down conversions, with the Hokies going just 4-for-18 in those
situations ... Martin is now 4-for-4 lifetime on field goal attempts from 50
yards or more, with his previous best a 52-yarder in last year's Belk Bowl ...
Thomas' rushing touchdown was the 24th of his career, breaking a tie with
current Baltimore Raven Tyrod Taylor for the most by a QB in VT history ...
Hokies cornerback Antone Exum, an All-ACC selection last year, made his season
debut after missing the first seven games recovering from a torn ACL sustained
10/26 22:20:10 ET