Believe it or not, Duke controls the ACC Coastal Division race with its 48-30 win over Miami.
It didn’t take long for Miami to flex its muscle and let out a little frustration in the process–a shade over five minutes–but like most of this year, Duke showed its tenacity fought back.
“This team is no fluke,” offensive lineman Dave Harding said following the game.
The Hurricanes coming into the game had lost two straight games and hadn’t lost to the Blue Devils since 1976, the first meeting ever between the two schools. They came out looking like the better team and the Blue Devils looked as if they had no answer for the Miami onslaught. Duke though despite going down 10-0 fought back and actually took a lead going into half-time.
Behind an incredible running attack led by Josh Snead who ran for 138 yards while averaging 15.3 yards per carry and Brandon Connette’s four rushing touchdowns the Blue Devils racked up the most rushing yards in the David Cutcliffe era, 358 yards.
The victory moves Duke to 8-2 (4-2 ACC) and in control of their own destiny in the race for the ACC Championship game. If the Blue Devils were to win their remaining two games, both winnable, against Wake Forest and North Carolina, they would win the ACC Coastal Division and likely play Florida State in the ACC title game.
The victory surely will raise a few eyebrows across the nation and the Blue Devils are satisfied with that. David Cutcliffe talked about the national perceptions of Duke and how it is easy to try and dismiss this program as a cute side story.
“I heard a little bit about what they said on Game Day. Its still almost like you are saying, ‘Okay this is kind of fun. ‘ Well, we’re not going away. Get use to it. This isn’t an accident,’ Cutcliffe said .”This is all by intention. I’m not trying to sound cocky that’s just a fact. ”
Duke beat the No. 23 ranked team in the end convincingly and looked like they were the better condition team down the stretch pounding the Hurricanes on the ground game in front of a near sell out. Duke students came out in full force and were loud and supportive throughout the game and rushed the field following the monumental victory, a victory that is most assuredly going to put the Blue Devils into the Top 25 for the first time since 1994. Something that Cutcliffe feels is justified.
“I feel very comfortable with that. We’ve beaten two teams thatt were in the Top 25. We have played well fairly consistently which is what a Top 25 team should do. And we have three phases that can all win,” Cutcliffe said.
But let it sink it for a minute that Duke is likely to be ranked and a national story line this coming week and when you look at the ACC Coastal Division standings the Blue Devils will be at the top of the list for the first time ever.