Duke fans were hoping to send off their quarterback, Sean Renfree, with a fairytale ending. The end of the illustrious quarterback’s career was more like a nightmare. Renfree was down on the field, in a world of hurt, while the Cincinnati Bearcats were running back an interception for a touchdown. In the end Cincinnati won the Belk Bowl by a final score of 48-34, but don’t let that score fool you; the Blue Devils should have won this game.
The Bearcats scored 14 points in the final minute of the game to win by that margin. Duke needed to win this game, if only to send off their two senior stars (Renfree and wide receiver Conner Vernon) with a win in their final game. It just didn’t happen for them. In the end, Duke can only blame themselves for this loss. Untimely turnovers doomed the Blue Devils.
Renfree’s pick-six wasn’t the reason for the loss; it was just simply responsible for the second touchdown of a two touchdown loss. Running back Josh Snead ended up costing Duke the game. He lost a fumble at Cincinnati’s five yard line with a minute and a half left in the game. At that point the game was tied at 34 and Duke was on the verge of the program’s first bowl win since 1961.
However, the freshman lost the football and Duke’s defense gave up a quick touchdown to the Bearcats on an 83 yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce. Renfree’s interception simply sealed the game’s fate. You hate to see a great player’s, like Renfree, collegiate career end in such a way. However, I do think that the quarterback will get an opportunity to play in the NFL.
Renfree and Vernon will likely be moving on to bigger and better things in 2013, but the outlook for Duke’s football program isn’t so bright. It is hard to foresee Duke going to a bowl game next year, or even the year after, if only because it’s two best playmakers are graduating. This was the Blue Devils best chance to win a bowl in almost two decades, but it just didn’t happen. What’s next for Duke is anybody’s guess.