It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but the Duke Blue Devils don’t care.
On Saturday, the streaking Blue Devils knocked off No. 14 Virginia Tech, earned their sixth win and became bowl eligible in the process. Combined with last year’s bowl appearance, this will be the first time the Blue Devils have played in back-to-back bowl games in the school’s history.
The normally-productive Duke offense was terribly inefficient on Saturday. They could only muster 198 total yards of offense and turned the ball over five times. And when they weren’t turning it over, they couldn’t sustain drives as they converted just 1-of-11 third-down opportunities.
However, for as terrible as their offense was, the defense was just as good.
Duke’s defense gave up nearly 400 yards of offense, but surrendered just 10 points to Logan Thomas and the Hokies. Thomas showed flashes of great play, but reverted back to his old ways in the clutch. He threw four interceptions, including a game-ending interception near midfield late in the fourth quarter.
The Hokies dominated the time of possession, holding the ball for nearly 40 of the 60 minutes, but the Devils came up big when they needed a crucial play. They were also great on third down, yielding just four conversions on 18 third-down attempts.
Duke head coach David Cutcliffe has really turned around a program that was always the laughing stock of the ACC. Of their four remaining games, only one opponent, Miami, has a winning record. While it’s unlikely they can win the Coastal Division, there’s no doubt the Blue Devils are making an impression on the rest of the ACC.