Duke vs. Georgia Tech Upset Is Not That Shocking

By Chipper Murphy
Duke Blue Devils Football Head Coach David Cutcliffe
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

On a rainy day in Durham, North Carolina, the No. 20 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-2) struggled to make plays . The patented Georgia Tech triple option has helped them average 377 yards rushing per game — second in FBS — but today they only managed 173. Star QB Justin Thomas was just 6 of 21 for 143 yards. The Duke Blue Devils (3-1) used a 100-yard kickoff return for a TD by DeVon Edwards and three TDs from RB Shaquille Powell to seal the victory.

Duke should have beaten the No. 17 Northwestern Wildcats (3-0) last weekend. They outgained the Wildcats, held their team to 3.4 yards per rush, and got just 70 yards total through the air. As you can imagine, the offense was the problem in their 19-10 defeat. QB Thomas Sirk struggled, throwing the ball 39 times for just 150 yards. The biggest problem was how they fell apart in the second half.

The Devils did the same thing today when Georgia Tech pulled within 26-20 with 8 minutes remaining. The Yellow Jackets managed to pull it out today, of course. The Duke loss should not have been that surprising.

These aren’t Ted Roof‘s Blue Devils. Last year they had a player taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. Senior safety Jeremy Cash hopes to make it to the draft this year. Cash was all over the field today. He plays a safety-linebacker hybrid and is always at the line of scrimmage. Today, he was all over Justin Thomas. The announcers were praising Cash the whole day. Right until he forced the fumble of Thomas that sealed the game for Duke with two minutes left.

Head Coach David Cutcliffe has legitimized the Duke football program. No one at Duke cared about football till he showed up. He’s making connections with the players and the program. He’s starting to get high school kids excited about the program with three players in the Rivals.com top 250 for the class of 2016 already committed.

Duke gets to play the Miami Hurricanes (3-0) at home and they don’t have the No. 10 Florida State Seminoles (3-0) on the schedule. With the Virginia Tech Hokies (2-1) currently being waxed by the East Carolina Pirates (1-2), it looks like the ACC Coastal division is ripe for the taking.

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