Burned by explosive plays once again, the Blue Devils enter the locker room trailing for the first time all season. 

The Hurricanes started the game off with back-to-back touchdown drives that took less than two and a half minutes behind cohesive play from their offense.  A 27-yard reception by Braxton Berrios and a one-yard keeper by Rosier put the Hurricanes in front 14-0 with 4:50 left in the first quarter.  Duke’s secondary was unable to keep up with opposing receivers once again, allowing five plays of more than 25 yards in the half. 

In just his second career road start, quarterback Malik Rosier showed off his athleticism early on. Rosier completed all nine of his throws in the first quarter and ended the half with 180 yards and a touchdown through the air.

Missed opportunities have also hurt the Blue Devils. Although Daniel Jones has been solid, completing 18 passes for 128 yards in the half, Duke has left points on the board. After picking up a 3rd-and-19 play early in the first quarter, the Blue Devils turned the ball over on downs a few plays later when Jones was sacked on a 4th-and-1. 

The next drive, the Blue Devils were once again able to pick up a long 3rd-and-11 on a 17-yard reception by Chris Taylor. But Duke was forced to opt for a 27-yard field goal by Austin Parker which cut the lead to 14-3 after Wilson could not pick up the first on a 3rd-and-6. 

The Blue Devils struggled to contain the long ball, but Duke continued to shut down the Hurricanes' rushing game. Running back Mark Walton showed his playmaking ability on a 39-yard reception on Miami’s first play from scrimmage, but he was unable to get anything going on the ground.

After a 10-yard rush from Rosier gave the Hurricanes 2nd-and-goal inside the one-yard line, Duke was able to come up with two huge stops, forcing a field goal attempt from Badgley that put Miami up 17-3 with 3:13 left in the half. 

The Blue Devils, on the other hand, continued to show their offensive prowess on the ground. The two-headed monster of Brittain Brown and Shaun Wilson carved through the Hurricanes defense for 80 yards in the first half. Duke has now rushed for at least 100 in every half this season but one.

The Blue Devils kicked a field goal in the final seconds of the half to trim the deficit to 11, and Miami will get the ball to start the second half.

Here are some observations from the first half:

  • After staying rather composed over the last few weeks, Duke was penalized four times for 47 yards.
  • Jones threw his third interception of the season in that first half. He had thrown just one pick in his last eight starts
  • Mark Walton had a field day against Toledo last weekend, rushing for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns. However, he has just 15 rushing yards at halftime.
  • Blue Devil receiver Johnathan Lloyd has nine receptions for 82 yards, both career highs already.