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Daniel Jones orchestrated four straight second-half touchdown drives to get Duke back into Saturday's ...

Duke football player of the week: Week 9



Daniel Jones

Statline: 22-for-36 passing, 302 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, one interception, 10 carries for 73 rushing yards

The good: Jones delivered an impressive performance in Duke's 38-35 loss at Georgia Tech, totaling 375 yards and two touchdowns. A 23-yard touchdown pass to tight end Daniel Helm in the second quarter put the Blue Devils on the board, momentarily rebounding from an early 14-0 deficit, and Jones also led Duke to an 8-for-13 conversion rate on third downs.

The redshirt freshman threw an interception at the start of the second half, but then led the Blue Devils on four straight touchdown drives in the second half to turn a 28-7 halftime deficit into a 35-31 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Without redshirt senior wideout Anthony Nash—who is sidelined for the season with a broken clavicle—Jones still completed throws to seven different pass-catchers, with three tight ends combining for 12 receptions.

The bad: After Duke’s improbable 28-3 run in the second half, the Yellow Jackets took the lead once again with 5:38 remaining in the fourth quarter, making the score 38-35. On the ensuing drive with a chance to tie or win the game, Jones was unable to convert for a single first down. After a loss of one yard and a false start, Jones ran for 13 yards on 2nd-and-16, but the Charlotte native threw an incomplete pass on 3rd-and-3 to usher in the punt team.

The bottom line: Jones nearly orchestrated a memorable comeback in the second half, leading the Blue Devils down the field consistently and helping them finish drives with touchdowns. But Duke did not capitalize on long drives in the first half like it did after the break, failing to score on six of its seven first-half drives into Georgia Tech territory. Had the Blue Devils played in the first half like they did in the second half, it would have been a very different game.

Honorable mention: Redshirt sophomore Daniel Helm also had a career day, catching both of Jones’ passing touchdowns for his first scores of the season to go along with 72 receiving yards. This was Helm's breakout game, catching six passes after notching just two receptions for five yards in the previous four games combined.


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