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Shaun Wilson and Duke's rushing attack couldn't get anything going, running for just 76 yards on 26 ...

Making the grade: Duke football vs. Pittsburgh



 After four straight wins to start the season, Duke is an even 4-4 after its offense has cratered to score just five touchdowns in its last four weeks. The Blue Devils rushed for just 76 yards in their latest defeat, a 24-17 loss Saturday to Pittsburgh. 

Offense: C 

Pass: After taking a step forward last week against Virginia, Daniel Jones continued to get comfortable, seeing an increasing workload against a poor Pittsburgh passing defense. Jones completed 15-of-33 pass attempts for 272 yards, his second highest total of the season. In addition, wide receiver T.J. Rahming broke out with 142 reception yards, his third 100-plus yard game already this season. 

Rush: The Blue Devils were unable to get any consistency in the running game—gaining a total of 76 yards of 26 combined carries—despite having what seemed to be a favorable matchup against the Panthers. Entering Saturday’s tilt, Pittsburgh's defense allowed just less than 180 yards per contest, while Duke running backs rushed for an average of 190 yards. However, the Blue Devils could not surpass half their season’s average in a disappointing performance.

X’s and O’s: Duke was plagued by turnovers once again and the Blue Devils failed to take advantage of two missed field goals in the first half. A fumble, a late interception by Jones and a missed 36-yard field goal by Austin Parker—which would have cut the Panther lead to just one with eight minutes left to play—were the difference for the Blue Devils. 

Defense: C

Pass: Duke did a solid job containing quarterback Ben Dinucci in just his second career start. The Blue Devils held Dinucci to a mere 8-of-18 on his passing attempts and forced them to rely on the run game. However, Duke was once again plagued by explosive plays, as it allowed Pittsburgh to reel in three receptions of at least 25 yards. 

Rush: After being praised as one of the nation’s best in defending the run early on this season, the Blue Devils’ defensive line was roasted for the second straight week. Duke allowed 228 combined yards by Florida State backs last weekend, and could not contain junior back Darrin Hall Saturday. Hall exploded for 254 of Pittsburgh’s 336 rushing yards en route to revitalizing a struggling Panther’s offense. 

X’s and O’s: The Blue Devils’ secondary was burned for explosive plays once again Saturday. In addition to the long plays in the passing game, Hall burst for touchdown runs of 79 and 92 yards. Duke also got a few breaks defensively, as Pittsburgh missed two of its three field goal attempts.

Special Teams: B-

While Austin Parker continued to have success punting—averaging 45.6 yards per punt over five attempts—his struggles in the kicking game did little to help an inconsistent offensive unit. Parker doubled his season’s total of missed field goals after failing to convert from 49 and 36 yards Saturday. The Mount Pleasant, N.C., native has now made 11 of his 15 attempts this season. 


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