With 17 seconds left in the game and Northwestern on the Duke 7 Saturday night, the Blue Devils blitzed on four consecutive downs to stop the Wildcats and hold on for their first win in 23 attempts.
When the clock expired in Evanston, Ill., Duke fans 800 miles away boisterously poured out of their dorms, raced to Wallace Wade Stadium, and-as an homage to their team-blitzed the goal posts. For students, it was instinctive, a visceral reaction to a moment of pure fanatic jubilation most of them had never experienced in their time in Durham.
The 100 or so Blue Devil fans who were the first to congregate on the concourse of Wallace Wade began to clamor for the uprights to come down. Someone started a countdown from 10-but the real count had begun at 728, the number of days since Duke's last win.
Then the rush.
The Blue Devil faithful burst through the concourse gates and ran down to the field, with the most enthusiastic of the lot hopping on the posts, rocking back-and-forth and bringing down the yellow spires.
Carrying the goal through the Wannamaker fire lane- and nearly getting stuck in between Wanny and Craven-the fans fought their way to the Main West Quadrangle, with the mission of framing Duke's most picturesque image, the Chapel, with the uprooted uprights.
Blue Devil fans were soon brought back to reality from their state of euphoria when one of their own was hurt by a piece the overbearing metal posts, and all were relieved the next morning to learn that her injuries were only minor.
But for a moment in the night, there was nothing more beautiful than that illuminated gothic structure edged by the yellow metal of victory.
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