Duke 28, Virginia 17, FINAL: A huge, huge win for Duke tonight. Three straight conference wins for the Blue Devils, the first time that's happened since... I'm not sure, I'll find out, though. Now, looking forward, Duke has North Carolina next week, then Georgia Tech, Miami, and Wake Forest. It needs to win two out of those four games to make a bowl.
The small, but vocal, Duke fans are cheering uproariously as the team celebrates with them. The Chronicle Sports Blog, signing off from Charlottesville.
Duke 28, Virginia 17, 1:05 left in the fourth quarter: Duke (Hollingsworth, mainly) runs the ball to kill clock, and Snyderwine hits the nail on the proverbial coffin with a 43-yard field goal that splits the uprights. Hopefully, people will not forget just how well the walk-on has played today. Five field goals attempted, five made. His consistency today has been a huge part of the win.
Duke 25, Virginia 17, 3:00 left in the fourth quarter: Virginia goes for it on fourth-and-10 after two straight dropped passes by Virginia receivers, and Jeremy Ringfield comes through with a huge sack on Sewell. Besides the fumble recovery, that's the loudest reaction I've heard from the Duke coaches that are adjacent to the press box. Duke has the ball at the Virginia 28.
Duke 25, Virginia 17, 3:22 left in the fourth quarter: Virginia fumbles, and Charlie Hatcher picks up the ball and runs it to the house for the Blue Devils' second touchdown in less than a minute. Duke sidelines are in bedlam-- all the coaches are jumping up and down. Mass exodus from the stadium. People are leaving in droves. It's still a one-possession game, though. The defense needs just one more stop.
Duke 18, Virginia 17, 3:45 left in the fourth quarter: Touchdown, Duke! With defenders swarming all around him, Lewis somehow got off a throw to an all alone Conner Vernon who streaked down the center of the field for the score. The pass had to be around 40 yards. Duke went for two, and failed to convert, but it did succeed in making Scott Stadium absolutely silent.
Duke 12, Virginia 17, 5:45 left in the fourth quarter: Yeah, it was an interception. Chase Minnifield is credited with the pick.
Virginia could do nothing with the field position, though, and the Cavs are punting. Williams to return.
Duke 12, Virginia 17, 8:01 left in the fourth quarter: Duke got the big play it's needed all game-- a 40 yard pass from Lewis to Varner that put the Blue Devils at the three-yard line. But Re'quan Boyette ran for a loss of four yards, and soon it was 3rd and goal from the seven. Forced to throw under extreme pass pressure, Lewis hit a Cav in the hands in the back corner of the end zone. It now looks like Virginia has the ball after what appeared to be an interception. Under review.
Nice passes by Thad spearheaded the drive (what a surprise). On third-and-three, at the 33, Lewis found Johnny Williams for a first down. After Lewis ran a draw for two yards, he hit Austin Kelly to put at the Virginia 43. Those two throws set up the big 'un to Varner.
Duke 12, Virginia 17, 11:22 left in the fourth quarter: Touchdown, Virginia.
On the kickoff to start the Cavs drive, Snyderwine gave Virginia great field position with a kick out-of-bounds. But the Cavs looked like they were about to squander the opportunity when they faced a long third-down at their 41 yard-line.
Vinnie Rey stuffed a pass play a yard short of a first down, but the Cavs went for it anyway, and Sewell found Eric Thornton for a 27-yard pass. Once in the red zone, Sewell found tight end Joe Torchia for a 19-yard scoring play. It capped an eight play, 63 yard drive, that now has the Blue Devils looking for a score.
Duke 12, Virginia 10, 13:53 left in the fourth quarter: Another red zone trip, another Snyderwine field goal-- this one a 24 yard one that split the uprights. He is 4-for-4, which matches his career best.
On another note, I have just been informed that viewers watching at home may notice that one of the referees currently has his fly open. XYZ, my striped friend. XYZ.
Duke 9, Virginia 10, start of fourth quarter: Can Duke finally get a touchdown? The Blue Devils have the ball at the 27 after a 32-yard bullet from Lewis to Vernon. Stay tuned, sports fans.
Duke 9, Virginia 10, 1:10 left in the third quarter: Cav fans are screaming for blood after a long pass from Sewell to a receiver at the 20-yard line was deflected. Apparently, they wanted a pass interference call. At least that's what I inferred from the large men yelling near me.
Duke has the ball at the 41.
Duke 9, Virginia 10, 2:59 left in the third quarter: A frustrating series of possessions for Duke. Lewis hit Conner Vernon who made a great 15-yard catch, complete with his helmet flying off... and it was promptly brought back by a Duke 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Then, on third-down, Lewis was chased by two defenders, threw up a prayer, which connected with Austin Kelly... who promptly dropped it. Mistakes and miscues, it's safe to say, are killing the Blue Devils.
Duke 9, Virginia 10, 4:19 left in the third quarter: Battle for field position, part deux: a sack on Sewell forced Virginia's Rathjen (nice name) to punt to the Duke 31-yard line. This is a big drive for the Blue Devils. They really need a score.
Duke 9, Virginia 10, 6:51 left in the third quarter: Jones is punting for the Blue Devils. On this drive, Thad converted on another third-down with a 14-yard pass to Vernon put Duke at its 40. Again, though, a big sack on Lewis by John-Kevin Dolce put the Blue Devils at 3rd-and-long from the 48, and he almost got picked off trying to hit Brett Huffman streaking down the sidelines.
Official attendance for the game is 41,713. Minus about 15,000, I would say.
Duke 9, Virginia 10, 11:38 left in the third quarter: The Wahoos received the ball to start the second half, and they immediately started driving towards the end zone, showing more offensive firepower than they had in the entire previous half. Cavs QB Sewell hit one of his receivers for about a 20-yard toss, and Charlie Hatcher got caught roughing the passer on the throw, which put Virginia at the 31-yard line. After a couple of big rushes by Jackson, Sewell ran in a quarterback sneak for the first touchdown of the game, capping a drive which lasted just over three minutes. Duke now trails for the first time today.
Duke 9, Virginia 3, HALFTIME: Two Pee-Wee teams are providing the halftime entertainment right now. The "Steelers" quarterback just got rocked; their parents must not be Malcolm Gladwell readers.
Some stats from the first half: Thad Lewis went 13-of-20 for 128 yards. Hollingsworth is Duke's leading rusher with 27 yards on seven carries. The Blue Devils have 12 first-downs and 178 yards of total offense to the Cavs' six first-downs and 81 yards.
Also, I incorrectly called Virginia quarterback Marc Verica Drew Jarrett for much of the first half. That's the beauty of live blogging for ya!
Duke 9, Virginia 3, HALFTIME: The first half is over, and with it, the first time all season that Duke has failed to score a touchdown in the game's first 30 minutes. The Blue Devils' final drive of the half was highlighted by the fourth sack of the game on Lewis, who has been consistently under pressure throughout the game. In other news, Sewell is back under center for Virginia. He took a knee rather than throw a Hail Mary to end the second quarter, much to the chagrin of the fans in attendance. (They want a touchdown. And they're booing.)
Halloween costume winners so far: Two obese men adorned in blonde wigs and Duke (or, more accurately, Dook) cheerleader uniforms. Cross dressing will always be funny.
Duke 9, Virginia 3, 2:50 left in the second quarter: Virginia is forced to punt after a nice defensive series from the Blue Devils, with Matt Daniels providing an exclamation point on it with a ferocious hit to put the Cavs at 4th-and-8. Duke has the ball at the 32 and, oh, look, "Thriller" is playing right now. How original.
Duke 9, Virginia 3, 6:49 left in the second quarter: Lewis is going to be feeling this game tomorrow. The quarterback was hit hard on a 2nd-down sack that put the Blue Devils at 3rd-and-long. He hit Donovan Varner on a long pass on the next play, and he stretched for the first-down, but wound up two yards short.
Duke 9, Virginia 3, 9:58 left in the second quarter: We've got a battle for field position here. Duke was forced to punt for the first time today after the Cavs forced a three-and-out. And now, Virginia has just punted to the 9-yard line following its three-and-out. Not exactly the offensive explosion of the N.C. State game from a couple of weeks ago.
Duke 9, Virginia 3, 11:51 left in the second quarter: Big news for the Duke defense: Cavs quarterback Jameel Sewell was knocked out of the game at the 13:50 mark, bringing in Marc Verica, who continued an 11-play, 55 yard drive, capped by a 33-yard field goal from Robert Randolph. No word on the condition of Sewell, but if he is out for the game, Virginia fans shouldn't be that worried. While Verica made a couple of very poor passes (including one which found the hands of a security guard 20 feet left of the field), he didn't really look terrible.
In case you were curious as to why Virginia is nicknamed the Wahoos, this is an interesting Wikipedia entry on it. Money quote:
A common explanation by students and alumni of the term's popularity is that it references the fish Acanthocybium solandri, purported to have the ability to drink up to twice its body weight daily.
Duke 9, Virginia 0, 14:55 left in the second quarter: Back-to-back sacks on Lewis (one for a loss of 10 yards) prevented Duke from getting its first touchdown of the game, and forced Snyderwine to come on the field and make his third field-goal of the game. That's three consecutive drives now where the Blue Devils have failed to find the end zone when they get inside the 30. Cutcliffe can't be pleased with that stat.
First downs in the first half: Duke, 9. Virginia, 0. How are the Blue Devils only up by nine?
Duke 6, Virginia 0, 2:27 left in the first quarter: Hey! Guess who just got an interception for Duke? If you guessed Leon Wright, well, you're right. By my unofficial count that's Wright's 78th pick of the season. (Okay, actually his fourth).
Duke 6, Virginia 0, 2:56 left in the first quarter: Snyderwine just hit a 28-yard field goal to put Duke up by six. The Blue Devils could have had a touchdown, though. On third-down and with the ball at the 11, Lewis attempted to hit Austin Kelly, but the pass was broken up.
Some highlights from the drive: Faced with 3rd and 3 on the 21, Lewis hit a wide-open Kelly for a 25-yard strike. Desmond Scott and Jay Hollingsworth both made their first appearances in the game, and both picked up quick first downs on their scrambles.
Faced with an unrelenting Virginia pass rush, Lewis has shown great agility so far in avoiding tacklers. Rumor has it he's been limited in practice with a bum ankle, so wow. Impressive.
Duke 3, Virginia 0, 8:40 left in the first quarter: A near interception on the first play of the Virginia drive highlighted a great defensive effort by the Blue Devils in forcing a 3-and-out. A long Cavs punt, and subsequent -10 yard return by Conner Vernon, though, has the offense on the 14-yard line with a long way to march.
On another note, Duke could do well to copy some of the things that make this small stadium here special. Chief among them: A grassy hill behind one of the end zones. Let's get on it Kevin White!
Duke 3, Virginia 0, 9:25 left in the first quarter: Thad Lewis orchestrated an impressive first drive with not only his trademark pinpoint passing, but his legs as well: The senior ran for two first downs, one of which was a 10-yard play. A Cavs' sack on the 27-yard line set up a 44-yard field goal from Will Snyderwine. Cutcliffe showed great faith in his kicking unit in allowing Snyderwine to take the long kick. Faith in the kicker-- not something one could really say for the Blue Devils in the past few years.
The Blue Devils also attempted a little trickery with a flea flicker during the drive. Alas, the pass from Johnny Williams was knocked down.
PREGAME: A very happy Halloween to all of you out there from The Chronicle's Sports Blog. We're coming at you live today from Charlottesville, Virginia for Duke's (4-3, 2-1 in the ACC) matchup against the Virginia Cavaliers (3-4, 2-1). There's an appropriately spooky atmosphere here in Scott Stadium-- the skies are menacingly overcast and costumed fans stand side-by-side with their compatriots in orange.
Duke is coming off a 17-13 victory over Maryland last week; Virginia, a 34-9 loss to Georgia Tech. The Cavs do have the best pass defense in the ACC, and Duke has the best passing offense. Who will win that interesting matchup?
The Cavs won the coin toss and elected to kick. Johnny Williams was stuffed at the 14 for the return.
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