LIVE BLOG: Boston College 21, Duke 16 (FINAL)

Final: Duke 16, Boston College 21

So, Duke had 1st-and-goal from the 9. The first play was an end around to Varner that went for no gain. Then, Renfree came back in and found Josh Trezvant for a gain down to the 4-yard line. Duke takes its first timeout to talk things over, and Connette comes back on. Third down, Connette rolls out to the edge and throws incomplete. Duke takes another timeout, and this time Renfree trots out. Boston College takes timeout, presumably to design its defense knowing that Renfree was taking the snap.

On fourth-and-goal from the 4 with the game in the balance, Renfree's throw was batted down at the line.

It turned into a very entertaining game for the third week in a row, but Duke could not pull it out when it mattered most.

0:49 Fourth Quarter: Duke 16, Boston College 21

On first-and-10, Duke went for it all. Renfree went downtown for Vernon. Though, Vernon had a step on the defensive back, the ball was under thrown and broken up. Vernon argued for a flag, but none came. On 3rd-and-7, big target Cooper Helfet came up big with a 10-yard conversion. On the next set of downs, Renfree found Vernon to record another 3rd-down conversion.

The next play was big scare for Blue Devils fans as Conner Vernon picked up a first down but then fumbled. Fortunately, Scott had hustled down field to try and lay a block and was able to dive on the loose ball.

Enter Connette, and to the complete surprise of everyone in the building, he threw to Juwan Thompson for a 19-yard pickup. Two true freshman combined for an improbable play.

4:52 Fourth Quarter: Duke 16, Boston College 21

Needing badly to get a stop and get its offense another crack at it with a reasonable amount of time, the Duke defense came up big again. Following two short Harris runs and a delay of game, Rettig put one up down the sideline for Momah. Although BC has feasted on the Duke corners for much of the game, Cockrell held his own on this play.

7:11 Fourth Quarter: Duke 16, Boston College 21

Looking to completely steal the momentum and possibly take a lead, Renfree started with a short completion to Braxton. Then, he found Vernon for a 19-yard pickup, out to the Duke 42. On its next set of downs, Scott had a 6-yard scamper, and then Varner picked up a first down through the air. A mental mistake by offensive tackle Perry Simmons resulted in a false start and a 1st-and-15 that couldn't be overcome. King punted, and though he hit a terrific ball, the Duke gunners failed to keep it out of the end zone. Net result: touchback.

10:11 Fourth Quarter: Duke 16, Boston College 21

Duke's defense comes up with a huge stand after Campbell just turned in the longest defensive touchdown in school history. Harris, who has lost two fumbles today, was on the bench. And, running back Andre Williams got three consecutive carries. On third-and-1, Matt Daniels showed again why he is the heart and soul of this defense. He knifed into the backfield and upended Williams before he could get going. Very impressive that a tired Duke defense was able to come out and respond like they did.

12:09 Fourth Quarter: Duke 16, Boston College 21

We’ve got a serious shift in momentum here in Durham. On third-and-three from the Duke 9, Montel Harris took a handoff and Walt Canty hit him right near the sticks. The sophomore jarred the ball loose and August Campbell scooped up the loose ball and raced 95 yards for a touchdown return. Credit has to be given to Cockrell who demonstrated incredible hustle and gave Campbell a block 65 yards downfield that allowed him to make it all the way to the end zone.

Of note on that drive was a 3rd-and-13 play on which Duke sent a defensive back who hit Rettig as he threw. As someone who has criticized the coaching staff for not blitzing more, that aggressive playcalling was pleasing. But, Johnny Williams was flagged for a very questionable pass interference call that extended the drive. Then, on the next play Rettig found Momah for a 37-yard completion. Rettig has really taken a lot of shots downfield today, demonstrating a desire on the part of the BC staff to take advantage of Duke's weak corners.

1:36 Third Quarter: Duke 9, Boston College 21

Needing to respond to the back-to-back Boston College scores to open up the half, Duke put together its most impressive drive of the game. Using a nice mix of running and passing, Duke picked up four first downs. Renfree completed five passes, three of them to his favorite target Vernon. On a crucial 3rd-and-10 at the BC 27, Cutcliffe went with an interesting play call. He gave it to Scott on a draw and he picked up 8 yards, but was corralled by his facemask, which resulted in a first down. The penalty gave Duke 1st and goal, and on came Connette again (much to my bewilderment). Two plays and five yards later, Renfree came back in. He was sacked for a 10-yard loss, and Synderwine trotted out to nail a 33-yard field goal. Though Duke settled for three, the bright side is that Synderwine's Groza Award campaign picks up steam.

7:03 Third Quarter: Duke 6, Boston College 21

Despite a penalty that would put them in first-and-long, the Eagles would not hesitate to capitalize on the Vernon fumble. Rettig found wide receiver Ifeanyi Momah for a 16-yard pickup to give Boston College 1st-and-goal. The Duke defense offered some resistance, but on 3rd-and-goal from the 4 yard line, Rettig tossed a fade to the 6-foot-6 Momah. Although Duke corner Chris Rwabukamba was in pretty good position, he just had no chance giving up seven inches to the gigantic Momah.

9:03 Third Quarter: Duke 6, Boston College 14

On its first play from scrimmage from its own 19, Renfree threw a horizontal pass to Vernon. A play that we have seen be successful so many times this year turned into a disaster. Kuechly forced a fumble, and Boston College recovered. This Duke turnover could be disastrous as the Eagles take over in the red zone.

9:13 Third Quarter: Duke 6, Boston College 14

Following the turnover, the Duke defense came up big and forced a three-and-out. Harris rushed for no gain on first down, and two Rettig incomplete passes later, the Eagles were in punt formation.

9:43 Third Quarter: Duke 6, Boston College 14

Renfree completed consecutive passes to Vernon, and the Blue Devils were out near midfield. Though, the drive would come to a screeching halt when Austin Kelly coughed up the ball after Renfree found him over the middle. Defensive star Luke Kuechly forced the fumble.

The booth reviewed the fumble but the ruling on the field held. Interesting discussion ensued in the press box that it is unfortunate that today's game is just an ESPN3 online production. For those productions, the production crew works with much fewer cameras, and it is possible that the officials just didn't get an angle that could show them anything conclusive.

11:58 Third Quarter: Duke 6, Boston College 14

On the opening drive of the half, Boston College took it down and got seven points. On 3rd-and 6 from its own 31, Rettig had all day to throw and found Chris Pantale for 16 yards and a first down. Then, Rettig found Alex Amidon for 16 more yards and another first down. On 2nd-and-11 from the Duke 38, Rettig found a wide open Swigert. Swigert was so open that it was impossible to tell who got beat, but he hauled in the touchdown with no Blue Devil within 10 yards of him.

Halftime: Duke 6, Boston College 7

Boston College was content to give the ball to Harris and let the clock run out and head into the locker room with the lead. S0, here are some stats that stand out from the first half.

Renfree went 17 of 25 for 167 yards.

Duke ran the ball as a team 16 times for negative 11 yards.

Eight different Duke receivers caught balls. Leading the bunch was Conner Vernon with 4 catches for 66 yards.

Montel Harris ran 15 times for 62 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, Matt Daniels of Duke and Luke Kuechly of BC recorded 6 and 10 stops respectively.

0:45 2nd Quarter: Duke 6, Boston College 7

Duke is helped out by a lack of judgement by Boston College's star linebacker, Luke Kuechly. On 3rd-and 5 at its 0wn 49, Kuechly had Scott stopped short on a 3rd down reception but threw him to the ground once he had already forced him out of bounds. After Connette played 1st and 2nd down (again I'm not sure why), Renfree came back in. He found Scott out of the backfield again, and he made two Eagles miss to pick up a big first down. Facing a 3rd-and-3 at the BC 16, Connette was summoned again, and stuffed for a loss. Although he has definitely had his moments this year, Connette has been incredibly ineffective today. Will Synderwine salvaged the drive, as he connected on a 40-yard field goal. Synderwine has been Mr. Automatic this year, not missing since the season opener against Elon. I hope he gets the postseason recognition that he deserves despite Duke's relative anonymity.

Also, of interest to note is that 8 Blue Devils have made catches.

3:01 2nd Quarter: Duke 3, Boston College 7:

Boston College goes three-and-out. On 3rd-and-2, safety Matt Daniels, who is really standing out in this game, made a great play to break up a pass intended for a back out of the backfield.

4:30 2nd Quarter: Duke 3, Boston College 7:

Running back Josh Snead, who missed the last two ballgames with an injury, almost broke a big one on the kickoff return. He did manage to get the ball out to the Duke 33. Three short pickups later, Duke converted a first down on a Renfree sneak. After a short completion to Braxton and a Renfree throw-away, Duke faced 3rd-and-4 at its own 49. The quarterback was able to shed a Boston College pass rusher and get an off-balanced throw off to Helfet. Boston College nearly intercepted, but the ball fell harmlessly to the turf and another Duke punt was in order. King was successful again, with his punt coming to a stop at the 5-yard line.

7:24 Second Quarter: Duke 3, Boston College 7

On 2nd-and 7, Rettig took a shot down field on play-action, and Cockrell was flagged for a very questionable pass interference call moving the ball to the Duke 25. Harris, who is starting to find some more running room, picked up 9 yards on first down, giving Boston College its second trip to the red zone. Following a quarterback sneak, Harris shedded a couple of Duke tacklers and scampered in for a 15-yard touchdown run.

9:05 Second Quarter: Duke 3, Boston College 0

Starting their drive in the shadows of their own goal posts, Duke was unable to pick up even a first down. Following a good effort after a catch by Austin Kelly, Duke had a 3rd-and-short. Jay Hollingsworth was stuffed leaving the Blue Devils with a 4-and-1 and no option but to punt it away. King's punt was returned to the Duke 44, leaving the Eagles with tremendous field position.

10:46 Second Quarter: Duke 3, Boston College 0

Duke's defense bent again but stepped up when it mattered most. Boston College picked up two first downs. The second conversion was a 41-yard strike to Bobby Swigert. The Eagle wideout had his second big receiving play of the game as he just ran by cornerback Ross Cockrell. After a fumble on 1st down, Patrick Egboh was credited with a big sack on second down as Rettig was penalized for intentional grounding. Ryan Quigley trotted out to punt for the Eagles and was able to pin the Blue Devils inside their own 5.

14:25 Second Quarter: Duke 3, Boston College 0

Another Duke drive started with promise as Renfree completed a couple of passes. However, with the start of the second quarter, Connette was summoned to lead the offense. Following a short pickup on a second down and an incompletion down the middle that was nearly intercepted, the Blue Devils were forced to punt. I'm not sure why the coaching staff brought an in-rhythm Renfree to the bench. A much better punt from King this time, and the Eagles will start their drive from their own 7.

2:10 First Quarter: Duke 3 Boston College 0

On a 3rd-and 6, Rettig found wideout Bobby Swigert for a 44 yard pickup. That throw put the Eagles at the Duke 27. On its next set of downs, Boston College was looking for a conversion on 3rd-and-3. Running back Montel Harris managed to pick up the first down but put the ball on turf. Safety Matt Daniels forced the fumble and freshman linebacker Kelby Brown was credited with the recovery. Duke holds the Eagles to no points on their first trip to the red zone.

5:24 First Quarter: Duke 3, Boston College 0

Desmond Scott lost yardage on a first down run. Then, Renfree found Vernon underneath for a short completion, setting up a 3rd down. The quarterback turned to Cooper Helfet, who has seen his role in the aerial attack increased dramatically in recent weeks, to pick up the first down. Then, the drive stalled out following a run for no gain and two incomplete passes. King's punt went just 31 yards as it sailed out of bounds.

7:45 First Quarter: Duke 3, Boston College 0

On their second drive, Boston College did manage to pick up one first down. On a 3rd-and-8, Harris managed to pick up the 8 yards his team needed for a conversion. On their next set of downs, the Eagles faced another 3rd-and-long, and Lee Butler broke up a long Chase Rettig throw down the middle.

9:34 First Quarter: Duke 3, Boston College 0

Duke's drive started out with a bang, as Renfree found a streaking Conner Vernon for a 48-yard completion on a play-action pass. That throw gave the Blue Devils the ball, 1st and goal from the 4-yard line. Running quarterback Brandon Connette was inserted for Sean Renfree. However, the freshman signal caller would lose 5 yards on first down, then have a penalty, followed by another short run. Renfree was put back in on third down, to no avail. The Blue Devils were forced to settle for a 29-yard Will Synderwine field goal.

11:15 First Quarter: Duke 0, Boston College 0

Duke's defense was impressive on the Eagles' opening drive. Boston College went three-and-out, and dangerous running back Montel Harris was held to just two yards on his only carry. After a short punt, Duke starts their drive at their own 48, great field position that they will look to take advantage of.

12:11 First Quarter: Duke 0, Boston College O

What started out as an impressive first drive for Duke stalled out just inside Boston College territory. Renfree started the game with three consecutive completions: two for freshman Brandon Braxton and one for Conner Vernon. After a miscommunication with tight end Cooper Helfet resulted in Renfree's first incompletion, Renfree was sacked on a 3rd-and-6. Alex King punted and Boston College will start their first possession from their own 14-yard line.


I'm here at Wallace Wade Stadium--a very empty Wallace Wade Stadium. Those of us in the press box are thinking that there can't be more than 5,000 people in the stadium at this point. Although it is still a few minutes before the ball will be kicked off, the decision to cancel the student "Tailgate" and Boston College's distance from Durham seem to be contributing to this dismal turnout.

Boston College wins the kickoff and defers to the second half. We will get an early look at how Sean Renfree and the Duke defense stack up against a Boston College defense that is ranked 2nd in the conference.


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