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Varner shines as Duke Drops Fifth Straight

The most intriguing numbers to come out of Duke’s week 11 loss to Virginia:


While the running game slogged through yet another disappointing performance, the second time this season the team has failed to top 35 yards on the ground, Juwan Thompson presented a bright spot in the scoring department.  Duke’s sophomore running back scored two touchdowns for the third time this season.  He’s found the endzone twice against both Tulane and Florida International before doing so against Virginia.  Thompson’s seven scores is more than fellow back Desmond Scott has in his two years at Duke combined.



Duke’s running game continued to be non-existent against Virginia, as the team’s yards per carry has now fallen to a meager 3.1.  That mark is tied for 6th worst among Division I football programs, trailing just Miami (OH) (2.4), Rutgers (2.6), Tennessee (2.7), Memphis (2.9), and Kent State (3.0).  Joining Duke in a tie for the worst yards per attempt in the ACC are Wake Forest and North Carolina State.



As they seem to do with regularity, the defense buckled down late in the game to give the Blue Devils an outside shot at victory.  Duke’s defense stifled the Cavalier offense in the fourth quarter, limiting Virginia to just 32 total yards.  What’s more, Virginia ended two drives in the fourth quarter with negative yardage.



Will Snyderwine’s disastrous season kept spiraling downward with two more field goals missed inside the 35-yard line.  Now just one for his last six, Snyderwine has misfired nine times, or three times more than in the last two seasons combined.  For the season, Duke has complete just 44.4% of field goal opportunities, besting just Western Kentucky and San Diego State in Division I football.



The offensive star for Duke was senior receiver Donavan Varner, who went off for seven catches and 132 yards.  Varner’s 132 yards is now the most for a Duke receiver this season.  The yardage total was Varner’s highest since the final game of the 2009 season, where Varner collected a career high 174 yards on 11 catches against Maryland.  For the season, Varner is up to 629 yards, second on the team to Conner Vernon’s 847 yards.


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