Duke picked up its first loss of the season against No. 14 Miami Friday night behind a poor offensive showing. In their first game against a ranked team, the Blue Devils looked sloppy, penalized seven times for 82 yards.
Pass: Daniel Jones had a tough outing against the Hurricanes, completing only 21 of 41 passes for 166 yards and an interception, earning him a QBR of 12.9. The interception can’t be blamed on Jones, though, as the accurate pass bounced right off of receiver Michael Pinckney’s hands. Duke couldn’t get anything going through the air as the Hurricanes’ secondary flew around making tackles and defending pass attempts. The offensive line also struggled mightily in pass blocking, giving up five sacks to Miami’s front seven.
Rush: As has been the theme this season, the Blue Devils had a stronger day on the ground than in the air, recording 183 total rushing yards, led by Shaun Wilson’s 63 yards on just 9 attempts. The running backs did fail where it counted, however, failing to find the end zone against the Hurricanes. Duke scored just six points in three red zone trips.
X’s and O’s: The Blue Devils picked 349 yards of total offense against Miami, but turned the ball over twice—one interception and a Jones fumble. For the first time this season, Duke’s poor pass blocking and offensive execution were exploited by a strong defense, which caused the Blue Devils to drop their first of the season.
Pass: The Blue Devil defense faired well enough against the Hurricane passing game, keeping quarterback Malik Rosier to 270 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. The issue again came from giving up big plays, with touchdowns coming from 27 and 49 yards and yielding seven passing plays of 25 yards or more. Duke's front seven did get some heat on Rosier though, sacking him three times.
Rush: The Blue Devil rush defense looked good as usual, yielding 139 yards and two touchdowns on 35 attempts. Although this is an average of 4.0 yards per carry, 40 of these yards late on a big play with the game already decided. Statistically speaking, Duke’s defense played pretty well against the run, recording seven tackles for loss.
X’s and O’s: Although the Blue Devils kept the Hurricanes to pedestrian numbers, the defense continued to struggle to stop the big plays, allowing touchdowns of 29, 40, and 49 yards. For Duke to bounce back next week with a win, this needs to be addressed.
Special Teams: A-
Duke’s special teams played well against Miami, with Austin Parker converting on both of his field goal attempts to score the Blue Devils’ only six points of the game. Parker’s improvements in punting also seemed to carry over against the Hurricanes, as he punted for an average of 38.2 yards with a long of 51 yards.
Duke allowed some good yardage on punt returns, yielding 17.0 yards per attempt with a long of 24 yards, but kept the Miami kick returners to average only 18.5 yards per return. Although Duke returned none of the Hurricanes’ five punts, they were very successful in the kick return game, averaging 26 yards per return, including one 39-yard return from Shaun Wilson.
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