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The Devil's in the Details: Duke defense contains Georgia Tech rush attack for bounce-back win

<p>Duke football secured its first conference victory on Saturday.</p>

Duke football secured its first conference victory on Saturday.

They say the devil is in the details. But in Durham, the Blue Devils are in the details—and numbers.  

Each week, the Blue Zone will dissect five key numbers from last week's action in Duke sports, whether they be historic or underwhelming. This week, let the numbers take you inside football’s dominating defensive effort, women’s swimming and diving’s season-opening win and field hockey’s end-of-the-year surge.


Duke’s defense faced a tough test in Atlanta, Ga. Saturday, matching up against the top rushing offense in the country. The Blue Devils passed that test, limiting the Yellow Jackets to 229 yards on just 3.8 yards per carry. Georgia Tech entered the contest averaging a nation-leading 373 rushing yards per game on 6.6 yards per rush. Duke’s front-seven was led by the linebacker duo of Joe Giles-Harris and Ben Humphreys, who totaled 15 and 11 tackles respectively, as well as defensive end Chris Rumph II, who posted a team-high four tackles for loss.

After not forcing a turnover in its previous two matchups, the Blue Devils were able to pressure the Yellow Jackets into three turnovers Saturday. All three came in the final two minutes of the third-quarter, as Duke capitalized on a trio of Georgia Tech fumbles to turn a 7-7 tie into a commanding 28-7 lead. The Blue Devils look to force Virginia into a similar array of costly mistakes next Saturday in Durham.


Duke’s swimming and diving teams hit the pool for the first time Saturday, giving the women’s squad its first chance to show off its 12th-ranked recruiting class (according to The No. 22 Blue Devils defeated Virginia Tech 172-123 in Blacksburg, Va., and it was the freshmen that carried a lot of the weight. Melissa Pish won the 1,000-yard freestyle, while classmate Easop Lee took home victories in both the 200 and 500-yard freestyles as well. Fellow freshman Cabel Ann Whitlow added another first-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly, while diver Maddi Pullinger placed first in the one-meter dive. Duke competes at home for the first time next Saturday against N.C. State.

Men’s soccer defeated No. 9 Notre Dame in a 3-2 nailbiter Friday, their second win over a top-10 opponent in eight days. The No. 17 Blue Devils previously shut out then-No. 10 Virginia the previous Friday. Duke has now won four straight contests and stands just a game behind No. 1 North Carolina in the ACC Coastal Division.

Field hockey won its sixth consecutive match Friday, defeating No. 10 Louisville 1-0 in a shootout. The No. 4 Blue Devils’ have outscored their opponents 23-5 during their win streak, with the team’s last loss coming September 21 against No. 2 North Carolina. Duke has a big weekend coming up, facing off against No. 12 Boston College Friday before a huge rematch with UNC Sunday.