Needing just one victory to become bowl eligible for the second consecutive season, Duke looked lost in the first half against Virginia and heads into the locker room trailing 14-0 at Wallace Wade Stadium.

Five Observations

  1. Virginia’s special teams looked strong right from the start, with a 37-yard kickoff return to start off the Cavalier’s first touchdown drive. The Cavaliers’ potential for explosive returns continued in the first quarter, with a 43-yard punt return from Tavares Kelly and a 27-yard return for Chuck Davis.
  2. Virginia's success at special teams consistently set up the Cavaliers in great field positioning on each of their drives. The Cavaliers have started two of their drives in Duke territory, and  two more just outside of Blue Devil territory.
  3. Duke struggled in the run game in the first half, as they were unable to figure out how to penetrate Virginia’s run defense. The Blue Devils averaged just 1.4 per carry on their first five carries before  quarterback Daniel Jones ran for 17 yards midway through the second quarter.
  4. Bryce Perkins has shown what he’s capable of as a dual-threat quarterback. Perkins ran for Virginia’s first two touchdowns, the first a 23-yard rush and the second a three-yard dive at the goal line. He accounted for all of Virginia’s first half points
  5. Daniel Jones is 7-of-14 through the first half, with just 48 passing yards. True freshman Jarett Garner dropped a beautiful pass from Jones that would’ve been a huge gain and put the Blue Devils in the red zone, with Daniel Helm and Chris Taylor also dropping passes from Jones.

By the Numbers

  • Virginia has 201 offensive yards for Virginia, 82 for Duke: Virginia has utilized both their run game and pass game to dominate the first half offensively, with its two touchdowns coming from runs coupled with 119 yards in the air.
  • Five penalties for 52 yards: The Blue Devils struggled with penalties on top of not finding a rhythm on offense. A Blue Devil pass interference on a Virginia third-and-6 in the second half allowed Virginia another set of downs to try and score, instead of forcing the punt.
  • Zero red zone opportunities for the Blue Devils: Jones and the Duke offense struggled on converting in the first half, with no red zone opportunities and zero points. With Jones not being able to find success on the pass, he ran for 20 yards and led the Blue Devils in rushing in the first half.

A moment that mattered

On fourth-and-3, Virginia decided to go for it and Perkins sent one flying into the end zone. Brandon Feamster was there for Duke to break up the pass and keep Virginia from going up 14-0 on Duke in the first quarter. The Cavaliers turned the ball over on downs and gave Jones the ball on Duke’s 29-yard line.