[private]The Duke-Miami game was a tale of two halves and the second and decisive half belonged to the Hurricanes. Duke took a 17-14 lead into the locker room, but Miami erupted for 35 points, after the break, which included 5 touchdown passes. Four of those were thrown by a true freshman who had a breakout game.
The Canes came into the game winless in the ACC and for awhile it looked as if Duke would send them to their third loss. Miami took advantage of their opportunities and executed when they had to. After all, they are tops in the ACC when they enter the red zone and it’s as if their players all want to step up and score when these situations are afforded.
Duke held a 24-21 lead later in the third, but a 83 yard net punt shifted the field and momentum for good. That momentum was helped by the Blue Devils top playmaker, Eron Riley. The normally sure handed wide out dropped numerous passes within his grasp, but the real killer was a blocking below the waste penalty. That call pretty much sealed the deal for the Canes in that Duke lost a nice running play. The Canes then came back with a sack of Lewis deep into Duke territory forcing a punt.
With Duke’s top play maker having an off day and nagging injuries to the remaining wide outs, Miami showed why Coach Cutcliffe often talks about speed. The Canes simply ran past Devil defenders on runs and patterns and their depth was evident.
While the final score of 49-31 looks bad on paper, the game was close for a long time. There were a couple of positives for Duke. The first was that they turned the ball over just one time and the second is that they got their running game untracked.
Duke must now rebound in order to play a tough Vanderbilt team on the road next Saturday. If Duke is to win that game, some players will have to step up and make the plays it takes to turn the corner to victory.[/private]