Tag Archives: Duke-Georgia Tech

BDN Rapid Reaction: Georgia Tech 38, Duke 31

Matt Daniels and the Blue Devils came up short on Senior Day - BDN Photo

DURHAM- Matt Daniels and the Blue Devil seniors made their way out of the tunnel and into Wallace Wade Stadium for the final time on Saturday, but their best efforts came up just short against Georgia Tech as Duke fell 38-31. The Duke offense had success moving the ball against the Yellow Jackets, putting up 31 points and over 300 yards of total offense, but in the end, the Blue Devil defense just couldn’t stop the Ramblin’ Wreck option offense.

Duke final drive comes up short

Senior Charlie Hatcher came up with a crucial fumble recovery with 3:31 remaining in the 4th quarter to give the Blue Devils a chance, trailing by a touchdown. But two crucial penalties stalled the Blue Devils’ final drive, and ultimately led to a controversial GT interception that sealed the victory with 2 minutes remaining. Two critical plays were reviewed in the game and not overturned in the Blue Devils’ favor.

Vernon and Varner rewrite the record books

Duke senior Donovan Varner had a memorable Senior Day, adding to his lead in the Duke record books with 5 catches for 32 yards and 1 TD. Varner is Duke’s all-time receptions leader with 199. Varner also set a new Duke record with a reception in 36 straight games. Junior WR Conner Vernon is 2nd on Duke’s all-time receiving list with 196 career catches after finishing with 9 catches, 92 yards and 1 TD. On the day, Varner and Vernon became the ACC’s top all-time receiving duo, passing Clemon’s Aaron Kelly and Tyler Grisham. The duo will look to add to their records next Saturday in Chapel Hill.

Big plays haunt Blue Devils

Georgia Tech had 8 plays of 20 yards or more in just the first 3 quarters alone, as big plays continued to haunt the Blue Devil defense. After a 3 and out on the first drive of the day, the Ramblin’ Wreck moved the ball with ease against the Blue Devils. On the day, the Yellow Jackets piled up over 550 yards of total offense, led by Tevin Washington, who finished with 185 yards through the air and 136 yards on the ground. Georgia Tech was perfect in the red zone, finishing with 5 rushing touchdowns and a field goal.

Inconsistent offensive attack

Sean Renfree threw for 4 TDs and 227 yards, but was erratic at times, finishing 26/42 on the day. Duke senior TE Cooper Helfet had himself a big Senior Day, hauling in 2 TD receptions. Vernon and Varner led the Blue Devils’ receivers, but Duke struggled to get a consistent rhythm on offense, especially on the ground. Duke’s running game was led by Varner, who picked up a 39-yard run on the offense’s first play from scrimmage. The running backs failed to get going, with Desmond Scott picking up just 27 yards and Juwan Thompson just 24 yards on the day.

One shot left

Duke drops to 3-8 and will have one last shot to get to 4 wins and end their season on a high note. The Blue Devils will travel down 15-501 to Chapel Hill to take on the rival Tar Heels next Saturday at 3:30 PM. The Victory Bell will be at stake and the Blue Devils desperately need a win to gain momentum into the offsesason.

Check back with Blue Devil Nation for full postgame coverage.

Blue Devils will host Georgia Tech for Senior Day

Duke will host the Ramblin' Wreck on Senior Day this Saturday.

Duke (3-7, 1-5 ACC) will look to turn their season around on Senior Day this Saturday when they host Georgia Tech (7-3, 4-3 ACC) in Wallace Wade Stadium. While many Duke fans may be tempted to look ahead to basketball season, there are two final chances to watch the Duke senior class with the most wins since 1995 take to the gridiron. This Duke senior class is headlined by All-ACC stars Matt Daniels and Donovan Varner, but also includes 18 other tremendous student-athletes who will leave the Blue Devil Football Program in a much better place than they found it four years ago. Thank you, seniors!


Georgia Tech at Duke

12:30 PM ET, Saturday, November 19

Radio: Blue Devil IMG Sports Network; Sirius XM Radio (Channels 94 & 193)
TV: ACC Network - Tim Brant (Play-by-play), Dave Archer (Analyst) and Mike Hogewood (Sideline)
Internet: GoDuke.com; theACC.com


1. Win the line of scrimmage: Broken record time, but seriously. Football is won and lost in the trenches, especially against the Georgia Tech option offense. The Yellow Jackets bring in the top rushing offense in the ACC, averaging just under 320 yards per game. It’s a five-headed monster for Georgia Tech on the ground, led by Tevin Washington, who averages over 70 yards per game, along with 4 other players who average over 30 yards per game in David Sims, Orwin Smith, Embry Peeples, and Roddy Jones. While fans can argue the merits of the Georgia Tech offense, the bottom line is it is effective and will challenge the Duke defense for 60 minutes. If the Yellow Jackets’ big, physical linemen are able to control this game, it will be a long afternoon for the Blue Devils. Conversely, with an offense that is difficult to get off the field, the key for Duke will be getting into the backfield and forcing fumbles. With the number of pitches in the option offense, the Yellow Jackets are prone to putting the ball on the ground (GT has 23 fumbles on the year) and Duke will have to capitalize (GT has lost just 8 fumbles overall).

Tevin Washington leads an explosive Georgia Tech offense

2. Explosive plays: Georgia Tech brings in one of the most explosive offensive units in the conference, averaging over 36 points per game and nearly 6 yards per carry on the ground. WR Stephen Hill is the top threat through the air, though his production has dropped off in ACC play. Still, the Yellow Jackets’ offense leads the ACC in yards per play both on the ground (5.8) and through the air (11.6). Those are scary numbers for a Duke defense that is banged up across the board. With key injuries to the defensive line and in the secondary, and the potential absence of both starting linebackers, Duke will need to find several unsung heroes on defense. Expect Matt Daniels to be used heavily against the run, as the Blue Devils will have to gamble and hope that Ross Cockrell can handle Hill in single coverage.

3. Duke on offense: Which Duke offense will we see on Saturday? Will they put together a full 60 minute effort? Georgia Tech is allowing nearly 25 points and over 360 yards of total offense on the season, so opportunities will be there for the Blue Devils to score points. The Blue Devils had the Yellow Jackets on the ropes a year ago in Atlanta, but a costly turnover killed their upset hopes. If Duke can take care of the football and put together 60 minutes of offense, they could find some redemption on Saturday.

Thank you, seniors! -BDN Photo


1. Special seniors: It was alluded to in the opening, but bears repeating. This will be the last home game for a Duke senior class that has won 15 games over the past four years. Kyle Hill will watch his Senior Day from the sidelines, ending an impressive streak of 46 straight starts on the Duke offensive line. The remaining seniors will put forth an inspired performance as they look to end their careers with a big upset win in Wallace Wade Stadium. The Blue Devils will graduate 20 student-athletes from the program on Saturday: Paul Asack, Matt Daniels, Jeff Faris, Guillermo Freile, Ryan Hall, Charlie Hatcher, Cooper Helfet, Kyle Hill, Jay Hollingsworth, Jeffrey Ijjas, Alex King, Jon Needham, Danny Parker, George Pearkes, Kevin Rojas, Preston Scott, Will Snyderwine, Josh Trezvant, Donovan Varner, and Johnny Williams. Thank you, Seniors!

2. More records: Last week, Duke fans watched as senior WR Donovan Varner became the all-time school receptions leader. Varner will look to add to that record over his final two games, but will also look to set a new school record with a catch on Saturday. Last Saturday, Varner caught a pass in his 35th consecutive game, tying Scottie Montgomery for the all-time Duke record. Also on Saturday, Varner and Vernon will look to become Duke’s top all-time receiving duo if the pair haul in 5 catches.

3. All-American: Senior Matt Daniels has put together an impressive career at Duke, topped off with an outstanding senior campaign. The quarterback of the Duke defense, Daniels is 2nd in the country in pass break-ups, passes defended, and tackles by a defensive back. Throughout his career, whenever the Blue Devils have needed a stop, it seems that Matt Daniels is there. He has been a tremendous leader for this program and will almost certainly be playing on Sundays next year.


A year ago, the Blue Devils faced three option offenses, but this season, just one. The option offense is difficult to prepare for and with a plethora of injuries on both sides of the ball, Georgia Tech will represent a significant challenge for Duke. Duke should have success moving the ball against Georgia Tech if they stick to an aggressive gameplan; expect another big day for Duke’s “Killer V’s.” An emotional pair of seniors in Matt Daniels and Charlie Hatcher will try to will the Blue Devils’ defense to an upset victory, but the explosive Yellow Jacket offense will still find its way into the end zone.

Georgia Tech 35, Duke 24

Red zone failures haunt Duke in 30-20 loss to Georgia Tech

ATLANTA - It was the tale of two halves for the Blue Devils in Atlanta, as the Yellow Jackets mounted a second half comeback on their senior day for the 30-20 victory. Anthony Allen led the way for Georgia Tech with 165 yards on the ground, followed by Tevin Washington with 94 yards and two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing). A 3rd quarter red zone interception and two missed 4th quarter field goals ultimately proved to be too much for the Blue Devils to overcome. In the loss, Sean Renfree finished the day with another 300+ yard passing game, as the receiving trio of Vernon, Varner, and Helfet helped to pick apart the Yellow Jackets' secondary.

On a perfect day for football in Atlanta, the Blue Devils jumped out to a 13-6 first half lead behind two Will Snyderwine field goals and a 20-yard touchdown run by Brandon Connette. A fake punt by Alex King helped the Blue Devil offense extend a drive that ultimately resulted in the Connette touchdown run. Duke got off to a sluggish start as Josh Snead fumbled the first two kickoffs staring into the sun, but t/he Duke defense held Georgia Tech to just a field goal while the offense found its momentum.  In all, the defense held the Yellow Jackets to 125 rushing yards and just 1 of 8 on 3rd downs in the first half. With the Yellow Jackets driving into the red zone late in the first quarter, Matt Daniels forced a fumble by WR Kevin Cone, which was recovered by Kelby Brown. Patrick Egboh also helped to keep the Yellow Jackets at bay with 2 first half sacks.

In the second half, Georgia Tech mounted a comeback behind Allen and Washington, taking a 23-13 lead into the 4th quarter. The key 3rd quarter play came on Duke's first possession of the second half, when Duke was threatening to score thanks to two clutch 3rd down completions to Conner Vernon, including a 36 yard reception. In the red zone, Connette was intercepted at the 15 yard line by Mario Butler, who returned it all 85 yards for the touchdown to put Georgia Tech up 16-13 with 7:11 in the 3rd quarter. The Yellow Jackets would add another touchdown late in the 3rd quarter to take their 23-13 lead heading into the final period.

But the Blue Devils fought back, opening the 4th quarter with an efficient drive capped by a 37 yard TD strike to Austin Kelly to make it 23-20 with 14:06 to play. Matt Daniels forced his second fumble of the day on the ensuing Georgia Tech drive and the Blue Devils recovered. The Duke offense drove down the field thanks to a 28 yard strike to Cooper Helfet, but stalled as Connette failed to convert a 3rd and 1. Snyderwine's 34 yard field goal attempt was wide right, leaving Duke down 3 with 9:20 to play. Georgia Tech aired it out on the next possession, as Washington found Stephen Hill for a 79 yard touchdown, stretching the Jackets' lead to 10. On Duke's final possession, Snyderwine tried another field goal, this time from 54 yards, but came up short. Georgia Tech ate up the clock on their final drive, taking the ball 28 yards in 5:50 against a tired Blue Devil defense, sealing the victory and their 14th consecutive bowl-eligible season.

More post-game coverage to come on BDN.

Friday Frenzy – Harrison Barnes pending decison overshadowing the start of the basketball season

6Duke plays the seventh ranked football team in the country tomorrow and Duke Basketball opens their season tonight yet neither event is casting as big a shadow as Harrison Barnes pending decision.

The nations top rated prospect ends the speculation just after 4:00 est today on ESPN-U.  For those who cannot follow via ESPN-U, here is a link to a live steream via the Internet.

BDN will chime in just before covering tonight's basketball opener versus UNC-G in a game that tips off at 7:00 on FSN.

We also encourage Duke fans and students to turn out for tomorrow's Georgia Tech game which kicks off at 7:00.  All military personnel and veterans receive four free tickets by showing their ID's.

Barnes decision is about four hours away now and fan bases from all the schools involved are tied in knots from anticipation.  This is a rare decision that has not been leaked by media members, meaning a kid will announce on his terms.

Stay tuned for updates -