Turnovers Doom Duke Against Hokies

Three Virginia Tech takeaways and some costly mistakes deliver Duke a second loss on the season.

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Michael Brewer threw two touchdown passes and Virginia Tech held on to upset No. 19 Duke 17-16 on Saturday.

Brewer was 12 of 23 for 138 yards with touchdowns of 15 yards to Hodges and 10 yards to Isaiah Ford.

The Hokies (5-5, 2-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) avoided their first in-season four-game losing streak since 1992 and earned their second road victory over a ranked team this year.

Duke (8-2, 4-2) had two late chances to reclaim the lead, but Ross Martin missed a 40-yard field goal with 2:26 left and the Blue Devils were stopped on downs at their 40 with 43 seconds left.

Anthony Boone was 18 of 40 for 181 yards with two interceptions and Josh Snead scored the lone touchdown for the mistake-prone Blue Devils, who began the day alone atop the Coastal Division.

This game didn't carry the national cache as that 35-21 stunner at then-No. 8 Ohio State on Sept. 6, but this one was no less significant for the last-place Hokies, who scored all 17 points off Duke's season-high-tying three turnovers.

Duke drove to the Hokies 22 in the final minutes but Martin — who began the day having made all 13 of his field goals — was wide left.

The Blue Devils forced a three-and-out and got the ball back at its 40 with 2 minutes left, but Boone was sacked on consecutive plays before Detrick Bonner pressured him into an incompletion on fourth-and-21.

No team had been more careful with the ball than Duke, which entered with six turnovers all year. Two of those miscues came on back-to-back series that helped Virginia Tech — which hadn't forced a takeaway since Oct. 16 — escape a 16-7 deficit.

Breon Borders picked off a Brewer pass at the Virginia Tech 36 but three plays later, Boone was hit while throwing and Derek Di Nardo returned the interception to the Duke 9 to set up Joey Slye's 35-yard field goal on the final play of the third.

Devon Edwards then fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Dahman McKinnon recovered it at the Duke 31 and Brewer hit Hodges on a post pattern — with Hodges actually running into the goal post afterward — to give the Hokies their first lead at 17-16.

Martin kicked three field goals, including a 24-yarder that made it a nine-point game, but the Hokies were content to let Duke settle for field goals instead of touchdowns.

That helped them hang around and avoid being blown out — at one point, Duke outgained Virginia Tech 123-7. The Blue Devils had 121 yards rushing in the first quarter — but just 64 the rest of the game.

Martin kicked a 36-yard field goal on the opening drive and Snead made it 10-0 with his short touchdown run on the Blue Devils' second possession.

But momentum changed on the first play of the second quarter, when Deon Clarke intercepted Boone's deep throw at the Virginia Tech 2. Instead of being down big, the Hokies drove 98 yards and pulled to 10-7 on Brewer's corner fade to Ford.

The Devils Den Top Stories