Takeaways: North Carolina 66, Duke 31

A look back at Saturday's disappointing performance by the Blue Devils and a look ahead to next week against Pittsburgh.


Duke 31
UNC 66

Offensive Player of the Game

RB - Jela Duncan

Duncan led the Blue Devils in rushing yards today with 13 rushes for 115 yards.  His longest run of the day was a no doubt 52 yard sprint to the end zone, one of two explosive plays for the Duke offense on the day.   Jela has really come on strong in the last couple of contests for Duke coming off an injury delayed start to the year.  His play combined with Shaquille Powell’s strength in running (100 yards vs UNC) should provide something to build on for the final three games of the regular season. 

Honorable Mention 

QB - Thomas Sirk

Thomas may not have thrown a TD pass on the game but he did complete 18-37 passes for 191 yards.  Sirk is also a reliable runner for the Blue Devils, adding 80 yards on the ground to the rushing attack let by Duncan and Powell.  The first year starter has experienced some growing pains but the fact remains that he is growing each game.

Defensive Players of the Game

S - DeVon Edwards

DeVon Edwards led Duke in tackles against UNC with 12 total.  He also had 2 quarterback hurries against Marquise Williams.  Edwards, when given the chance, always poses a threat to return kickoffs for big gains.  He totaled 55 kickoff return yards on 2 returns against the Tar Heels.

Honorable Mention

P - Will Monday

Monday punted 4 times in the game for a total of 177 yards.  Two of his punts were downed inside the 20 yard line of Carolina with his longest punt on the day going for 57 yards.  Most importantly his punts did not allow Switzer from UNC a chance to return any of them as they finished with 0 return yards.  

Plays of the Game

Jela Duncan and Thomas Sirk seemed to run the same play on separate occasions.  Duncan struck first with a 52 yard TD run near the beginning of the 2nd quarter, while Sirk had a 53 yard TD run with 10:38 left in the 3rd quarter.

Next Week 

Duke returns home after two different types of heart breaking losses to Miami and UNC.  They will face the Pittsburgh Panthers who is coming of back to back losses to UNC and Notre Dame.  Both Duke and Pitt will enter next week’s game with 6-3 records overall.  The difference lies in the conference records where Pitt sits at 4-1 and Duke is now at 3-2.  A lot is on the line in the final three weeks of the season to determine what happens in the division, which in turn will determine which bowl invitation each team receives.

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