Notre Dame started strong, quickly running out to a 14-0 lead over Duke on Saturday afternoon in South Bend. And then things changed in a big way.
Duke roared back to take a 28-21 halftime lead before rallying late with the game’s final 10 points to score what may be the program’s biggest upset, beating Notre Dame 38-35.
Redshirt freshman Daniel Jones completed 24-of-32 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Blue Devils to a second win on the season. A win that nobody expected as Duke entered the game as a 20.5 underdog.
Counterbalancing the aerial attack for Coach Cutcliffe’s team was the running game led by senior back Jela Duncan who rushed for 121 yards while junior Shaun Wilson added 66 more, but it was his play in special teams that turned the tide of the game. After Notre Dame took a 14-0 lead, Wilson returned the ensuing kick-off back 96 yards to cut the lead in half.
After falling behind 35-28 late in the fourth quarter, Duke found life when Jones rolled to his left and found senior Anthony Nash on the left sideline. Nash completed the catch, made the Irish cornerback miss and then took off for a 64-yard touchdown to tie the game. On the ensuing drive the Duke defense recorded two tackles for loss and then picked off DeShone Kizer’s pass on third down at the Duke 45 yard line.
From there the Blue Devils methodically drove down to the Notre Dame one yard line where the Irish stopped Duke and set up fourth down with just over one minute remaining. After taking a timeout, Duke got a go-ahead field goal from freshman A.J. Reed.
Reed had missed the first three field goals of his career to start the season and had been just 10-of-21 since his junior season of high school
The new wasn’t all great for the Blue Devils, however. Duke lost starting safety DeVon Edwards to a knee injury in the first quarter. After the game Coach Cutcliffe told NBC Sports the team would have to work through it and his team has now lost both Thomas Sirk and Edwards. Sirk was lost for the season in training camp.
With the win Duke moves to 2-2 on the season and will host Virginia next weekend at home.null