Devils Battle In 28-21 loss to NC State

Despite falling for a 30th consecutive time in ACC play, the Duke Blue Devils began the Ted Roof era with much improved play in a 28-21 loss to North Carolina State. Phillip Rivers threw three touchdown passes to Tramain Hall to keep the ACCs longest conference losing streak in tact.

After falling behind 28-10 late in the fourth quarter, the Blue Devils put a scare into the Wolfpack, scoring 10 points in less than a minute to cut the lead to seven. However Duke couldnt move down the field quick enough after getting the ball back deep in their own territory with under a minute to play and no timeouts.

With tailback T.A. McLendon sitting out due to knee problems, Rivers and the Wolfpack went to the air more than usual. The Heisman contending quarterback found Hall on scoring strikes of 33, 17, and 57 yards en route to passing for 369 yards on the day.

The Blue Devils trailed just 14-10 in the third quarter before Rivers returned from an interception on the previous possession to lead his team 81 yards to extend the lead to 21-10.

After leading the team through much of the season, red shirt freshman Mike Schneider was held out of action due to a right shoulder injury sustained last week against Wake Forest. Instead Adam Smith got the start and rotated in with seldom used third string QB Chris Dapolito, who executed the option several times as the Blue Devils kept the Wolfpack defensive unit on its heels much of the game.

Smith finished 9-of-17 for 103 yards, while Dapolito completed seven of his 13 attempts for 57 yards. Neither threw an interception.

The Blue Devils had a chance to go into halftime with the lead after a 42-yard Chris Douglas scamper landed them at the NC State three yard line with under one minute remaining in the half. However Duke couldnt punch it in before Smith fumbled the ball away on fourth down with just six seconds left.

On the day the Blue Devils coughed the ball up five times, recovering four of them.

On the day the Blue Devils finished with 214 yards on the ground including a game high 125 yards on 25 carries by Douglas.

The Devils head to Tennessee next week to face off against the Volunteers in Knoxville.

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