Despite the early success, the Blue Devils struggled to slow down Alvin Pearman, who managed to run for a career high 223 yards on 38 carries. Though it stung his team, head coach Ted Roof wasn't surprised by the performance of the Uva running game, which finished with a total of 348 yards on the afternoon.
Wali Lundy added 82 yards and two scores for the Cavaliers (6-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who rebounded from a lopsided loss at Florida State last week by piling up 511 yards - 348 on the ground.
"I'm not surprised with that," said Roof. "I think both of those backs are really good backs, whether it was (Wali) Lundy or Pearman. I've seen him in previous years. That kid's a good football player."
Despite being unable to stop the run, the Duke defense did manage to frustrate Virginia's passing offense, holding Marques Hagans - the ACC's leader in passing efficiency and total offense – to just 63 yards passing through three quarters.
With the defense turning in a solid effort, the Duke offense managed to make enough plays to close within 23-16 in the fourth quarter, but Pearman led a Virginia scoring drive that prevented the Blue Devils from building momentum. He carried for 8 yards on the first play, then closed with three straight carries, the last a 3-yard touchdown for a 30-16 lead with 11:49 left.
He broke the 200-yard mark midway through the fourth quarter with a run that summed up his afternoon. He took the handoff from Hagans, bounced left to avoid a tackler then sprinted by three Duke defenders to the sideline for an 8-yard gain.
Offensively the Blue Devils saw junior back Cedric Dargan log his second 100 yard rushing game of the season, tallying 108 yards on 21 carries. Meanwhile sophomore quarterback Mike Schneider completed 18-of-31 passes for 191 yards, and a touchdown.
The Blue Devils return to action next week when they travel to Wake Forest for a game with the Demon Deacons.