Devils Collapse And Fall To Tech, 35-10

Halfway home on Saturday it seemed as though the Blue Devils were on the verge o pulling a yearly upset. Leading 10-7 at halftime, the fans at Wallace Wade began buzzing. Unfortunately for Duke, some inexperience showed early in the third quarter and the Yellow Jackets took advantage to the tune of 28 unanswered points to win comfortably.

In a seven minute span the feeling in Wallace Wade went from jovial to leery to deflated as Georgia Tech began it's comeback and subsequently put the Devils away.

After taking the second half kickoff and being forced to punt on three plays, the Blue Devils booted the ball to just inside midfield. From there the Jackets went 43 yards in six plays to take the lead for good at 14-10 as quarterback Reggie Ball dove one yard for the score.

The next possession saw Gerogia Tech stuffed at the one yard line by the Duke defense, led by freshman Clifford Respress, who made two crucial plays to hold the score at 14-10. Unfortunately for the defense, the Duke offense was then put to the test of moving the ball. They couldn't – fumbling the ball on their first play from scrimmage at the one yard line. Tech capitalized on Tashard Choice's one-yard touchdown run, pushing the Georgia Tech lead to 21-10 with 8:50 remaining in the third quarter.

After moving the ball forward on their next possession, the Duke offense allowed the Jackets more points as Zack Asack's pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Darrell Robertson, who went 28 yards to push the score to 28-10 with just under eight minutes remaining. The final strike came just three minutes later as the Jackets moved inside the five yard line before Choice made another one yard plunge for six, to push the lead to 35-10 to cap the scoring.

Despite the loss for the Blue Devils, there were some fleeting signs of improvement as Duke tied the score early in the second quarter after recovering a fumble forced by Casey Camero. From there Duke marched 55 yards on just four plays before capping the drive on an Asack pass to Andy Roland in the endzone to knot the score at seven.

After swapping the ball with their opponents, Duke was forced to punt from inside their 10 yard line, but Georgia Tech was called for roughing the kicker, giving the Devils a first down on the 15-yard penalty. From there Asack guided his team down the field, but couldn't put the ball in the endzone from inside the 10 yard line, leaving Duke to settle for a 10-7 lead on the strength of a Joe Surgan 22-yard field goal.

Duke junior cornerback John Talley secured his team-leading fourth interception of the season, picking off a Ball throw in the first quarter. Talley leads all active players in the ACC with 10 career interceptions.

Sophomores Justin Boyle and Ronnie Drummer combined for 158 yards on the ground with Drummer once again showing his big play potential, amassing 70 yards on just three touches while Boyle bulled through the Tech defense for 88 yards on 27 carries.

On the afternoon Asack finished 9-of-28 for 90 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.

Duke remains at home next Saturday to host Florida State at 3:30 p.m.


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