After a disastrous first quarter, Duke made a solid comeback late but couldn't get a tying score and lost to Virginia 42-34.
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Duke gave up three touchdowns in the first quarter, two because of turnovers, and UVA QB Matt Johns passed for 344 yards - a career high.
Still, Duke showed a lot of guts in the fourth, rallying from 22 down and very nearly scoring a late touchdown - twice.
But Virginia played solid defense in the clutch and that was that.
On the bright side, as Thomas Sirk continues to get healthy, Duke has gotten two really good games out of his backup Parker Boehme. Behind Boehme, Duke racked up 200 yards in the fourth.
TJ Rahming caught 12 passes for 190 yards, a record for Duke freshmen. He also scored a touchdown.
Earlier in the season, we were watching a road game on TV and took a break thinking, man, don't make it too long because with DeVon Edwards you just never know.
Well, he did it again: Edwards took a kickoff and ran 94 yards for another touchdown. That's his third this season and ties him with former Clemson Tiger CJ Spiller for the ACC record.
Jeremy Cash was ejected for targeting after a big hit on Johns.
It's no fun losing four straight, but a bit of perspective: Duke has won six games so far and a few years ago we would have built David Cutcliffe a shrine for winning six games. That it seems disappointing now only speaks to how much better the program is.
And despite the recent struggles, the future is bright. Boehme may force himself into the conversation as a starter and no matter who starts at QB, that was a major question mark at the beginning of the season. Now it seems like a huge strength going forward. At some point next year, we might even see Duke go back to starting two quarterbacks. Why not? What do you do if you have to defend Boehme who could always pitch it to Sirk, who could either run, which he does as well as any quarterback, or pass?
It'd be fun to see that come back.
But whatever happens, despite the recent disappointments, Duke football is on a different plane than it's been on for decades.
As fans we're deeply grateful and we try to remember that no matter how disappointing it is for us, for the guys who take the field, it's far more disappointing.
Hats off to them for not giving up. At one point, Duke football was about futility and being demoralized. Now it's about character and heart. In that light, knowing the effort is there, we can live with the struggles. Duke will be back.