Duke remains winless in conference play after falling to Georgia Tech in Atlanta Saturday afternoon during homecoming for the Jackets. Duke won the toss and deferred allowing Georgia Tech to open the scoring with a 74 yard 8 play drive that took 4:37. Duke failed to stop Tech twice on third down, allowing 50 and 18 yard pass plays that set up a short Matthew Jordan keeper for the touchdown.
The Blue Devils got two first downs before Tech’s defense stiffened and forced a punt. Danny Stirt’s punt pinned Tech inside the 10. However, they took only three plays and 90 seconds to go up 14-0 on an 84 yard keeper by Justin Thomas on third down. Duke drove into Tech territory after the kick-off but lost the ball on a Jela Duncan fumble. The Blue Devils finally got a three and out and again drove into Tech territory on a 10 play drive that ended on an unsuccessful 4th and two attempt by Parker Boehme. Duke forced another Tech punt after four plays and drove 87 yards in 11 plays. The scoring drive took 5:13 off the clock and Jones found Helm on a 23 yard pass for Duke’s first touchdown of the afternoon.
Georgia Tech responded with a 79 yard, two play drive of 44 seconds as Thomas hit Clinton Lynch on a 46 yard touchdown pass. Duke began their next drive on their 14 yard line and on the fifth play, Shaun Wilson popped free right up the middle, running for 57 yards before being stripped of the ball inside the Tech five yard line. The Duke defense responded and forced another three and out which allowed the offense to start the next drive in Tech territory after a personal foul on the Jackets. However, Tech stopped Duke again on fourth down and went up 28-7 after a three play, 62 yard drive that took only 27 seconds with Thomas scoring on a quarterback draw. Duke outgained Tech on the ground in the first half but Tech outgained Duke in the air. Duke had a slight edge in total yardage and time of possession.
Duke took the second half kick and began a drive that ended after six plays as Jones was hit on a pass attempt that resulted in a Tech interception near midfield. However, on the next play, the Blue Devil defense forced a fumble and recovered the ball in Tech territory. Duke took 90 seconds to travel 45 yards for their second touchdown as Jela Duncan scored from a yard out. The big play was a Jones to Taylor completion 0f 35 yards to give Duke a first and goal. Duke special teams came up big on the ensuing kick as Singleton knocked the ball loose and it was recovered by Feamster on the Tech 10 yard line. Duncan scored on the next play with the help of good blocking on the edge by Schneider and suddenly, it was 28-21 Tech.
The Yellow Jacket offense responded with a 9 play, 78 yard, five and a half minute drive but had to settle for a field goal. Duke continued to move the ball at will and drove 75 yards in 7 plays in only 2:20 with Shaun Wilson getting the touchdown from 15 yards out. A Jones to Kopenhaver 30 yard pass set up Wilson’s run. Tech then drove into Duke territory and the Blue Devils stopped them on fourth and one on the Duke 32. Duke went swiftly down the field on an 8 play 68 yard drive, scoring on a Jones pass to Helm from 7 yards out. The drive took only 3:16 and gave Duke their first lead of the game with 8:55 left in the 4th quarter. On second and long on Tech’s next series, Justin Thomas broke containment and ran for 46 yards. Four plays later, he found Lynch again for a 21 yard TD pass and Tech had regained the lead. The 86 yard drive took only 6 plays and 3:11.
On the ensuing Duke drive, Boehme was sent in on fourth and short, but Duke had him punt instead of going for it, giving the Jackets the ball with less than four minutes to go on their own 16 yard line. An offsides penalty on the Blue Devils helped Tech get a first down and Duke refused to use any timeouts until the next series of downs. Thomas got loose again on third and seventeen for 50 yards and Tech ran out the clock for the 38-35 win. The Blue Devils fell to 3-5 and return home to play Coastal Division leading Virginia Tech next.