Duke’s last bowl appearance was the 1995 Hall of Fame Bowl. It’s last bowl win? The 1961 Cotton Bowl.
The Blue Devils are going to have to wait a little bit longer to try to record another bowl win. Cincinnati forced a fumble deep in its own territory with under two minutes to play, drove the length of the field and then forced another fumble to secure a 48-34 win over Duke in the Belk Bowl.
Thanks to a pair of late scores by the Bearcats, the score didn’t reflect how close the game actually was. Duke jumped out to a quick 16-0 lead before Cincinnati roared back with 27 straight unanswered points. The two teams exchanged leads in the fourth quarter until a Ross Martin 52-yard field goal tied the game at 34. Duke was close to scoring again with under two minutes remaining when Josh Snead fumbled the ball and recovered by the Bearcats. It was the Blue Devils’ third turnover of the game.
That’s when Brendon Kay threw an 83-yard strike to tight end Travis Kelce for a touchdown. A sack and fumble by Duke quarterback Sean Renfree on the next possession sealed the game. Despite the turnovers, Fake Bo Pelini put it best:
This has to be one of the top 10 Belk Bowls ever
— Fake Bo Pelini (@FauxPelini) December 28, 2012
It was the Belkiest, Belktastic Belk Bowl ever. Even the punting was superb.
Cincinnati was able to come away with the win without head coach Butch Jones, who left to take the Tennessee job earlier this month. It’s Cincinnati’s fifth season with at least 10 wins in the past six years. Duke, despite a good coaching job by coach David Cutcliffe, falls to 6-7.