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Duke takes lead in race to Charlotte with win over Miami

Duke celebrates Getty Images

Duke (8-2, 4-2 ACC) is one step closer to an ACC Championship… Game appearance. Yes, Duke football is now in a favorable position to get to the ACC Championship Game to face Florida State thanks to a 48-30 victory over Miami (7-3, 3-3 ACC) on Saturday in Durham. Duke scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to push a one-point lead to a 18-point victory and with some help around the conference on Saturday the Blue Devils are now in a great position in the ACC Coastal Division.

Because Georgia Tech (6-4, 5-3 ACC) lost Thursday and Virginia Tech (7-4, 4-3 ACC) lost earlier in the day, Duke can clinch the ACC Coastal Division by winning their final two games of the season without the need to rely on tie breakers.Duke’s final two games of the regular season will be played on the road, at Wake Forest and at North Carolina. If Duke loses one of those final two games the Coastal Division will have to be settled by tiebreakers dependent on how many teams are tied for the division lead. Still, Duke’s head-to-head winning percentage against teams likely to be in that scenario should give Duke an edge.

This Duke team, and the rest of the ACC, may be on a level clearly below Florida State, but what the Blue Devils have done over the last season and a half is worthy of plenty of praise. On Saturday Duke put together over 500 yards of offense against Miami and hammered out key fourth downs on the ground, including a dagger by way of a 33-yard touchdown run by Shaquielle Powell on a fourth and one play in the fourth quarter. Although Miami put together a big offensive day with over 500 yards of offense and 30 points, the defense came through late in the game to hold off Miami.

Duke’s Josh Snead had nine carries for 138 yards and Jela Duncan came close to a 100-yard day as well. Brandon Connette scored four rushing touchdowns and passed for one more to fuel the offense. Connette became the school’s all-time leading touchdown rusher in the victory as well.

The win was Duke’s eight of the season, giving the Blue Devils their most wins in a single season since 1994. The last time Duke won nine games in a season was 1941. Duke has only won nine games in a season four times in program history.

Now, what about Miami?

The Hurricanes have lost three straight games and they have been plunging since facing Florida State as a top ten team. Injuries have cost Miami of course, but the Hurricanes need to stop the bleeding quickly. Miami will still be going to a bowl game but now the Hurricanes are in fourth place in the ACC Coastal Division and losing bowl standing. Miami takes on Virginia (2-8, 0-6 ACC) at home next week and should be able to get back in the win column. It is not too late to end the season on a high note.

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10 Responses to “Duke takes lead in race to Charlotte with win over Miami”
  1. realfootballfan says: Nov 16, 2013 7:16 PM

    Miami really needs to do some soul searching. I think Golden has done a decent job, but his coordinators stink. As an FSU graduate though, I say keep them.

  2. realfootballfan says: Nov 16, 2013 7:19 PM

    Also, I still am bewildered as to why Ole Miss fired Cutcliffe.

  3. hoptowntiger94 says: Nov 16, 2013 7:29 PM

    This is becoming my favorite CFB story so far this year – Duke making it ti the ACC Championship Game! Go Blue Devils!

  4. Anoesis says: Nov 16, 2013 7:50 PM

    *18 point victory.

  5. Kevin McGuire says: Nov 16, 2013 8:04 PM

    -Anoesis Thanks for checking my math there. There’s a reason I’m a writer and not a mathematician. At least I think there is.

  6. drummerhoff says: Nov 16, 2013 8:54 PM

    I never thought this was possible, but FSU’s strength of schedule could be negatively effected by playing in a conference championship game! Only in the ACC.

  7. justalonewolf says: Nov 16, 2013 9:06 PM

    I don’t know which is worse, losing to Duke football? or if they had won and gone on to play FSU in the ACC title game, and gotten their ass’s whipped, again!

  8. grudenthediva says: Nov 16, 2013 9:30 PM

    Yes but according to a lot of UM “fans” (all three of them that actually went there), they “let” FSU win the last game so that they could get revenge when it really mattered.

    How cute.

  9. floridacock says: Nov 16, 2013 10:36 PM

    How can you not pull for Duke???

  10. onlyoneleft says: Nov 17, 2013 3:29 PM

    It beats pulling for the dirt peckers. I don’t blame you.

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