If the Duke Blue Devils are trying to earn an Orange Bowl berth, the team has a funny way of showing it.
During a sloppy first half of play, the North Carolina Tar Heels dominated the Blue Devils. The Tar Heels built an impressive 28-7 lead, which appears to be an insurmountable lead due to the mistakes Duke committed.
Overall, the two teams combined to turn the ball over five times. North Carolina actually fumbled the ball three times, but Duke wasn’t able to take advantage. The Tar Heels, meanwhile, scored after both of Duke’s fumbles.
As soon as North Carolina built a lead, questions regarding the ACC Coastal standings started to surface.
North Carolina up 14-7 on Duke. Intriguing because it would send Ga. Tech to ACC title game, and Ga. Tech would have better shot to beat FSU
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) November 21, 2014
A loss by Duke will hand the No. 18 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets an ACC Coastal crown and an appearance in the ACC Championship Game against the No. 3 Florida State Seminoles.
Duke still has the second half to redeem itself.
The Blue Devils have to start by stopping the Tar Heels offense. North Carolina amassed 391 yards of total offense through two quarters of play. If not for three fumbles by quarterback Marquise Williams, the score could be worse than it already is.
Sophomore Ryan Switzer proved to be North Carolina’s biggest threat on offense after catching two passes for 107 yards. Whereas Williams, T.J. Logan and Romar Morris combined to run for 203 yards.
Duke needs to get a strong second-half performance from senior quarterback Anthony Boone, who is 8-of-17 passing for 89 yards. If Boone and Duke’s talented corps of wide receivers can’t get the passing game going, the Blue Devils don’t have a chance in the second half and will concede the ACC Coastal to Georgia Tech.