Jamison Crowder

No. 15 Arizona State overcomes furious Duke rally for Sun Bowl victory

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It was not pretty, but No. 15 Arizona State (10-3) found a way out of El Paso with a victory in the Hyundai Sun Bowl Saturday afternoon. To do so, the Sun Devils needed to respond to a nearly storybook ending by Duke (9-4), with the Blue Devils taking its first lead late in the fourth quarter, only to see Arizona State steal it right back and intercept a last-ditch effort in the end zone to seal the 36-31 victory for Arizona State.

Arizona State started to let the game slip out of their hands late in the first half, but the Sun Devils came out strong in the second half. Taylor Kelly completed a touchdown pass to Demario Richard inside the red zone early in the third quarter to regain a double-digit lead and Zane Gonzalez later padded that lead with a 47-yard field goal, his third field goal of the afternoon. Going to the fourth quarter, Arizona State led 30-17, but just as they did at the end of the first half, the Sun Devils were unable to close.

Duke scored twice in the fourth quarter to gain its first lead of the game with just over five minutes to play. Anthony Boone completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Johnell Barnes early in the fourth quarter. Duke pulled a trick put of the bag later in the fourth quarter when receiver Jamison Crowder tossed a touchdown pass to Isaac Blakeney to give the Blue Devils their first lead of the game, 31-30 following the point-after. The thrill of owning the lead was short-lived, because getting the first bowl victory since the 1960 season certainly not could come so easy for Duke.

Kalen Ballage returned the ensuing kickoff 96 yards to the Duke four-yard line, and it took Arizona State just one play to move across the goal line. Kelly flipped a pass to Richard for the four-yard score, and the lead. Arizona State was stuffed on a two-point conversion, which gave Duke a chance to take one more lead.

Boone hit a deep pass down the middle fo the field to Crowder, who earlier in the game returned a punt for a touchdown, as the Blue Devils pushed inside the red zone with time dwindling. With 45 seconds to play, Boone threw a fade pass to Crowder on the right side of the field, but it was picked off by Kweishi Brown of Arizona State.

For Duke, it was another tough pill to swallow in a season that has seen a handful of them. But this should not take away from the tremendous amount of growth the program has seen in the past few seasons under head coach David Cutcliffe. It has to sting coming so close to a bowl victory not once, but twice in the final five minutes.

Arizona State missed out on a chance to play for a Pac-12 championship this season, but the season ends on a high note for Todd Graham‘s program. Arizona State should be expected to be another strong contender in the Pac-12 in 2014 as well after back-to-back 10-win seasons.

Momentum swings in Duke’s favor with late first half surge in Sun Bowl

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No. 15 Arizona State was unable to deliver an early knockout blow, and Duke’s Jamison Crowder gave the Blue Devils a late spark to capture the momentum before halftime. Arizona State leads Duke 20-17 at the half, but a punt return for a touchdown by Crowder may have swung the momentum in Duke’s direction. Arizona State led 20-3 before Duke made things a little more interesting late in the half.

The 68-yard punt return by Jamison Crowder pulled Duke within three points in a first half that has seen the Blue Devils defense play in a bend-but-don’t-break mode. It seems to have worked enough to give Duke’s offense a chance to feel capable of winning this game in the second half. Duke’s offense has been sluggish at times though, piling up just 144 yards of offense and converted four of eight third-down attempts. Anthony Boone completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Shaquille Powell minutes before Crowder’s punt return.

Demario Richard has rushed for a pair of Arizona State touchdowns, one in each quarter. The Sun Devils also added a pair of field goals off the leg of Zane Ballage to get to 20 points in the half. Eight different Arizona State players have caught a pass as Taylor Kelly continues to look to spread out the offense. Kelly has been pretty accurate with his passes, completing 14 of 18 attempts for 150 yards, but he also took a costly sack and fumbled the football as the Sun Devils were moving downfield for a potential touchdown.

Florida State places 17 players on All-ACC teams

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This year’s All-ACC teams are full of players from the conference’s best team (for now).

Seventeen Florida State players headline the list, which was voted on by 55 Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association members. The total points based on votes a player received are in parenthesis.

First Team Offense
WR  Rashad Greene, Sr., Florida State (157)
WR  Jamison Crowder, Sr., Duke (150)
WR  Tyler Boyd, So., Pitt (149)
TE    Nick O’Leary, Sr., Florida State (131)
T      Cameron Erving, Sr.-R., Florida State (133)
T      T.J. Clemmings, Sr.-R, Pitt (90)
G      Laken Tomlinson, Sr.-R, Duke (114)
G      Tre’ Jackson, Sr., Florida State (121)
C      Andy Gallik, Sr.-R, Boston College (105)
QB   Jameis Winston, So.-R, Florida State (142)
RB   James Conner, So., Pitt (164)
RB   Duke Johnson, Jr., Miami (159)
K      Roberto Aguayo, So.-R, Florida State (153)
Sp.   Jamison Crowder, Sr., Duke (86)

Second Team Offense
WR  Phillip Dorsett, Sr.-R, Miami (96)
WR  Mike Williams, So., Clemson (84)
WR  Artavis Scott, Fr., Clemson (80)
TE    Clive Walford, Sr.-R, Miami (101)
T      Ereck Flowers, Jr., Miami (69)
T      Jamon Brown, Sr., Louisville (50)
G      Shaquille Mason, Sr., Georgia Tech (102)
G      Josue Matias, Jr., Florida State (48)
C      Cameron Erving, Sr.-R, Florida State (71)
QB   Marquise Williams, Jr., North Carolina (89)
RB   Zach Laskey, Sr., Georgia Tech (69)
RB   Dalvin Cook, So., Florida State (63)
K      Ian Frye, Jr.-R, Virginia (67)
Sp.   Tyler Boyd, So., Pitt (58)

Third Team Offense
WR  DeAndre Smelter, Sr.-R, Georgia Tech (72)
WR  DeVante Parker, Sr., Louisville (62)
WR  Ryan Switzer, So., North Carolina (54)
TE    Bucky Hodges, Fr.-R, Virginia Tech (38)
T      Sean Hickey, Sr., Syracuse (48)
T (tie)Bobby Hart, Sr., Florida State (42)
(tie)Seth Betancourt, Sr.-R, Boston College (42)
(tie)Takoby Cofield, Sr.-R, Duke (42)
G      Landon Turner, Jr., North Carolina (42)
G      Matt Rotheram, Sr.-R, Pitt (42)
C      Matt Skura, Jr.-R, Duke (44)
QB   Justin Thomas,So., Georgia Tech (35)
RB   Kevin Parks, Sr., Virginia (60)
RB   Jon Hilliman, Fr., Boston College (51)
K      Ross Martin, Jr., Duke (48)
Sp.   DeVon Edwards, So., Duke (48)

Honorable Mention/Offense (20 or more points):
QB–Brad Kaaya, Miami (21). RB–Shadrach Thornton, NC State (33); Synjyn Days, Georgia Tech (24).  WR–Isaiah Ford, Virginia Tech (24); Mack Hollins, North Carolina (20). TE–Cam Serigne, Wake Forest (25). T–Bryan Chamberlain, Georgia Tech (40); Ian Silberman, Boston College (35); G–David Beasley, Clemson (39); Bobby Vardaro, Boston College (34); John Miller, Louisville (31); Jon Feliciano, Miami (30); Kalon Davis, Clemson (28). C–Shane McDermott, Miami (36); Freddie Burden, Georgia Tech (35); Jake Smith, Louisville (26). PK–Ammon Lakip (32), Clemson; SP–Rashad Greene, Florida State (37); Darius Jennings, Virginia (28); Ryan Switzer, North Carolina (23); Jamal Golden, Georgia Tech (20).

First Team Defense
DE    Vic Beasley, Sr.-R, Clemson (159)
DE    Mario Edwards Jr., Jr., Florida State (112)
DT    Eddie Goldman, Jr., Florida State (129)
DT    Grady Jarrett, Sr., Clemson (127)
LB    Denzel Perryman, Sr., Miami (145)
LB    David Helton, Sr., Duke (104)
LB    Stephone Anthony, Sr., Clemson (101)
CB    Kendall Fuller, So., Virginia Tech (119)
CB    P.J. Williams, Jr., Florida State (105)
S      Gerod Holliman, So.-R Louisville (132)
S      Jalen Ramsey, So., Florida State (92)
P      Wil Baumann, Sr., NC State (108)

Second Team Defense
DE    Dadi Nicolas, Jr.-R, Virginia Tech (101)
DE    Eli Harold, Jr., Virginia (65)
DT    Adam Gotsis, Jr., Georgia Tech (48)
DT    Tylor Harris, Jr., Wake Forest (43)
LB    Terrance Smith, Jr.-R, Florida State (82)
LB    Lorenzo Mauldin, Sr., Louisville (79)
LB(Tie)Henry Coley, Sr.-R, Virginia (68)
LB(Tie)Quayshawn Nealy, Sr.-R, Georgia Tech (68)
CB    Garry Peters, Sr., Clemson (63)
CB    Maurice Canady, Jr., Virginia (56)
S      Jeremy Cash, Jr.-R, Duke (83)
S      Quin Blanding, Fr., Virginia (71)
P      Alex Kinal, Jr.-R, Wake Forest (86)

Third Team Defense
DE    Sheldon Rankins, Jr., Louisville (45)
DE    Ken Ekanem, Jr., So.-R, Virginia Tech (40)
DT    Corey Marshall, Jr.-R, Virginia Tech (41)
DT    Connor Wujciak, Jr., Boston College (41)
LB    Reggie Northrup, Jr., Florida State (54)
LB    Cameron Lynch,  Sr., Syracuse (45)
LB    Max Valles, So., Virginia (45)
CB    Ronald Darby, Jr., Florida State (51)
CB    Charles Gaines, Jr.-R, Louisville (47)
S      Anthony Harris, Sr., Virginia (56)
S      Jamal Golden, Jr., Georgia Tech (43)
P      Justin Vogel, So., Miami (40)

Honorable Mention/Defense (20 or more points):
DE–Art Norman, NC State (25); KeShun Freeman, Georgia Tech (23); Anthony Chickillo, Miami (21); B.J. Dubose, Louisville (20);  DT–Olsen Pierre, Miami (38); David Dean, Virginia (37);  Luther Maddy, Virginia Tech (33); Nigel William, Virginia Tech (29); Thomas Teal, NC State (27); Ethan Farmer, North Carolina (22); Josh Banks, Wake Forest (20). LB–Brandon Chubb, Wake Forest (30); P.J. Davis,. Georgia Tech (25); Josh Keyes, Boston College (22); Keith Kelsey, Louisville (20). CB–Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest (45); D.J. White, Georgia Tech (40); Merrilll Noel, Wake Forest (34); Brian Walker, North Carolina (27); MacKensie Alexander, Clemson (22). S–Deon Bush, Miami (36); DeVon Edwards, Duke (26); Robert Smith, Clemson (20), P–Will Monday, Duke (29); Riley Dixon, Syracuse (23).

No. 22 Duke keeps pace atop ACC Coastal with road win at Syracuse

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Brace yourselves folks. No. 22 Duke (8-1, 4-1 ACC) is closing in on a possible return trip to the ACC Championship Game. The Blue Devils took to the road for the final time this season and made sure to return with another win. This time the victim was Syracuse (3-7, 1-5 ACC) with a 27-10 victory. Duke and Syracuse were neck and neck for a while, but Duke pulled away for the win in the fourth quarter with a 17-0 edge on the scoreboard in the final quarter of play.

Jamison Crowder, normally one to make things happen in the passing game at wide receiver, made a game-changing play on special teams early in the fourth quarter. A 52-yard punt return early in the fourth quarter broke a 10-10 tie, and Duke’s defense never allowed Syracuse to get on the scoreboard. While the defense did its job to protect the lead, it was the Duke offense taking care of business padding it. Anthony Boone‘s 54-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Blakeney gave Duke a 27-10 advantage midway through the fourth quarter. It was the second time Boone had hooked up with Blakeney on the afternoon for a touchdown. The two had a 22-yard scoring connection in the second quarter.

This was hardly a perfect game for Duke though. Boone completed fewer than half of his 33 pass attempts and the Blue Devils converted eight of 19 third-down attempts for a first down. Duke’s running game averaged 3.0 yards per rushing attempt and it was kept out of the end zone. David Cutcliffe will have a few things he can work on with his team heading into the final stretch, which should help keep the team focused as well.

The win helps Duke stay ahead of Georgia Tech in the ACC Coastal Division. Duke won an earlier game against Georgia Tech, but can ensure they do not need to rely on tiebreakers if they can finish strong. Duke will get three final games all at home with a chance to protect the division lead. Winners of four straight now since losing at Miami, Duke will wrap up the regular season at home against Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Wake Forest. Winning two of three could likely be enough to grab the division crown, depending on what else happens around the division.

While Duke is flying high atop the ACC Coastal Division, Syracuse stumbled for the seventh time this season. With seven losses, Syracuse is now officially eliminated from postseason contention this season. Syracuse still has two more games to play. Both will come on the road, first against Pittsburgh in two weeks and then at Boston College to wrap up the season.

Duke doing just enough to stay ahead of Syracuse

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Anthony Boone completed a 22-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Blakeney in the second quarter to give Duke a 10-3 lead at Syracuse. In a fairly even game between ACC schools, Duke holds the seven-point lead at the half in the dome.The teams exchanged field goals in the first quarter.

The teams exchanged field goals in the first quarter, and neither offense has been too pretty this afternoon. Duke owns a slight edge in total offense with 132 yards to Syracuse’s 131 yards, but Syracuse also has one turnover and one more penalty than Duke. Boone has completed 9-of-17 of his attempts for 79 yards. Jamison Crowder has caught five of those passes for 33 yards. Syracuse running back Prince-Tyson Gulley leads the Orange with 33 rushing yards.

Duke is looking to keep pace as the leader in the ACC Coastal Division. This is not a division game, but Duke needs a win to guarantee a stay in first place by themselves at the end of this week. Duke has won three straight ACC games and owns a head-to-head tiebreaker with Georgia Tech (playing NC State at the same time this afternoon). A win here helps Duke set up a potential finish that ends with a second straight division title with three home games after this week to close out the regular season.