Miles Gooch

Duke clinches bowl eligibility (again) and sits atop ACC Coastal (technically)


Maybe we should start getting used to this whole winning thing Duke has been doing. Maybe David Cutcliffe should start making some room for another possible coaching award. For the third straight season, Duke (6-1, 2-1 ACC) is eligible for postseason play, and the Blue Devils have now moved into first place in the ACC Coastal. The bowl-eligibility clincher came Saturday afternoon with a 20-13 victory over Virginia (4-3, 2-1 ACC). The win puts Duke on top of a crowded and wide-open ACC Coastal Division, but the Blue Devils now get a week off to get ready for a potential division championship defense in November.

Duke’s ability to win this game against Virginia took some character. The Blue Devils were held to 334 yards of offense while Virginia racked up 465 yards, including 325 through the air. Duke was just 4-for-13 on third down conversions and Virginia was a much more successful 8-for-16. Virginia even owned a small advantage in time of possession, but Duke won where it counts the most. They did so playing disciplined football with just three penalties to Virginia’s six, and not having a turnover on offense (Virgina had one).

Anthony Boone completed 22 of his 37 pass attempts for 176 yards and a touchdown. Jamison Crowder was the big target, as he usually is for Duke, with 99 receiving yards on eight catches. Virginia receiver Miles Gooch (129 yards ) was the big target for Miles Gooch (129 yards ) was the big target for Matt Johns, who passed for 306 yards.

At this particular moment, there is a four-way tie for first place in the ACC Coastal between Duke, Virginia, Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh played Thursday night, beating Virginia Tech. Georgia Tech is at North Carolina tonight. Duke owns head-to-head victories over Georgia Tech and Virginia.

Duke gets a week off before returning to action. The Blue Devils take to the road to visit Pittsburgh on November 1. Pittsburgh is coming off a Thursday night victory over Virginia Tech this week and will be coming off a home game against Georgia Tech before Duke arrives in the Steel City.

Virginia will be home next weekend when North Carolina travels to Charlottesville. Virginia has an important stretch that kicked off against Duke. After hosting UNC, Virginia travels to Georgia Tech and then Florida State before reaching a bye week.