Postgame: thoughts from Duke’s 13-10 win at No. 16 Virginia Tech

Posted by Laura Keeley on October 26, 2013 

BLACKSBURG, Va.—Extra, extra, read all about it: Duke beats No. 16 Virginia Tech on the road, 13-10, first win versus a ranked opponent since 1994, among other superlatives.

And the defense, despite missing its best player, played outstanding.

A few other thoughts.

***"Team victory, staff victory, a good opportunity for us to build something this season, and it’s also a good opportunity for us to continue the belief and growth in the football program, not just this team," is how head coach David Cutcliffe described the win.

"I told the team Thursday night, this game is not as big as our program. It’s a big game for us, but it’s not as big as our program. Our program is more important than any one ball game, and I think they understand that."

For more on the Duke football culture change—which is here, folks— check out this story from earlier in the week.

***Virginia Tech kick Cody Journell, who entered the game 7-for-11 on field goal tries this season, struggled again, going 1-for-3 in the 13-10 Duke win. He missed his first try from 45 yards off the left upright, made a 42-yarder to pull the Hokies within three with 9:23 left in the game, and then missed from 40 yards to tie with six minutes left. The crowd knew it was good from the second it left his foot.

***Lane Stadium was loud, freshman cornerback Bryon Fields said, confirming what was obivous even from the glassed-in press box. Louder than what they had simulated in practice, he said.

"Nothing like that noise out there. That was special."

***Anthony Boone did not play well personally—not an uncommon occurrence for quarterbacks facing Virginia Tech’s defense—but Cutcliffe stuck with him, and Duke won (obviously).

What Anthony has to do is play smarter," Cutcliffe said. "And that’s what had me concerned. It’s not always going to go great.

"Everybody is good when it’s easy. But you can’t lose the discipline of the position when it’s getting tough. You can’t start making plays. You have to let it come to you. You have to make the people around you better. He and I had numerous talks about that during the game, and we will have more conversations about that. He knows that already."

Boone tried to keep the big-picture in mind during the game.

"If I thought about my personal performance, that might have changed the outcome of the game," he said. "It’s a team game."

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