Duke vs. Miami: what worked, what needs work and what’s next

Posted by Laura Keeley on November 17, 2013 

The student section was full before it spilled onto the field after Duke win over Miami


No. 25 Duke (8-2, 4-2 in the ACC)

Beat Miami 48-30

Game story

sidebar on Duke’s two-quarterback system

Luke DeCock column on how it was possible Duke was the most pysical and athletic team Saturday

National polls come calling for Duke

What worked:

"Call it and haul it," as Josh Snead summed up the rushing strategy that led to 52 carries, 358 yards and an average of 6.9 yards per carry. The Blue Devils were the superiorly conditioned team and wore Miami down in the fourth quarter. In addition to opening holes for the running backs, the offensive line only allowed one sack, on the final play of the first half. That was Miami’s only tackle for loss. The offense didn’t turn the ball over, after doing so four times against Virginia Tech and N.C. State.

Duke’s defense continues to be among the best in the nation in the fourth quarter. The Blue Devils outscored Miami 17-0 in the final 15 minutes. For the year, Duke has just allowed 34 points in the fourth quarter, an average of 3.4 points per game.

The Blue Devils recorded a season-high 11 pass break-ups, including five from senior cornerback Ross Cockrell. DeVon Edwards, he of the three touchdowns against N.C. State, also recorded three pass break-ups, including one that led to a Deondre Singleton interception.

Kelby Brown continued to stake his claim as most important player to the Duke defense, recording 17 total tackles (with one tackle for loss of three yards), a quarterback hurry and forced fumble. Jeremy Cash, also a huge difference-maker for the Blue Devils, had 13 total tackles of his own and was in on five of Duke’s first seven tackles.

On special teams, Will Monday had three of his four punts land inside the Miami 20-yard line, including one that went out of bounds at the 1-yard line. And Jamison Crowder’s two punt returns that went for 25 and 35 yards, respectively.

What needs work:

Hard to complain about much from Saturday. For the second straight game, though, the Blue Devils allowed a punt return for a touchdown, as freshman Stacy Coley took a kick back 79 yards.

And before the Hurricanes’ final drive (which occurred in garbage time), they completed seven passes that went for at least 15 yards and had five rushes of at least 10 yards. In an ideal world, the Blue Devils wouldn’t give up so many explosive plays.

What’s next:

A trip to Wake Forest (4-6, 2-5) awaits the Blue Devils. Before Duke’s come-from-behind, fourth-quarter win in Winston-Salem last season, the Blue Devils had lost 12 straight to the Demon Deacons. Wake Forest is without top wide receiver Michael Campanero, who is done for the year with a shoulder injury.

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