Momentum: Duke played roulette with Indiana running back Devine Redding for most of the first quarter (12 carries for 68 yards), but only gave up one big chunk (25 yards).
Instead it was Duke’s Shaun Wilson who broke through with a huge run, romping nearly untouched for an 85-yard TD run seconds after the Devils’ defense picked off a Hoosier pass inside of the 20-yard-line.
Key player: Duke kicker Ross Martin drilled a 52-yard field goal into the wind on the Devils’ first drive. A miss would have given Indiana a quick field position advantage, but he was true into the wind at Yankee Stadium.
The kick gave the senior 109 points on the season, setting a school single-season scoring record. It was his school record eighth career FG of 50-plus yards as well.
Duke 10, Indiana 0
Momentum: It’s a Duke bowl game in the David Cutcliffe era, so any momentum is short-lived at best, of course. Indiana, with quarterback Nate Sudfeld getting on track, reeled off 14 straight points to help put the Hoosiers ahead with just more than a minute to play in half.
But the Blue Devils’ quarterback — Thomas Sirk — countered with a 73-yard TD run to push Duke back on top 17-14.
Of course, the Hoosiers countered with Sudfeld hitting Nick Westbrook on a 23-yard gain on a double move to set up Griffin Oakes’ 45-yard field with 3 seconds left in the half to tie it at 17.
Key player: Sudfeld, the Indiana quarterback, hit Luke Timian on a corner route on third-and-4 for the Hoosiers’ first TD of the afternoon. The throw stopped Sudfeld’s early troubles (8-of-15 for 46 yards in the first quarter) and gave Redding (135 yards on 23 carries) an offensive compliment.
Duke 17, Indiana 17
Momentum: Indiana grabbed control of the game — as much as a team can in bowl season — with the Redding and Sudfeld show continuing. The Hoosiers got a TD pass from Sudfeld on their first drive of the half, then a surprise TD run from Alex Rodriguez (fitting name, given the setting) with Redding sitting out a series on offense.
Duke stayed in the game thanks to a special teams turnover by the Hoosiers, a Sirk jump pass TD (covering 10 yards) to Braxton Deaver. The score gave the Blue Devils a temporary 27-24 lead.
Key player: Duke running back Shaquille Powell may have made the play of the game if the Devils stay in this thing. Powell stripped IU kick returner Mitchell Paige on a punt return to give Duke the ball inside of Indiana’s 20.
The play set up the Devils’ only TD of the quarter and kept Indiana’s steadily more productive offense off of the field and robbed the Hoosiers of a chance to go ahead by two scores.
Indiana 31, Duke 27
Momentum: Duke stayed in the game with big plays on special teams, namely Shaun Wilson’s 98-yard kick off return for a touchdown to tie the game at 34 and counter the Hoosiers highly-productive offense (650-plus yards).
Key player: Devils quarterback Sirk hasn’t had the greatest night throwing the ball but he drove Duke the length of the field to get the game-tying touchdown and force overtime. He scored on a 5-yard run with less than a minute left in regulation.
Duke 41, Indiana 41
Momentum: Duke got just enough offense to set up its most consistent scorer of the season. And the senior kicker, Martin, drilled a 36-yard field goal to give the Blue Devils the win.
Key Player(s): Duke’s defensive line pressured Sudfeld into a bad pass attempt on third down, forcing a 38-yard field goal attempt that Oakes kicked wide right.
Final: Duke 44, Indiana 41