Duke turns Georgia Tech miscues into a 28-14 win

Here’s a real-time look from the Duke-Georgia Tech game:

Daniel Jones fired three touchdown passes as Duke took advantage of three Georgia Tech fumbles to beat the Yellow Jackets 28-14 in ACC football on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Georgia Tech (3-4, 1-3 in ACC) fumbled six times with Duke recovering three over the final three minutes of the third quarter. Duke scored following all three turnovers, turning a 7-7 game into a 28-7 Blue Devils lead.

The Blue Devils (5-1, 1-1 in ACC) defense held Georgia Tech to 229 rushing yards, the second-lowest output for the Yellow Jackets in a game this season. Only Clemson, which limited the Yellow Jackets to 146 rushing yards, has stopped the Georgia Tech triple-option better.

All-ACC linebacker Joe Giles-Harris led Duke with 15 tackles. Redshirt freshman Chris Rumph, in his first career start, recorded four tackles for loss and recovered a fumble for the Blue Devils.

Needing one win for bowl eligibility, the Blue Devils play Virginia on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. at Wallace Wade Stadium. Duke has played in bowl games in five of the last six seasons.

Duke gets a break or three to move ahead

End of third quarter: After failing to recover two earlier Georgia Tech fumbles, Duke finally secured three over the final 2:47 of the third quarter and turned all three into touchdowns to take control of the game.

With the score tied 7-7, Duke defensive tackle Axel Nyembwe tackled Georgia Tech’s Jerry Howard, knocking the ball loose at the Duke 45. Chris Rumph recovered the ball for Duke. The officials initially ruled Howard was down before the ball came out, but a replay review reversed the ball and gave Duke possession.

With 1:49 to play in the quarter, with Duke facing third-and-8, Duke quarterback Daniel Jones completed a 48-yard pass to a wide open T.J. Rahming for a touchdown to put Duke up 14-7.

On Georgia Tech’s next play, quarterback Ta’Quon Marshall fumbled on a run and Duke’s Twazanga Mugala recovered at the Georgia Tech 34.

After Jones completed a 22-yard pass to Rahming moving Duke inside the Georgia Tech 5, he completed a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Davis Koppenhaver giving Duke a 21-7 lead with 15 seconds left in the quarter.

Georgia Tech’s Juanyeh Thomas attempted to return Duke’s kickoff, but Blue Devils freshman Mataeo Durant knocked the ball loose and teammate Brandon Hill recovered at the Georgia Tech 6. On the next play, Jones fired a 6-yard touchdown pass to Johnathan Lloyd giving Duke a 28-7 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Duke, Georgia Tech tied after spirited first half

Halftime: While Duke’s been successful slowing Georgia Tech’s triple-option rushing attack, the Yellow Jackets took advantage of the Blue Devils’ mistakes on offense to tie the score late in the first half.

With his team leading 7-0 as the clock ticked below two minutes to play in the half, Duke quarterback Daniel Jones faced heavy pressure and threw the ball up for grabs from his own 19. Georgia Tech’s Lamont Simmons intercepted the pass at the Duke 31.

One play later, Georgia Tech quarterback Ta’Quon Marshall lofted a pass deep to the right corner of the end zone. Duke redshirt freshman cornerback Josh Blackwell had single coverage on Malachi Carter, who appeared to shove Blackwell to the ground. Carter caught the pass for a 32-yard touchdown while a flag was thrown. The officials huddled before announcing that no offensive pass interference occurred. The touchdown stood and knotted the game at 7-7.

On the ensuing kickoff after the touchdown, Duke’s Deon Jackson returned the ball to the Duke 36. That’s when a brawl broke out between the two teams.

Georgia Tech senior linebacker Victor Alexander threw punches and was ejected from the game. Duke’s Jacob Morgenstern was also called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty but he was not ejected.

Earlier in the second quarter, Duke freshman running back Matao Durant and Georgia Tech redshirt freshman defensive back Avery Showell were separated by the officials after they scuffled on a punt return.

Jones’ interception was his second turnover of the game. In the first quarter, he lost a fumble at the Georgia Tech 18. Jones fumbled the ball a second time later in the first half but it was recovered by Duke.

Duke’s defense has been successful slowing Georgia Tech’s rushing attack. The Yellow Jackets entered the game averaging 334 yards per game and 6.6 yards per carry.

Led by redshirt freshman linebacker Chris Rumph, Duke held Georgia Tech to 77 rushing yards, just 2.9 yards per carry, in the first half.

Rumph, in his first career start, recorded six tackles, including four for losses, in the first half. The Blue Devils had nine tackles for loss as a team at halftime.

Fast start for Duke

First quarter: Duke took the opening kickoff and needed just five plays to reach the end zone and take an early lead..

After Deon Jackson returned the kick 46 yards to the Duke 48, Daniel Jones completed passes covering 11 yards to Chris Taylor then 10 and 19 yards to Daniel Helm.

Jackson’s 12-yard touchdown run put Duke up 7-0 less than two minutes into the game.

The Blue Devils reached the Georgia Tech 18 on their third drive of the game. But Georgia Tech sent Tre Swilling on a cornerback blitz. Swilling got around Duke left tackle Jaylen Miller and swatted the ball from Jones’ hand for a fumble. Georgia Tech’s Kyle Cerge-Henderson recovered to halt Duke’s scoring effort.

A healthier team

Pregame: Duke returned to play following its open week a healthier football team when it faced Georgia Tech on Saturday.

The Blue Devils had three starters back who didn’t play on Sept. 29 when the lost 31-14 to Virginia Tech.

Cornerback Michael Carter and defensive tackle Edgar Cerenord are both playing for the first time since Duke’s 40-27 win at Baylor on Sept. 15. Zach Harmon started Duke’s first two games of the season but has missed the last three. He’s in the lineup against Georgia Tech.

Wide receiver Aaron Young had 114 receiving yards and a touchdown when Duke beat Army 34-14 on Aug. 31. But he hasn’t played since due to hamstring injury. While not starting, Young is in uniform for Duke at Georgia Tech.

The Blue Devils are without starting running back Brittain Brown, who was limited in practice this week with a lower body injury. Deon Jackson replaced Brown in the starting lineup. Freshman Mataeo Durant will also be in the rotation since redshirt freshman running back Marvin Hubbard is out for the season with an Achilles’ tendon injury.

Chris Rumph II gets his first start of the season, at linebacker, in place of Koby Quansah. A broken bone in his left foot has Quansah sidelined. Rumph starts along with Joe Giles-Harris and Ben Humphreys at linebacker for Duke (4-1, 0-1 in ACC).

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