The Duke football team was hoping to play spoiler in the ACC Championship and it started so well. However after the first quarter, things quickly went downhill for the Blue Devils. They lost to number one Florida State, 45-7. The Seminoles are most likely headed to the National Championship as they are undefeated. Duke dropped to 10-3 on the season and 0-19 against FSU.
Duke and FSU played to a 0-0 tie after the first quarter. It was the first time the Seminoles were held scoreless in the first quarter this season and the first time since November 24, 2012. The Blue Devils had FSU confused and the coaches were yelling at each other. However, everything settled down and they scored about two minutes into the second quarter.
The worst part about the Duke loss was that they could not take advantage of FSU mistakes. The Seminoles fumbled at the one yard line and Duke marched down the field and got into field goal range. However, Ross Martin missed his only field goal attempt, a 48 yarder. On that drive, Duke picked up five first downs. They did not pick up another first down until late in the second quarter.
After another Duke 3-and-out, the Duke defense forced a 3-and-out. Jamison Crowder ran back a very good punt for 40 yards, giving the Blue Devils very good field position. However, Duke quarterback Anthony Boone was intercepted. FSU would put together a five minute drive to take a 14-0 lead.
FSU took over with 2:44 to go in the first half and called a timeout, only to see quarterback Jameis Winston intercepted on their very first possession. At the 50 yard line, the Blue Devils only picked up seven yards and were forced to punt.
From then on, the Duke defense could not stop the FSU offense. Their rushers ran all over the field. Winston picked apart the Duke secondary. It was an ugly second half.
Boone was intercepted again on Duke’s first possession of the second half. FSU needed just three plays to get the ball into the end zone for their second score of the second half with about ten minutes to play in the third quarter.
Coach Cutcliffe finally pulled Boone (who was just 20-of-40 for 138 yards and two interceptions), but Brandon Connette was injured on his first drive and Boone was back in.
Duke would finally get on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter, with a little more than a minute to play. It was a 6:24 minute drive with Josh Snead scoring from five yards out. Snead rushed for a total of 17 yards.
FSU finally pulled their starters with 53 seconds left.
Duke had a total of just 239 yards. Shaquille Powell rushed for 44 yards on eight carries. Duke only rushed for 99 yards. Jamison Crowder became the school’s all-time leading receiver, as he caught eight passes for 66 yards. He was the only receiver with more than 22 yards (Isaac Blakeney).
After being held scoreless in the first quarter, the FSU offense scored on seven drives the rest of the way. They had a total of 569 yards.
Winston, the Heisman Trophy favorite, completed 19-of-32 passes for 330 yards and three TDs. He also rushed for 59 yards and a TD. His favorite receiver was Kelvin Benjamin, who caught five passes (two touchdowns) for 119 yards. One of those passes was a 54 yard TD pass. Kenny Shaw caught four passes for 74 yards, including an 11 yard TD pass.
Devonta Freeman rushed for 91 yards on 17 carries and a TD. Karlos Williams rushed for 55 yards on eight carries and a TD.
*The Blue Devils must wait until tomorrow night to see which bowl they will be playing in and who their next opponent will be.