FINAL: Richmond 24, Duke 16: Well, now the Blue Devils only need 6 wins to become bowl-eligible….
2:10 4th Quarter: Richmond 24, Duke 16: Not the best effort on the onside, as the kick goes directly to Richmond’s Derek Hatcher who makes his way down to the Blue Devils’ 24-yard line. Expect Richmond to eat up the clock, Duke only has one timeout remaining.
2:13 4th Quarter: Richmond 24, Duke 16: Wait just a minute, a 21-yard pass down the left side from Lewis to Austin Kelly for the touchdown, bringing Duke within eight points with time to spare. Paul Asack will now attempt the onside kick for Duke.
2:48 4th Quarter: Richmond 24, Duke 9: The Blue Devils are moving the ball nicely, as freshmen receivers Tyree Watkins and Conner Vernon come up with back-to-back catches bringing Duke down to the Spiders’ 24-yard line.
4:16 4th Quarter: Richmond 24, Duke 9: The Spiders take just over three minutes off the clock, finishing with a 45-yard field goal. The stadium is now all but empty, with the exception of the visitor’s section on the southeast side. On a more positive note, the cheer squad is looking very well choreographed this evening, doing its best to keep the thinning student section motivated.
7:18 4th Quarter: Richmond 21, Duke 9: After Lewis gained two yards on a botched play, an incomplete pass on 4th-and-8 ended the Blue Devils drive and will most likely end their hopes of a comeback.
8:01 4th Quarter: Richmond 21, Duke 9: Speaking of attendance, tonight’s official attendance at Wallace Wade Stadium was 33,311. This is the highest attendance the Blue Devils have seen at home since November 3, 2001 when they hosted North Carolina State in front of over 35,000 fans. Despite sticking to the short passing game on this drive, Duke has crossed the midfield line and now faces 3rd-and-10 from the Richmond 49-yard line.
9:39 4th Quarter: Richmond 21, Duke 9: The Spiders put together a solid drive, chipping away 83 yards on 12 plays in over 6 minutes of possession. The Blue Devils nearly put up a goal-line stand, but caved on 3rd-and-goal. The outlook seems bleak for Duke, which will now need two solid scoring drives to get back in this one. The stadium is really beginning to empty now, a mass exodus of spectators is filing out through the north entrance of the stadium as Lewis and the offense return to the field.
0:00 3rd Quarter: Richmond 14, Duke 9: The Spiders continue to have difficulty moving the ball, as the Blue Devil defense keeps Duke in the game. The crowd seems to be strengthening in volume despite a noticeable drop in attendance here in the second half. Then again, a Duke Marching Band rendition of “Everytime We Touch” is always a good morale boost.
2:47 3rd Quarter: Richmond 14, Duke 9: Another solid intermediate pass for the Blue Devils, as Lewis finds Austin Kelly for a gain of 19 yards. Lewis has now completed at least one pass to eight different receivers.
5:22 3rd Quarter: Richmond 14, Duke 9: The Blue Devils drive stalls on a third down incompletion, and Jones’ punt goes for a touchback. Vincent Rey returns to the field to lead the defense after missing only one play following his injury. In injury news nationwide, Oklahoma QB (and Heisman candidate) Sam Bradford has a sprained right throwing shoulder and left the No. 3 Sooners’ game against No. 20 Brigham Young in the first half. Bradford sustained the injury one play after he became Oklahoma’s all-time leader in passing yards. OU held a 10-7 lead at halftime.
6:21 3rd Quarter: Richmond 14, Duke 9: Back-to-back big gains for the Blue Devils through the air on quick slants, as Johnny Williams goes for 24 yards and Conner Vernon gets 16 for Duke. Lewis is seeing the field well, spreading the ball to a variety of receivers. Williams now has 7 catches for 115 yards.
9:24 3rd Quarter: Richmond 14, Duke 9: Scary moment for the Blue Devils as Vincent Rey goes down with an injury. Hard to tell what it was from up here, but he left the field on his own power and remains on the sideline. We’ll keep an eye on his status going forward.
10:02 3rd Quarter: Richmond 14, Duke 9: The Blue Devils’ intermediate passing game looked strong on the first drive of the second half, but a false-start on third down and Nick Maggio’s second missed field goal of the night left Duke with nothing to show for it. Lewis spread the ball around nicely on the drive, completing passes to a stable of receivers including Johnny Williams, Donovan Varner, Tyree Watkins and Jay Hollingsworth.
HALFTIME: Richmond 14, Duke 9: As the Duke Marching Band takes to the field, we’ll take a look back at a few trends of the first half. On the offensive side of the ball, the Blue Devils’ line play was largely inconsistent. The play calling seems to reflect this weakness, as Duke consistently threw short passes on screens, curls and slants. Running plays were also few and far between for the most part, and the only passing attempt over 20 yards was the Lewis-to-Williams touchdown. Quality drives were frequently marred by dropped passes and running plays that were stopped in the backfield. On defense, the front four looked strong, getting consistent backfield penetration. The secondary and linebackers have been consistent in coverage as well as tackling throughout the game. Special teams has been inconsistent overall, with the play of Byas on kick coverage being overshadowed by the blocked punt which turned into Richmond’s first touchdown. It will be interesting to keep an eye on the offensive play calling in the second half, and see if the defense can continue to contain a very athletic Richmond squad.
0:34 2nd Quarter: Richmond 14, Duke 9: Another 3-and-out for the Spiders, largely thanks to defensive end Patrick Egboh’s rejection of Eric Ward’s pass attempt on second down. The punt pins Duke on the Blue Devils’ 17-yard line, where Lewis takes a knee to end the first half.
1:21 2nd Quarter: Richmond 14, Duke 9: Despite two solid rushing attempts from Re’quan Boyette on second and third downs, the Blue Devils come up a foot short on third down. After a Richmond timeout, Cutcliffe sends the offense back onto the field on 4th-and-1, before calling a timeout of his own and sending out Kevin Jones and the punt team. Resounding disapproval in the stands as the scoreboard shows No. 21 North Carolina leading The Citadel at halftime, 23-0.
2:28 2nd Quarter: Richmond 14, Duke 9: The Blue Devils will have a chance to run their 2-minute offense here, starting the drive on their own 16-yard line.
5:29 2nd Quarter: Richmond 14, Duke 9: The Spiders went 3-and-out as the Blue Devil defense continues to step up, but Lewis and the Duke offense sputtered to a 3-and-out of their own. Richmond starts its next drive on its own 26-yard line.
9:04 2nd Quarter: Richmond 14, Duke 9: Jordon Byas just delivered his second huge hit on kickoff coverage. Here, he has the Spiders pinned on their own 16-yard line, and on the opening kickoff he pinned them on their own 17-yard line. The crowd is starting to come back to life as the Blue Devils get some momentum back.
9:09 2nd Quarter: Richmond 14, Duke 9: The Blue Devils showed much better ball movement on this drive, capped off by a 54-yard bomb from Thaddeus Lewis to Johnny Williams for Williams’ first career touchdown reception. Duke covered 71 yards on 4 plays in just 1 minute, 12 seconds. Lewis is now second on Duke’s career passing touchdowns list; the TD strike was the 48th of Lewis’ career.
10:26 2nd Quarter: Richmond 14, Duke 2: Justin Forte runs it in from the 2-yard line for the Spiders. Richmond got a good push on the line, particularly from Left Guard Matthew McCracken. The Spiders have all the momentum now, the huge crowd has nearly fallen silent under the lights here at Wallace Wade.
11:06 2nd Quarter: Richmond 7, Duke 2: The Spiders convert on a screen pass to Justin Forte, down to the Duke 6-yard line.
11:16 2nd Quarter: Richmond 7, Duke 2: The Spiders’ converted on 4th-and-1 to get to the Blue Devils’ 17-yard line, then got smothered on first and second down by the Duke defense. Ayanga Okpokowuruk has been getting strong penetration into the backfield, huge third down upcoming after a Richmond timeout.
0:16 1st Quarter: Richmond 7, Duke 2: Huge gain for the Spiders down the left side as Eric Ward connects with Garrett Wilkins for a 34-yard gain despite blanket coverage from Duke’s Abraham Kromah. Richmond will be knocking on the door as the second quarter gets underway, with 1st-and-10 from the Blue Devils’ 27-yard line.
4:56 1st Quarter: Richmond 7, Duke 2: The Spiders’ drive goes 3-and-out, largely due to great pressure from the Blue Devil defensive line. On fourth down the snap sails over the head of the Richmond punter and through the back of the end zone for a safety. A good reward for good defensive pressure, but the fireworks behind the end zone were a little excessive for a safety.
5:52 1st Quarter: Richmond 7, Duke 0: Jones gets the punt off cleanly this time, down to the Spiders’ 13-yard line. So far the Blue Devils have been calling mostly screens and short passes, only two running plays and no deep ball attempts. The offensive line seems to be struggling to hold blocks, we’ll keep a close eye on that unit for the remainder of the game.
8:45 1st Quarter: Richmond 7, Duke 0: The season is underway at Wallace Wade. One of the biggest crowds in years is on hand tonight, but this is not the start Duke was hoping for. On a high snap, Kevin Jones’ punt was blocked near his own 30-yard line by Richmond’s Tyler Kirchoff. The Spiders’ Jonathan Mayfield scooped up the ball on the 5-yard line as it rolled towards the end zone, easily getting to the end zone for the game’s first touchdown.