Fourth quarter (Miami 52, Duke 45): It turned out to be too little, too late for Duke in this one. To start the fourth quarter, Miami advanced the fall 49 yards in seven plays, but had a 1-yard touchdown pass form Duke Johnson to Clive Walford overturned and gave the ball back to the Blue Devils on downs. They wasted no time seizing back a bit of momentum, as Sean Renfree connected with Jamison Crowder on Duke’s first offensive play of the quarter for a 99-yard touchdown strike—the longest play in Duke football history.
Renfree and Crowder connected again on the Blue Devils’ next drive, this time on a 34-yard strike to Miami’s 19-yard line. It would be senior Conner Vernon, however, who would cap off Duke’s next scoring drive with a 6-yard touchdown snag on a crucial fourth down, pulling the Blue Devils to within one score at 45-38 with just under eight minutes remaining.
The Hurricanes stymied Duke’s momentum on their next possession when freshman Herb Waters turned a short screen pass into a back-breaking 65-yard touchdown. Vernon came through with a big 30-yard gain on the final catch of his career at Wallace Wade Stadium on the Blue Devils’ next drive, which ended with Brandon Connette’s second rushing touchdown of the afternoon to pull Duke back within one score.
But the Blue Devils were not left with enough time on the clock to complete another magical comeback. After a failed onside kick attempt, Miami was able to run out the clock and secure a 52-45 victory.
Third quarter (Miami 45, Duke 24): Despite some strong plays, the Blue Devils tried unsuccessfully to close the gap with Miami. Duke Johnson showed his speed in Miami’s first drive in the third quarter, running 35 yards from the line of scrimmage, but the Hurricanes were unable to find the end zone and had to settle for a 23-yard field goal.
With good field position at the 35-yard line, Duke began its drive slowly as Sean Renfree threw two incomplete passes. But then Crowder rushed the ball 24 yards for a first down, setting up Duke’s second touchdown of the game. On the 10th play of the drive, Conner Vernon caught the ball in a 10-yard pass from Renfree in the endzone, ending a 65-yard drive.
After Duke forced a Miami punt on the next possession, the crowd of Duke fans in Wallace Wade seemed rejuvenated. On the first play, Jela Duncan was able to escape tackle attempts, running 32 yards with the ball to the 23-yard line. On only the second play, Crowder carried the ball 23 yards to Duke’s third touchdown of the game.
The Blue Devils had brought the game within one score, but that was the closes they’d get. Miami’s Johnson was able to run with the ball 65 yards in the third play of their possession, escaping several tackle attempts, for a touchdown. The Blue Devils’ steam seemed to run out when Miami made another long run on their third drive of the quarter, with Johnson rushing the ball 65 yards to the end zone on the first play. On the fourth down of Duke’s last possession with 25 seconds left, Duke lost eight yards on a sack, turning the ball over.
Second quarter (Miami 28, Duke 10): Gaining momentum from the end of first quarter, Duke started out strong but wasn’t able to hold it throughout the period. In the first drive of the second quarter, Brandon Connette rushed four yards to score Duke’s first touchdown of the game, capping off a drive that took 15 plays in 81 yards.
And when Miami took over the ball, Duke played hard to keep the Hurricanes from the end zone. But freshman Duke Johnson eventually ran six yards to score Miami’s third touchdown on a nine-play, 75-yard drive. Duke’s offense had trouble getting down the field in its second possession, so Duke faked a punt on its fourth down but wasn’t able to get a first down, ending the 28-yard, eight-play drive. After Brandon Connette was stuffed on the fake, the Hurricanes took over with good field position.
When Miami took possession with 5:35 left on the clock, it seemed like Duke was pushing back hard until the third down when the Hurricanes moved the ball 19 yards to a first down. Miami’s Mike James scored their fourth touchdown. Duke was left with eight seconds on the clock, and they chose to run the clock out as Juwan Thompson took it 18 yards to the 50 yard line, ending the half.
First quarter (Miami 14, Duke 3): Duke got off to a rough start in the first quarter as Miami’s offense pushed two successful drives. The Hurricanes’ first scoring drive took four plays and the second only three. The first ended on an 11-yard Stephen Morris touchdown pass, and Duke Johnson ran in the second from 18 yards out.
With the wind blowing hard in Wallace Wade, quarterback Sean Renfree had trouble finding his rhythm, throwing six incomplete passes.With five minutes left in the game, Duke began an 11-play drive, one that would end with the first Blue Devil points of the game. Duke scored its first points with a Ross Martin field goal from 43-yards on and 1:17 left on the clock. Both of Miami’s scoring drives happened in less than a minute.