DURHAM, N.C. – Virginia capitalized on six Duke turnovers and held off a fourth-quarter charge from the Blue Devils to capture its first ACC win, 34-20, this afternoon at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium. The two teams amassed a combined 846 yards of offense with both throwing for over 300 for the game.
Duke falls to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the ACC, while Virginia moves to 2-3 and 1-0 against conference foes.
Blue Devil quarterback Daniel Jones finished 33-of-54 for 324 yards a touchdown and five interceptions. Shaun Wilson led the ground game with 55 yards on 16 carries and Ben Humphreys and Joe Giles-Harris headlined the defensive effort with 13 and 12 tackles, respectively. Humphreys also grabbed an interception in the fourth quarter to bolster the Blue Devil comeback attempt.
Four first-half interceptions doomed the Blue Devils as Virginia capitalized with consecutive touchdowns in the final five minutes of the second quarter to take a 20-10 lead over Duke into the locker room. The Blue Devils held a 10-6 lead thanks to a career-long 38-yard field goal from AJ Reed, but an 84-yard pass following an interception and a 65-yard scoring drive after a second turnover seemingly put the Cavaliers in control heading into the second half.
The Blue Devils’ struggle to score touchdowns from the red zone continued as they settled for another Reed field goal after a 70-yard drive stalled at the Virginia 3-yard line. Duke’s sequence featured six carries by Shaun Wilson for 21 yards, while Jones threw for 47 yards to get to the Cavalier 8-yard line where Virginia kept the Blue Devils out of the end zone.
Virginia continued to find success on third down in the third quarter, converting three third downs, including a three-yard pass to the back corner of the end zone to stretch the lead back to two touchdowns 27-13.
Trailing by 14, Jones provided a spark to the Blue Devils’ sideline with a 43-yard connection to Quay Chambers to set up a Joseph Ajeigbe touchdown run. The dash up the middle was the first career offensive score for the redshirt junior and pulled Duke back within a touchdown with 11:26 remaining.
Duke’s defense, came up big on the ensuing Cavalier drives, forcing a turnover on downs, an interception and a punt to put the Blue Devils within striking distance of tying the game. The Blue Devils, however, were unable to capitalize and a fumble in the end zone recovered by Virginia for a touchdown sealed the victory for the visiting squad.
The Blue Devils return home next Saturday, Oct. 8, to host non-conference foe Army. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m., on RSN.