Team Grades for Duke’s 9-7 Win Over Boston College


On Saturday Duke took down the Eagles of Boston College in a knockdown, drag out, punt fest. Duke only managed 228 total yards while BC manufactured 305 yards. It was clear to everyone before the game that there was not going to be much scoring and the game would be determined by field position and turnovers. Duke turned it over zero times and they moved the ball enough in the first half for Ross Martin to kick home nine points. Let’s give out some team grades.

Offense – C-

This is a tough one to grade because of the level of competition the Blue Devils faced. Boston College came in with the number one ranked defense in the country. Now that should not give any excuses to QB Thomas Sirk and the offense. In the first half Duke put together a couple of great drives with long passes to WR T.J. Rahming before stalling out. But in the second half the Blue Devils could only muster around 95 yards on 8 drives. It was punt after punt after punt. The running game between Shaquille Powell, Jela Duncan, Shaun Wilson and Sirk could only muster 33 yards on 35 carries.

The first half was more of a B+ compared to the second half which was a straight up F. So in averaging out the two halves, a C- seems about right. It is still concerning just how ineffective the passing game has been for the large part of the past 3 games.

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Defense – A

The defense saves the day again. Jeremy Cash continues to show he is a future first round draft pick. The speed of the Duke defense looks like a SEC defense. The way they swarm to the ball is impressive and reminiscent of dominant defenses of recent memory from the likes of Florida State and Alabama. This defense will keep Duke in every game they play this year. They only made one mistake the whole day on the 66-yard TD pass from QB Troy Flutie to WR Thadd Smith.

Special Teams – A

Kicker Ross Martin was 3 for 3 on his field goals and provided the Blue Devils their only points on the day. Will Monday had a busy day with 8 punts and none of them were returned for any real amount of yardage. The coverage units continue to be spectacular. The highlight of the day was WR Johnell Barnes recovering a muffed punt early in the second half.

It was not pretty and the offense continues to struggle but Duke improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the ACC Coastal. The division is very winnable with Virginia Tech being a garbage fire, Georgia Tech being disappointing and a lack of inspiration from the rest of the teams. A trip back to the ACC title game is very much possible.