Duke Stays Undefeated in ACC, Becomes Bowl-Eligible With 4OT Victory at Virginia Tech


Duke and Virginia Tech have played several close games over the past few years, and this one also did not disappoint. After their off weekend last week, quarterback Thomas Sirk came out to lead the #23 Blue Devils to a 45-43 victory over the Hokies today in an epic match-up that became the first 4-overtime game in the history of both programs. Sirk was phenomenal throughout the game, passing for 270 yards and 4 touchdowns while running for 109 rushing yards, including the game-winning 2-point conversion.

  • Key Offensive Stats: 45 points, 5 touchdowns, 449 total yards (179 rushing, 270 passing), 0 turnovers

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Duke’s offense came out on fire in the first half, with the Blue Devils scoring touchdowns on their first two possessions of the game scoring 14 straight points on two TD passes to senior wide receiver Max McCaffrey. The offense stalled later in the game allowing VT to catch up, putting up only 10 more points in regulation including a 58-yard run by running back Shaun Wilson. With the game tied 24-24 to end the 4th quarter the Blue Devils advanced to their first overtime game of the season.

Duke and Virginia Tech traded field goals in the 1st overtime, touchdowns in the 2nd overtime, and field goals again in the 3rd overtime. In the 4th OT the Hokies came out and scored a touchdown on the first drive, but failed to complete the 2-point conversion which becomes mandatory after 3 OTs. On the very next play QB Thomas Sirk found tight end Erich Schneider in the end zone on a 25-yard TD pass to tie the game 43-43. On the two-point conversion, Sirk seemed like he wanted to pass but when no one was open he took matters into his own hands and willed the ball into the end zone to give Duke the win.

  • Key Defensive Stats: 452 total yards allowed, 3 sacks, 8 tackles for loss, 6 QB hurries, 5 pass deflections

The defense struggled at times to contain the Virginia Tech offense in the return of starting VT QB Michael Brewer, giving up season-highs with 43 points, 270 passing yards, and 182 rushing yards. After saving several games so far this season it was the offense that came up big this time, however Duke still came up with several key stops throughout the game. Virginia Tech had the opportunity to move the ball down the field on the last drive of the 4th to take the lead after a missed field goal, but the defense held them in check and forced a 67-yard field goal attempt. And then in the final overtime period the Blue Devils kept Virginia Tech out of the end zone on the two-point conversion attempts which allowed the offense to win it on their next drive.

Duke Football moved to 6-1 and 3-0 in the ACC this year, and will be bowl-eligible for the 4th consecutive season under head coach David Cutcliffe. This win also kept Duke in the running for the ACC Coastal Division title and every game from now will be the most important game of the season if the team wants to compete for the conference championsip, starting with a Halloween night home match-up against Miami next week.