Duke Football Comeback Comes up Short Against Virginia


Duke lost it’s 4th consecutive game as a late 4th quarter rally against Virginia came up just short leading to a 42-34 loss. Quarterback Thomas Sirk returned from injury to start for the Blue Devils, but he was benched later in the second half for back-up Parker Boehme, who played the entire game in place of Sirk last week and helped spark Duke’s comeback attempt against the Cavaliers with a passing and rushing touchdown in the 4th quarter. No specific reason was provided on why Sirk was replaced, but we’ll keep you updated with any news on the redshirt junior QB.

  • Key Offensive Stats: 485 total yards (385 passing, 100 rushing), 3 turnovers

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Slow starts offensively have doomed Duke during this losing streak, and the same pattern continued today with Duke unable to get into the end zone to keep up with Virginia’s scoring. The Blue Devils’ offense was only able to score 6 points in the entire first half, with a 1st quarter kick return from DeVon Edwards the only TD for Duke before the break.

The offense came alive in the 2nd half after a touchdown pass by Sirk and two quick TDs from Boehme to get back in the game and cut the lead to 8 after being down 42-20 with a chance to tie, but their rally came up short after Duke failed to convert on 4th down in the red zone in the closing seconds of the game. Wide receiver T.J. Rahming had a stellar performance for the Blue Devils compiling 190 receiving yards and a touchdown.

  • Key Defensive Stats: 502 yards allowed, 42 points allowed

While the offense started slowly, the defense came out just as slow which allowed UVA to jump out to a quick lead as the Blue Devils continued to struggle giving up at least 30 points for the 5th straight game, including 21 in the first quarter against the Cavaliers. Virginia QB Matt Johns had a career day as the Blue Devils were unable to stop the big plays early allowing almost 11 yards per catch. The defense did step up late in the game despite several minor injuries to players and the ejection of safety Jeremy Cash, and allowed 0 points in the 4th quarter giving the Duke offense two chances to tie the game down by 8 late in the game.

Duke Football is heading into their final game of the regular season next week to face Wake Forest in Winston-Salem. The Blue Devils will need to take this week to prepare for the Demon Deacons and then rest up and heal for the team’s postseason bowl game to be determined at the end of the season. Thanks for checking in with us and we’ll be sure to keep you updated with all of your Duke Blue Devils’ news and updates here on Ball Durham.