The Duke Football team will not be in the bowl game for the first time since 2016 and the Blue Devils have no one to blame but itself for missing the postseason.
In football, it’s very common that you can point to a play that shifts the momentum of the game or perhaps wins/loses the game.
However, it’s even more common in a sport like college football that you can point to a play or two that changes your season and that’s what the Duke Blue Devils are starting at with a 5-7 record and no postseason to play in this season.
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Duke started the season 4-2, with one loss coming in the first game of the season to then No. 2 Alabama. While challenging itself to play a National Championship contender, it’s a game that perhaps kept the Blue Devils from playing in a bowl game as Duke could have played a non-Power 5 game or a ‘cupcake’ team as some would say.
Nonetheless, Duke still had a chance to reach a bowl game despite playing the Crimson Tide.
On Saturday, October 5 the Duke offense looked lifeless and the defense kept the Blue Devils in a sloppy game against Pittsburgh.
Trailing 26-3 late in the third quarter, the Duke offense woke up and rallied to take a 30-26 lead with under 89 seconds to play.
The Duke defense that had been so good throughout the game was unable to stop the Panthers offense and Pittsburgh took a lead 47 seconds later and went onto win the game, 33-30.
A more potent offense in the first half or a defensive stop on the last drive of the game sends the Blue Devils bowling, but instead Duke will be looking towards 2020.
Complete no-shows against Virginia, Notre Dame, Syracuse, and Wake Forest didn’t sit well with the Duke fanbase but one play on the evening of October 26 will have Blue Devil fans sick for a long time thinking back on the 2019 season.
With nothing impressive to fall on the entire game against the North Carolina Tar Heels, it looked like Carolina was set to put the Blue Devils to bed but a fumble on the Duke one-yard line gave the Blue Devils hope of a chance to beat its hated rival.
A touchdown would win the game and a field goal would send the game to overtime.
Quentin Harris led Duke all the way down the field to the North Carolina 2-yard line and after a timeout the Blue Devils decided to run a trick-play with 18 seconds left and a ‘pop-pass’ from running back Deon Jackson was intercepted ending Duke’s comeback hopes and ultimately a chance at a bowl game.
This season will be Duke’s first without reaching a bowl game since 2016 and just its second non-postseason year dating back to 2012.
The 2019 college football season won’t be looked upon with fond memories from the Blue Devil faithful after its promising start, but the 2020 season will be starting before you know it as Duke will host Middle Tennessee State on Saturday, September 5.