The Duke football team was run off the field in Charlottesville on Saturday afternoon.
If things weren’t bad already within the Duke football program, they got a whole lot worse on Saturday night.
The Blue Devils were in Charlottesville looking for their first win of the season against the Virginia Cavaliers, who had not yet played this season, and it showed.
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Virginia fumbled the opening kickoff, giving Duke a huge break to start the game, but the Blue Devils could not take advantage of a 1st & Goal from the 10-yard line and had to settle for a field goal.
However, the Virginia offense had some serious rust to shake off, but Duke still couldn’t take advantage, punting three times before Chase Brice connected with Jake Marwede for a 55-yard touchdown, which was the first touchdown pass Brice threw in his Duke career.
Then the wheels started to come off for the Blue Devils.
Virginia scored the next 17 points in the game, all coming on its next three possessions of the game.
Duke was able to make a late stand in the first half after Chase Brice threw one of his four interceptions. Leonard Johnson picked off Brennan Armstrong deep into Blue Devil territory to keep the deficit at seven going into the locker room.
David Cutcliffe was able to tighten the loose tires on his team at the break, as the Blue Devils came out of halftime strong, scoring the next 10 points of the half, primarily thanks to another Armstrong interception at the UVa 10-yard line, where Duke was able to capitalize on the great field position with a touchdown.
Leading 20-17, Duke forced Virginia into another punt, and the Blue Devils were driving thanks to some big runs from Deon Jackson, but then the game completely changed and gave Duke no hope the rest of the way.
From the Cavalier 22-yard line, Cutcliffe drew up a trick play with a wide receiver pass as Brice tossed back to Jalon Calhoun, who was immediately under pressure thanks to poor blocking from Duke.
Calhoun tried to avoid the pressure and rolled out, but the wide receiver then committed the Cardinal sin of quarterback play and threw over the middle, across his body, and the pass was picked off.
Naturally, Virginia responded with a 10-play touchdown drive to take the lead and never looked back.
Including Calhoun’s interception, Duke threw an interception on three straight drives, followed by a fumble and a turnover on downs, as the Cavaliers scored the final 21 points of the game to record their first win of the season, 38-20.
Duke moves to a lowly 0-3 after such a promising start to the season in a loss at Notre Dame, but things are quickly slipping away from the Blue Devils as they now must face a Virginia Tech team next week that just posted 45 points in its first game of the season.