Duke football finally grabs victory in offensive explosion against Syracuse

Duke football running back (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke football running back (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

24. 827. Final. 38. 825

The Duke football team finally won a football game in 2020 against the Syracuse Orange.

“….and it’s sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet victory….”

Alright, perhaps that was a bit overdramatic, but if you have watched the Duke Blue Devils play football this season, you too would celebrate its first victory of the season in emphatic fashion.

Granted, we at Ball Durham were unable to watch the Duke vs. Syracuse game in real-time, but thanks to the help of recordings, we have now watched the entire victory for the Blue Devils and are ready to discuss.

In our pregame preview, we mentioned this one had a great chance to be an offensive explosion given the holes in both defenses and the strong offensive play by Duke late in its loss against Virginia Tech.

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And that’s exactly what happened.

David Cutcliffe pressed all the right buttons on offense, and despite four turnovers from the Blue Devils, Duke still pulled away from Syracuse with a 38-24 victory.

The running game was working to perfection for Duke on Saturday, and to Cutcliffe’s credit, he stuck with it as Duke combined for 363 rushing yards and two touchdowns, spearheaded by 169 yards on 30 carries for Deon Jackson and 163 yards and two touchdowns from Mataeo Durant.

Chase Brice also ran for 18 yards, but the signal-caller, who secured his first win as a starting quarterback, completed 22-of-38 passes for 270 yards, two touchdowns, an interception, and a fumble.

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Clearly, with still a long way to go, the Duke offense helped out its defense, possessing the football for almost 40 minutes, and the defense only surrendered 17 points, since the Orange returned a fumble for a touchdown.

Yes, a first victory of the season should be celebrated, even if Duke is only 1-4, but now comes the test of putting back-to-back games together.

The Blue Devils hit the road once again to face a North Carolina State team who is finding its stride early in the season.

Kickoff between Duke and the Wolfpack is at 3:30pm EST from Carter-Findley Stadium on Saturday, October 17, and the game can be seen on Regional Sports Networks.