The Duke football program collapsed late once again in the second half during yet another loss, this time to North Carolina State.
It was almost the same exact script from two weeks ago in Duke football’s loss to Virginia Tech.
The punt team got the Blue Devils on the board thanks to a block and return for a touchdown by Dorian Mausi to put Duke up 7-0 over North Carolina State on Saturday, but then nothing truly went right for the Blue Devils from there.
Duke tried to capitalize on its fortune with the blocked punt and forced another Wolfpack fumble on its ensuing drive, deep in its own territory, but quarterback Chase Brice only needed three plays to give the ball right back to the rival with an interception at the 14-yard line.
The turnover was one of three Brice had on the day, two coming in the second half, one that NC State used to take its first lead in the game and another in which Duke needed a touchdown and two-point conversion to tie the contest.
Despite its miscues, Duke still took a 20-14 lead into halftime and had a chance to add to its advantage after forcing a fumble on the Wolfpack’s first drive of the second half.
However, the Blue Devils drove down to the NC State Wolfpack 1-yard line and opted to go for it on 4th & Goal.
David Cutcliffe called a play-action pass that was blown up by the Wolfpack as Chase Brice was unable to throw a miraculous pass to Jake Bobo running across the end zone.
Four plays from inside the five-yard line and Duke was unable to come away with points, but the decision to go for it was an admirable one by Cutcliffe as the Blue Devils were a 1-4 football program, truly with nothing to lose.
If Duke finds a way to get into the end zone, they probably win the game, but they didn’t. The defense still stood tall, forcing NC State to punt, but the second Brice interception followed, and the Duke lead was officially gone for the ball game, falling 31-20.
Chase Brice was 24-of-40 for 190 yards with a touchdown and those three interceptions, and the running game that was so impactful a week ago at Syracuse was non-existent as Brice was the leading rusher with 86 yards on 14 carries.
Duke football will now head into a much-needed bye week before facing Charlotte on October 31 in Durham.