NCAA FB

Duke takes over 1st place in ACC Coastal

Share This Story

   
 

DURHAM, N.C. (AP)

(Eds: Updates throughout. With AP Photos.)By JOEDY McCREARYAP Sports Writer

It's not a misprint. That really is Duke atop the Atlantic Coast Conference's Coastal Division in football.

The Blue Devils' last-minute win over rival North Carolina sets up a meeting of division leaders this week when they visit No. 11 Florida State.

Duke's 33-30 victory on Saturday, plus losses by Miami and Virginia Tech, made the Blue Devils (6-2, 3-1) the division's only team with one conference loss.

It also marked the latest step forward in coach David Cutcliffe's massive reconstruction project at what for years had been one of the biggest laughingstocks in the Bowl Subdivision. Since Duke made its last bowl trip and had its last winning season in 1994, the Blue Devils went winless four times.

''I'm concerned about our injuries, but I'm not concerned about our emotions,'' Cutcliffe said. ''I don't think we're going to come out of here satisfied. I think this team realizes that it can win if it plays well every time we get on the field.''

The Blue Devils were one of four one-loss teams in their division heading into the weekend, joining Miami, North Carolina and Virginia Tech. The Hokies slipped off the pace when they were routed by Clemson and the Seminoles took care of Miami in the late game, giving the top spot in the Costal to Duke.

The tough part will be staying there. The Blue Devils close the season with games against Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Miami, and since the ACC grew to 11 schools in 2004, their win over Clemson that year marks their only victory against any of those teams.

They'll worry about those opponents as they come. For now, it's a time to savor their first win over the Tar Heels since 2003 - and first at home since 1988 - and keep thinking big.

''We know we wanted to go bowling, but this (isn't) it,'' running back Josh Snead said. ''We (have) our eyes set on winning this division and going to the ACC championship, and then going bowling.''

This one was made even more remarkable because they did some things better than any recent - or not-so-recent - Duke team has.

The Blue Devils rolled up 510 total yards, and their 234 yards rushing marked the most by a Duke team since Cutcliffe took over in 2008. Both totals marked season highs allowed by a North Carolina defense that entered ranked in the ACC's top tier in every significant statistical category.

They also overcame a late series of events that, in most other years, would have led to yet another loss.

Duke led virtually all night, only to have a two-touchdown lead evaporate in the fourth quarter. North Carolina went up 30-26 on a bizarre play: The Tar Heels' Erik Highsmith fumbled after a long catch, Duke couldn't recover the ball and Gio Bernard scooped it up and scored.

Many previous Duke teams would have folded there. This one responded by going 87 yards in 14 plays, converting three third-and-longs to move to the North Carolina 5. On fourth down in the closing seconds, Sean Renfree rolled and threw over the middle to Jamison Crowder - who held on in the end zone as he was upended by a pair of defenders for the winning touchdown.

''That's just something that you dream about since you were a little kid,'' Crowder said. ''Watching a lot of ballgames and you see players catch game-winning touchdowns or hit game-winners in basketball. It's just a dream come true for me. I always think about that, scoring the last touchdown to win the game. It couldn't have come better against Carolina.''

Tagged: Clemson, Duke, North Carolina

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash