No. 20 Duke routed 45-7 by No. 1 FSU for ACC title
It’s been a season of firsts for No. 20 Duke, and yet another
one came in its first ACC championship game – when it shut out No.
1 Florida State.
For a quarter.
It was all Seminoles after that.
The Blue Devils couldn’t stop Heisman Trophy favorite Jameis
Winston and couldn’t do much when it counted against Florida
State’s tough defense in a 45-7 loss Saturday night that snapped
their eight-game winning streak.
”We didn’t play up to our Duke standards,” defensive end Kenny
Winston threw for three touchdowns and ran for another to give
the slow-starting Seminoles (13-0) their second straight league
They failed to score in the first quarter for the first time
this season, then put this one out of reach in a hurry while
turning each of Duke’s three turnovers into touchdowns.
”We felt like we were moving the ball pretty good, 0-0 after
the end of the first quarter,” receiver Jamison Crowder said.
”After that, things just kind of went the other way.”
Anthony Boone was 20 of 40 for 138 yards but threw two
interceptions and fumbled once for the Blue Devils (10-3).
”We’ll definitely be back here next year,” Boone said. ”I
promise you that.”
They averaged nearly 395 total yards and 32.2 points during the
best season in school history, but finished with 239 yards. Josh
Snead’s 5-yard touchdown run with 1:01 left kept them from being
shut out for the first time since 2008.
Just making it to the championship game was a big deal for Duke,
which was picked in the preseason to finish last in the Coastal
This is the same program that from 1996-2007 went winless four
times and finished with one win in two other years. Until this
year, the Blue Devils’ last nine-win season came in 1941 and they
have long since wrapped up the first consecutive bowl berths in
But they certainly expected a better showing in their most
important game of the year.
”There’s a process involved in all of this, and there’s no
atmosphere like conference championship atmosphere,” coach David
Cutcliffe said. ”I’m glad they have experienced it. I hate the
fact that it was experienced in such a manner where the loss hurt,
but maybe that hurt propels you forward.”
Added Anunike: ”This doesn’t define our season.”
This one got away after they failed to take advantage of any of
the few early mistakes the Seminoles made.
Duke forced two turnovers in the first half, got a 40-yard punt
return from Crowder and twice advanced inside the Florida State 35
– and came away with nothing to show for it.
While falling behind 17-0 at halftime, the Blue Devils managed
94 total yards – and 67 of them came on the one drive that wasn’t a
three-and-out or worse.
That drive ended with Ross Martin’s missed 47-yard field goal
that sailed wide right – and that wound up being the closest they
came to scoring before the outcome had been decided.
”You’ve got to answer early, try to get some momentum because
they’ve got a great defense that can put people away,” Boone said.
”And of course, their offense can score at will. You’ve just kind
of got to get points when you can and try to catch a rhythm. We
missed points and didn’t get a rhythm going.”
They blew another chance with about 10 minutes left in the half
after Crowder’s punt return to the Florida State 33. Three plays
later, Boone’s pass for Crowder was picked off by Lamarcus
Florida State (13-0) scored its second touchdown – Karlos
Williams’ 12-yard scoring run that made it 14-0 – off the
The Seminoles added an 11-yard Winston-to-Kenny Shaw TD off of
Boone’s second interception, and Winston ran 17 yards for a score
four plays after Boone’s fumble.
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