Indiana drops Pinstripe Bowl to Duke 44-41 in overtime
NEW YORK — Duke survived a wild finish at Yankee Stadium for its first bowl victory in 54 years.
Ross Martin kicked a 36-yard field in overtime, and Duke held off Indiana 44-41 on Saturday night in the Pinstripe Bowl.
"Absolutely ecstatic," Martin said. "It couldn’t have happened in a better way, overtime. I think we’re four for four for the most exciting bowl games every year. So it’s finally good to jump around the locker room and celebrate up on stage. That’s incredible for the entire program."
After Martin made his kick on the first possession of the extra period, the Hoosiers’ Griffin Oakes missed a 38-yard attempt to hand the Blue Devils (8-5) their first bowl victory since the 1961 Cotton Bowl.
Oakes’ try sailed above the right upright and was ruled wide. Oakes protested that it was good, but the kick could not be reviewed and Duke’s players poured onto the field to celebrate.
"The ball went beyond the end line over the top of the upright and when that occurs, the play is not reviewable," crew chief Chris Coyte told a pool reporter."
"I actually thought he made it," Duke running back Shaquille Powell said. "When I saw the team celebrating, that’s when the emotions came out. That’s when I got so excited because it’s just a relief when you see something like that.
Indiana finished the season 6-7.
Duke appeared in its fourth straight bowl game, losing the previous three seasons to Cincinnati, Texas A&M and Arizona State.
"We’ve been hearing ‘1961’ since my freshman year," Duke senior center Matt Skura said. "It’s been a goal for a long time. It’s not just senior class that’s been a part of this, it’s the senior classes before me."
"We’ve talked about it a lot," Blue Devils coach David Cutcliffe said. "Because of the four-year streak of playing in bowl games, why wouldn’t you mention it?"
The dramatic finish capped a game that featured 1,203 combined yards and 56 first downs. The teams combined to establish nine offensive records in the six-year history of the game.
Shaun Wilson had 282 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns for the Blue Devils, including a 98-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter.
Before getting hurt in overtime, quarterback Thomas Sirk accounted for 318 yards and three touchdowns. Cuttliffe said he would have not been able to continue if Indiana tied it.
Sirk had a 73-yard touchdown run in the first half and his 5-yard scoring run tied it with 41 seconds left.
After Sirk’s second TD, Oakes missed a 55-yard attempt at the end of regulation.
Sirk was 17 of 37 for 163 yards and a touchdown. He also had 155 yards on the ground.
Indiana’s Nate Sudfeld was 28 for 51 for 389 yards and three touchdowns. Devine Redding filled in for the injured Jordan Howard (knee) and rushed for 227 yards, but it was not enough for the Hoosiers, who have not won a bowl since the 1991 Copper Bowl.
"They made enough plays to win the game," Indiana coach Kevin Wilson said. "We had enough errors."
Duke led 10-0 in the first quarter of what quickly became a back-and-forth game.
Indiana took a 24-20 lead midway through the third when Nick Westbrook caught a 3-yard touchdown pass. But three plays after the Hoosiers’ Mitchell Paige fumbled at his 19 on a punt return, Sirk connected with Braxton Deaver for a 10-yard touchdown, giving the Blue Devils a 27-24 lead.
Just over 4 minutes later, Alex Rodriguez — the Indiana running back, not the Yankees slugger — put the Hoosiers up 31-27 with a 10-yard touchdown run. The lead grew to 34-27 when Oakes kicked a 27-yard field goal with 11:12 left, but Wilson returned the ensuing kickoff to tie it.
Indiana took a 41-34 lead with 4:03 remaining when Sudfeld found Paige wide open in the back of the end zone on second-and-15 for a 25-yard scoring play.