Duke managed only 290 yards in total offense, but it was enough for the Blue Devils to slosh their way to a 20-12 victory on a rainy South Florida Saturday night in Miami Gardens.
The Blue Devils (6-3, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) scored on their first play from scrimmage on running back Deon Jackson’s 75-yard run, and held off Miami in the fourth quarter to become bowl eligible for the second consecutive season.
They overcame a five-point half-time deficit with a 10-point third quarter, and added a field goal for the final margin in the fourth.
Running back DeeJay Dallas exploded for an 83-yard touchdown run — the sixth longest in program history — but the Hurricanes (5-4, 2-3 ACC) struggled to gain their footing offensively behind quarterbacks Malik Rosier (8-of-12 for 76 yards) and N’Kosi Perry (5-of-16, 35).
They lost two fumbles and had a potential tying touchdown in the closing seconds nullified by an offensive pass interference penalty.
Despite Jackson’s big run, the Blue Devils finished the first half with just 115 yards in total offense, with 94 of it rushing. Jackson ended with 113 yards.
Duke didn’t run a play from scrimmage on Miami’s side of the 50 until the third quarter, when linebacker Ben Humphreys recovered Dallas’ fumble at Miami’s 12-yard line.
Miami managed only 55 yards in total offense in the first quarter but thanks to Dallas’ run, running back Travis Homer’s 43-yard dash, and Rosier’s 25-yard completion to wide receiver Lawrence Cager, the Hurricanes compiled 213 yards in the second quarter and went into the intermission with 268 yards and up 12-7.
Dallas had surpassed his previous season rushing high of 114 yards by the end of the first half when he went to the locker room with 115 on just six runs. He finished with 124, behind the 133 of Homer.
A pouring rain that began early in the first quarter left standing water all over the field by the second quarter, before it stopped late in the first half.
—Field Level Media