Durham night not only united both communities from the Triad and Triangle area, it brought Duke its first win of the season at home versus the Aggies of A&T who came out the gate swinging.
The Aggies, led by Kinglsey Ifedi, rushed Duke to an early 14-7 lead, when Coach Cutcliffe and the Blue Devils ran a surprise onside kick after scoring to cut into the lead by 7. After recovering they ran their 2-minute offense, something Duke has done in both games this season when trailing. The 2-minute offense not only helps first year starter Gunnar Holmberg get into a groove, the offense gets immediately in sync
A night where Mataeo Durant was kept in check for yardage, the senior still had 3 touchdowns (6 for the season), on 15 carries for a total of 41 yards. Gunnar Holmberg led the charge throwing 20-27, for 270 yards, tacking on 2 touchdowns on the ground. The offense looked more balanced tonight and rightfully so. As a team the Blue Devils rushed for a total 6 touchdowns
The Aggies, at times, had 7-8 in the box, daring Gunnar to throw the ball to his outside specialist and he indeed followed suit. Holmberg’s favorite target was Jake Bobo who on 10 targets had 9 catches for 90 yards. Jalon Calhoun, the speedster had 5 catches for 98 yards.
David Cutcliffe reiterated how the secondary of Duke stood up to the challenge after trailing early in the ball game.
With 1:04 seconds left in the second quarter Duke rushed down field on several precise passes to the receiving core to get into the redone where Senior Mataeo Durant rushed in from inside 1 to give Duke the 21-14 halftime lead. The team not only didn’t relinquished the lead, they only gave up 3 points in the second half. The defense was led by junior Shaka Heyward with 16 tackles.
This was the first time in 20 games were Duke didn’t have a turnover. Discipline. Cohesiveness, Depth and balanced were the keys for Duke to pull away from A&T for a final score 42-17.
Catch the Blue Devils Saturday against Northwestern 4 p.m. live from Wallace Wade.