After playing 10th ranked Notre Dame tough just a week ago, the Blue Devils expected week-one to week-two improvement would lead them to victory in their home opener. Unfortunately, the opposite happened as costly turnovers and a well prepared Boston College team defeated Duke 26-6.
Both teams were neck and neck at halftime – with Boston College nursing just a one-point lead (7-6) at the break, but Duke’s inability to put points on the board due to costly turnovers, coupled with the Eagles scoring 16 points on three of their four 3rd quarter possessions, proved to be enough to put the Blue Devils away for good.
After the game Duke acknowledged that a lot of their wounds were self-inflicted.
“As an offense I thought we did good today moving the ball,” Duke quarterback Chase Brice said. “We pushed the ball. We were throwing and catching and got down to the red and just didn’t finish – turning the ball over in key situations where we need points. A lot of it was self-inflicted. We have to be better.”
“They did a better job in the second half,” Duke defensive end Victor Dimukeje told reporters. “We just have to prepare better next time. They made the plays that they had to make. We made some mistakes in the second half and we can’t blame anyone but ourselves.”
After the loss, Coach Cutcliffe, who has taken over play-calling duties this season, took full responsibility for the loss.
“When you don’t start fast and then you have a five turnover game. You don’t come close to matching explosive plays. You have a couple of pretty bad penalties early and then turn it over at the most inopportune times; When you do that, you’re going to lose football games. I take full responsibility. Turnovers and the way our team played has got to fall on the head coach.”
Duke travels to Charlottesville next weekend to take on Virginia in Scott Stadium. The game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start and will be broadcast by the ACC Network.
- Redshirt junior quarterback Chase Brice went 23-of-42 for 217 passing yards and two interceptions. He connected with senior Noah Gray on five occasions, including a 24-yard catch to extend Gray’s reception streak to 18 straight games.
- Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec finished his day 17-of-23 for 300 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Sophomore wide receiver Zay Flowers recorded 162 yards and a touchdown to help lead the Eagles’ offense.
- Defensively, Duke was led by redshirt sophomore linebacker Shaka Heyward with a game-high 10 tackles, including six solo stops. Senior Victor Dimukeje recorded a career-high 3.5 sacks to tie teammate Chris Rumph II for second-most in a single game in Duke history. Dimukeje finished the game with six tackles and a game-high three tackles for loss.