Brandon Connette had just lead Duke on a go ahead drive putting them up 24-20 late in their game with NC Sate. And 16 seconds later, Duke would be ahead 38-20.
Duke won their seventh game of the season and in astonishing fashion and improved to 7-2 (3-2 ACC) and are in position to potentially when the ACC Coastal Division.
DeVon Edwards, who in the 3rd quarter returned a kickoff for 100 yards and a go ahead touchdown at the time, intercepted 2 passes a mere 16 seconds of game time apart and returned both for scores. Impressive, as some reporters hinted to him postgame that he may make Sports Center. Well deserving, but he was excited about the win and not his personal accomplishments. David Cutcliffe was much more excited.
“Leon Wright and DeVon Edwards are side by side in the NCAA record book as the only players in the history of the NCAA to ever run interceptions back, back to back plays for touchdowns. How awesome is that,” Cutcliffe said. “And they are very similar, humble, hardworking people. I’m extremely happy for DeVon.”
An overall sloppy performance by the Blue Devil offense was countered with some good defense and special teams play. Duke only mustered 198 total yards. Starting quarterbac Anthony Boone did not seem to have the touch to his receivers for the second straight game. Boone was 13 for 21 with only 139 yards, had a running touchdown, but had 3 interceptions.
Connette was 7 for 13 with 59 yards and lost a fumble. Duke has become a bit turnover prone and has had 8 turnovers in their last 2 games, however, both were victories.
Duke looked sharp on their first drive, and Anthony Boone scored an early TD to put Duke up 7-0 in the first quarter. Ross Martin added a field goal in the second to put Duke up 10-0, and that would be the halftime score, after NC State missed a field goal.
The Wolfpack started the second half by scoring 13 unanswered points in the third quarter, to take the lead. Boone threw an interception with about 5 mins left in the quarter deep in their own territory, but fortunately the Blue Devils’ defense held them to 3 points.
Edwards scored his first touchdown on the ensuing kickoff putting Duke back on top 17-13, but later in the fourth quarter the Wolfpack scored on an 80 yard touchdown score from Brandon Mitchell to Quinton Payton with 6:37 left in the game, puttng State back in front 20-17.
Duke took over and the game at that point starting with Connette leading Duke down the field and with 3:31 left scored the go ahead touchdown. Just 26 seconds later DeVon Edwards had returned 2 interceptions back for scores (25 and 45 yards) s on back to back plays.
To say this was a once in a lifetime game for Edwards is an understatement. Cutcliffe even said he din’t know if he would ever have this good a game again.
The realities are that Duke did not play well, and again on paper NC State should have probably won this game. Turnovers, which decided this game were even, but Duke lost almost all other statistical categories. This can’t happen against Miami next week, or they may not be as lucky.
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