Category Archives: Live Blog

Duke v. Virginia Tech: Live Blog

By Harrison Comfort

15:00 1st Quarter (0-0): It is a beautiful day. Virginia Tech wins the toss and is set to receive.

12:45 1st Quarter: (0-0): Duke forces a punt after Virginia Tech gains only 5 yards of offense after its first possession.

6:20 1st Quarter (0-0): Two straight offsides penalties by Virginia Tech. Thaddeus Lewis is very tricky.

2:48 1st Quarter (7-0 Duke): Thaddeus Lewis 48 yard touchdown pass to TE Brandon King. 9 plays 79 yard drive and the Blue Devils are on top.

0:49 1st Quarter (7-7): Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor 36 yard touchdown pass to Danny Coale. Extra Point good.

15:00 2nd Quarter (7-7): Score still tied. Blue Devils have the ball on their own 18 yard line facing a 2nd and 16. Shotgun formation is in effect. It does not prove effective as Duke has its first three and out.

10:41 2nd Quarter (10-7 Virginia Tech): 40 Yard field goal by Matt Waldron good. 10 straight points by the Hokies, the Blue Devils need a good drive to regain momentum.

9:32 2nd Quarter (10-7 Virginia Tech): Another three and out for Duke. They really need a big play.

6:14 2nd Quarter (17-7 Virginia Tech): VT touchdown on a 30 yard pass from Taylor to Jarrett Boykin. The Blue Devils really need some momentum before the game gets out of hand.

4:28 2nd Quarter (17-7 Virginia Tech): Desmond Scott is in the game and has gotten the ball three straight plays. A 5 yard run, a 24 yard reception and another 7 yard rush. In the midst of writing this post, Scott just broke a tackle and scampered for another 14 yards. We are all witnesses.

0:42 2nd Quarter (17-7 Virginia Tech): Thaddeus Lewis fumbles the ball on a 8 yard run up the middle but Duke recovers. 3rd and 1 on the Hokies’ 10 and Kurunwune just got stuffed running a trap.

0:07 2nd Quarter (17-10 VT): Snyderwine 29 yard field goal good capping off a 11 play 69 yard drive. Definitely a much needed score before halftime.

0:00 2nd Quarter (17-10 VT): It’s halftime and the band is performing. After this spectacular showing, some local high schools have performances of their own.

13:11 3rd Quarter (17-10 VT): Thaddeus Lewis completes a 74 yard pass to Conner Vernon. Austin Kelly laid on two Hokie defenders on Vernon’s run to the three yard line.

12:45 3rd Quarter (17-13 VT): Duke is unable to put the ball on the end zone from the three yard line. Snyderwine 22 yard field goal good. The Blue Devils need to take advantage of these opportunities in the red zone.

10:34 3rd Quarter (17-13 VT): VT just converted on a 3rd and 34. Prior to that play, the Blue Devils accepted a personal foul penalty rather than just declining it and leaving the Hokies with a 4th and 9. What were the Blue Devils thinking?

8:33 3rd Quarter (20-13 VT): VT kicked a field goal, but Duke dodged a bullet after allowing the Hokies to convert on 3rd and 34. The Blue Devils are still just a touchdown and an extra point from tying the game.

4:45 3rd Quarter (20-13 VT): Matt Daniels forces a fumble after a VT completion. He is everywhere. Duke recovers. LETS GO!

0:44 3rd Quarter (20-13 VT): Duke converts on a 3rd and 24 after a personal foul penalty on the Hokies. The Blue Devils need to get on the board here.

14:30 4th Quarter (20-13 VT): Duke has the ball on the Hokies’ 33 yard line. It’s 4th and 4 and the Blue Devils covert a fake punk. 1st down Duke.

13:51 4th Quarter (20-16 VT): Synderwine hits a career-long 47 yard field goal. More than enough distance and right through the uprights.

9:37 4th Quarter (27-16 VT): Hokies’ running back Josh Oglesby scores a touchdown on a 12 yard run. He was untouched.

7:08 4th Quarter (27-19 VT): Duke is unable to score a touchdown after another trip inside the Hokies’ 20 yard line. Snyderwine his 4th field goal of the game for 43 yards.

2:28 4th Quarter (34-19 VT): Another VT TD. The Cameron Crazies are fleeing Wallace Wade Stadium.

0:25 4th Quarter (34-26 VT):  Austin Kelly TD reception on a slant. Pass from Thaddeus Lewis. The on-side kick squad will be coming on soon.

0:25 4th Quarter (34-26 VT): VT recovers onside kick.

0:00 Final (34-26 VT): VT wins. Game over.

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LIVE BLOG: Blue-White Scrimmage


1. Nolan Smith is ready to lead the Duke offense. After playing a complementary role in conducting the trio of Scheyer-Henderson-Singler in this first half, he took control in the second with a lineup that wasn’t as offensively minded and still thrived, this time as a scorer. He should get equivalent playing time to Greg Paulus, and we might even see more of the two of them together, especially after the Blue team ran a quasi-two point guard set with Smith and Jordan Davidson in the second period.

2. Pocius has recovered well from the ankle injury that sidelined him most of last season. He looked mobile, was an effective scorer in the second half, and played his role well without rushing any shots, Krzyzewski said. Expect the junior to compete for minutes at the guard position like he did last year before he went down against Eastern Kentucky.

3. Miles Plumlee was the most comfortable freshman out there. Krzyzewski said that he protected the basket, ran the floor well, moved well without the ball and had good hands. Defensively, he helped take Singler out of his rhythm in the second half. All of the freshman will have a learning curve, but Plumlee looked the most game-ready. Olek Czyz didn’t see much playing time, and Elliot Williams had the unenviable task of guarding the red-hot Henderson in the first half and Smith in the second half.

4. Krzyzewski was most effusive in his praise for Smith, who he said “played as well as anyone”, but also commended Dave McClure’s defense-particularly in the second half on Henderson-and Pocius’s veteran presence.

79-70 Blue, END OF SECOND HALF: And that’s a wrap. The second half took a significantly different trajectory than the first and with a different result. Pocius and Nolan Smith were the high scorers will 11 points apiece in the second session and Smith, David McClure and Miles Plumlee were the three Blue Devils to win both “games”. Postgame recap and quotes to follow.

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LIVE BLOG: Georgia Tech 27, Duke 0 (FINAL)

Zachary Tracer/The Chronicle

Zachary Tracer/The Chronicle

POSTGAME NOTES: It was a rough day all around for Duke. The Blue Devils failed to get anything going offensively until it was far too late, and even then Duke couldn’t  put any points on the board. Lewis finished 15-of-28 for just 97 yards, and the rushing attack netted 35 yards on 20 carries — not nearly enough production against a quality ACC opponent like Georgia Tech. Some notable quotes from the postgame press conference:

  • Head coach David Cutcliffe has been known to crack some jokes in his press conferences. Despite the loss, today was no different. Upon walking into the Hugh Spruill Fitness Center — which is exactly what it sounds like, a weight room — Cutcliffe quipped, “It’d be nice to get a workout while I’m in here, get something out of this. Do you mind if I lift while we talk? I probably should, in all honesty.” It was that kind of day for Duke.
  • But Cutcliffe wasn’t down on his squad by any means: “We can’t measure ourselves as a team just in wins and losses alone at this stage. There’s a lot of growth involved in everything that we do…. Obviously, we failed the test on the field to a great degree. We played a team that played really well, played far superior to us today…. We’ll learn from it.”
  • Navy head coach Paul Johnson, on backup QB Jaybo Shaw having a lot of time to think about his upcoming start this week in place of injured Josh Nesbitt: “I’m sure you couldn’t have driven a straight pin up his tail with a sledgehammer. I’m sure he was a little nervous.” Shaw did just fine, going 9-of-14 for 230 yards — all of them to WR Demaryius Thomas — and an 88-yard touchdown pass.

27-0 GEORGIA TECH, FINAL: Duke is shut out in its first road game of the year, mustering virtually no offense until it was too late. Quotes and more analysis to come later.

27-0 GEORGIA TECH, 0:54, 4TH QUARTER: Georgia Tech just misses a touchdown, as WR R.B. Clyburn is ruled out of bounds. Blair tacks on a field goal.

24-0 GEORGIA TECH, 2:25, 4TH QUARTER: Lewis’ third-down pass is tipped and picked off by Alex Walker. Walker returns it to the 12, putting Georgia Tech in great position to add to its lead in the final minutes.

24-0 GEORGIA TECH, 6:35, 4TH QUARTER: Facing a must-convert fourth-and-15 from the Georgia Tech 21, Lewis is pressured and has to dump it off to Clifford Harris, who is tackled short of the first down. The Yellow Jackets’ first play is a long completion to Thomas, who now has the second-best receiving day in Georgia Tech history.

24-0 GEORGIA TECH, 9:11, 4TH QUARTER: Georgia Tech puts an exclamation point on the game, in all likelihood sealing a victory on an 88-yard touchdown pass from Shaw to Thomas, the third-longest pass play in Yellow Jacket history. Thomas now has 197 yards receiving in the game, good for ninth-best in school history.

17-0 GEORGIA TECH, 13:05, 4TH QUARTER: Zack Asack enters the game, but a different quarterback produces the same result. The Blue Devils go three-and-out, with Asack’s third-down pass sailing past Riley. Kevin Jones rebounds with a 60-yard punt, but Duke needs to move the ball on offense and they have just been unable to do so.

17-0 GEORGIA TECH, 14:56, 4TH QUARTER: Georgia Tech punches it in on a Shaw keeper to the left side. Duke’s going to need a huge quarter to come back — a tall order for a team that currently has 48 total yards.

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LIVE BLOG: Duke 31, Virginia 3 (FINAL)

DUKE LOOK EVEN BETTER: With Navy’s 24-17 upset over No. 18 Wake forest and Northwestern’s road victory against Iowa, two teams on Duke’s schedule made the Blue Devils look even better. No one is going to mistake Duke’s opponents as anything close to SEC-caliber, but it does help that its non-conference foes are holding their own against legitimate competition.

QUOTE OF THE DAY II:When asked about the students chanting Cutcliffe’s name during the game, as they did against James Madison, too, Cutcliffe responded: “I’ve been in this business a long time, and I’ve had it chanted the other way. Add something, leave town, whatever adjective…and not that our sweet students would do that, but…”

QUOTE OF THE DAY: David Cutcliffe is an affable and gregarious coach, especially after wins. Conditioning has been the buzz word of the season, especially after wins. The combination added up to one of the best quotes we’ve ever heard, straight from Cutcliffe’s mouth: “I saw the fattest, softest football team I had ever seen in my life. I did! We had a 30, 40-minute workout and about a quarter of the way into it, I blew my whistle and stopped it, I was laughing. I said, ‘I’m sorry, guys, I gotta stop this. Y’all are the fattest, softest football team I’ve ever seen in my life. This is unbelievable.’   I hollered to the staff and I said, ‘The goose has laid the golden egg at our feet!’ We just get in shape and we’re gonna win four or five games around here!”

GAME STORY: First write-through up on The Chronicle’s website.

POSTGAME THOUGHTS: Finally back from the Yoh Football Center, where the Duke post-game interviews took about an hour. The star of the show was undoubtedly defensive lineman Clifford Respress, who even gave his own opening statement. The general theme of the players’ and Cutcliffe’s comments? Conditioning. Of course, that’s been the story all year, but perhaps none more so than today, when Duke absolutely dominated the second half…. For that matter, mea culpa on one of my statistics before. Duke forced six turnovers–four interceptions and two fumbles–not four. It does, however, further my point…. Cutcliffe said he benched Jabari Marshall after Marshall’s excessive celebration penalty because he wasn’t going to allow such behavior to go without retribution. Continue reading


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FOURTH QUARTER: Duke vs. Johns Hopkins

With time beginning to work against the Blue Devils, Matt Danowski scored a much-needed goal with 8:51 to go in regulation. His shot from 10 yards out was slowed down by Gvozden, but it trickled into the net to pull Duke within one at 7-6.

Johns Hopkins countered less than a minute and a half later, as George Castle scored his second goal of the year with 7:25 remaining to push the lead back to two. But the Blue Devils answered with two quick goals of their own, with Danowski firing an underhand shot into the back of the net at 7:13. Greer fed Nick O’Hara just six seconds later, knotting the score at eight.

The Blue Jays, though, didn’t take long to untie the game. O’Hara picked up a cross checking penalty six seconds after his goal, and Boyle scored on the ensuing extra-man opportunity.

And then, a potentially pivotal sequence. Quinzani picked up the ball at midfield, then sprinted down the left side and rifled a shot off the crossbar. The rebound was corralled by Johns Hopkins, and Huntley scored in transition to give the Blue Jays a 10-8 edge with 4:18 remaining.

Duke had a great scoring opportunity with 2:19 remaining, as Quinzani pushed a rebound off a Steve Schoeffel shot just wide right. The ball went out of bounds, giving Hopkins possession. The Blue Jays played keep-away for the next 60 seconds before the Blue Devils forced a turnover with a minute remaining.

With 28.2 seconds to go, Brad Ross got Duke within one with a goal into the upper left corner of the net from 15 yards out. Hopkins won the ensuing faceoff, but the Blue Devils forced a turnover, getting one last shot to even the score.

Coming out of a timeout with 3.9 seconds left, Danowski rips a shot that’s saved by Gvozden. The rebound squirts off to the left, and the Blue Devils can’t muster another attempt before time expires. And so, for the third time in four seasons, Duke’s season ends with a one-goal loss to Johns Hopkins in the NCAA Tournament.

–by Joe Drews

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THIRD QUARTER: Duke vs. Johns Hopkins

The Blue Jays scored an easy goal from right in front of the net to go up 5-2, and the Blue Devil faithful were getting restless.

But then Duke ripped off three goals in 45 seconds to tie it up. First, Steve Schoeffel ended the Blue Devils’ 20:02 scoring drought with an unassisted tally, dodging from the goal line extended, jumping and dunking the ball over Gvodsen’s shoulder. Then, Quinzani pulled Duke within one when he dodged from behind the net and scored despite being tripped in the process by a Johns Hopkins defenseman. Finally, the Blue Devils evened it up when Terrance Molinari won the faceoff beautifully and raced down the field. After passing it to Chris Tkac, he got it right back and fired it past Gvodsen.

Paul Rabil broke the tie for Johns Hopkins a few minutes later, though, shooting one into the upper right-hand corner of the net for a 6-5 Blue Jays lead.

Another highlight: as Johns Hopkins attempted to clear after a Gvodsen save, the Blue Jays risked a dangerous pass back to the goalie out in front of the net. Gvodsen’s head was turned, so he didn’t see Quinzani baring down on him. The goalie got the ball off just in time before Quinzani absolutely rocked him, sending Gvodsen to the ground while bringing some of the fans to their feet.

An unlucky bounce for Duke. As several players were wrestling for a groundball, it popped out and right into the stick of Kevin Huntley. With time running out in the quarter, Huntley reared back and unleashed a powerful shot over Loftus’ shoulder into the top left corner of the goal. Officially, the score came with two tenths of a second left on the clock.

Johns Hopkins-7, Duke-5

–by Matthew Iles

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PREGAME: Duke vs. Johns Hopkins

Wow. If the first game of the NCAA semifinals is any indication of how good the Blue Devils-Blue Jays matchup will be, then we’re in for one hell of a day.

Facing an 8-3 deficit, No. 3 Syracuse marched all the way back against No. 2 Virginia. The Orange forced overtime by knotting it at 11 all, then brought the impressively packed Gillette Stadium to its feet when they stole the game on a Mike Leveille goal with 1:43 left in the second overtime.

The Syracuse players rushed the field, mobbing Leveille at midfield while the Cavaliers were scattered around the field on their knees in disbelief. Now the Orange await the winner of Duke and Johns Hopkins for the national championship on Monday at 1 p.m.

The players are warming up right now, stretching, passing and catching, and shooting on the net. The game should be kicking off in about eight minutes. Stay tuned.

–Matthew Iles

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