NCAA Football

Blue Devils bowl eligible after win over Boston College

Blue Devils bowl eligible after win over Boston College

Duke football is bowling. Thanks to a tougher-than-expected win over Boston College on Friday night, the Blue Devils will play in a bowl game for the first time since 2018, when they appeared in the Independence Bowl.

“For us to come from where we were ten months ago to here, with three picks to play, is just a testament to everyone in our college and program,” first-year head coach Mike Elko said in his post-match press conference.

Quality doesn’t matter, quantity does

When it comes to making bowl eligible, the NCAA doesn’t ask how; they ask how many A team needs six wins and it doesn’t matter if they blow out all their opponents or squeak by. So it makes no difference that the Blue Devils won by just seven against a team that was favored to win by 11 and gave up 330 yards. It doesn’t matter if the defense didn’t play well for three quarters and gave up thirty-one points to a team that had scored just twenty-one in its last three games combined. It can be frustrating, but it doesn’t matter when it comes to determining if the Blue Devils get to play in a bowl. It’s the quantity of wins, not the quality.

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Much better than the marker

Just because the game was closer than expected, that doesn’t mean the Blue Devils have anything to hang their heads about. The defense rallied in the fourth quarter and recorded two key sacks (they had five total) to swing the momentum of the game. Riley Leonard threw for just 158 ​​yards, but ran for a team-leading ninety-six yards. The offensive line cleared the way for a rushing attack that finished with 232 yards, the sixth time the Blue Devils have rushed for more than 200 yards in a game.

Leonard said, “The run game, like every week, the offensive line continues to dominate. They’re a really smart crew and we had answers to everything (BC) threw at us.”

Jaquez Moore rushed for eighty-two yards and two touchdowns as he continues to impress and sophomore wide receiver Samhir Hagans, who entered the game with just nine catches, had five against the Eagles, including his third for a touchdown.

This latest victory for the Blue Devils is much better than the final score indicates.

Still not satisfied

Just because they’ve clinched bowl eligibility, don’t think this team is going to sit back and take it easy. The Blue Devils have three games left in the regular season (Virginia Tech, Pitt and Wake Forest) and have no intention of taking their foot off the gas. Leonard explains: “Six was the bare minimum, and it’s great to be bowl-eligible, but we want to win from there.”

The Blue Devils return to friendly action at Wallace Wade Stadium next week for the first time in nearly a month when they take on Virginia Tech at noon.

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