The word “ugly” doesn’t begin to describe this one.
Virginia Tech and Duke’s respective offensive squads discovered new levels of ineptitude Saturday, playing in a contest so boring that it made even the perpetually-raucous Hokie faithful go listless.
For its part, VaTech surrendered five turnovers in the first six possessions, a feat that would have likely doomed them had they been playing Duke, who managed just 134 total yards of offense in the 14-3 loss, thereby extending the losing streak to a robust six games.
Here’s how it happened:
With Thad Lewis sidelined since the opening drive of last week’s loss to Clemson, Duke’s hopes rested on backup QB Zack Asack.
Coach David Cutcliffe later said that the team couldn’t get anything going through the air, making it unclear as to whether or not he just didn’t trust Asack, or if the mighty Hokie Defense is so good that it entirely shut down an integral facet of the Duke offense.
Duke, relegated to relying on their QB’ legs even on 3rd and long, struggled like a J.V. squad scrimmaging against their Varsity betters.
“You can’t beat a team like Virginia Tech by just rushing the ball,” said ESPNU color man Bob Davie, marking the first time that Bob Davie has ever had an accurate observation about anything football related.
Whatever Cutcliffe’s reasoning, he proved Davie right. The Duke O didn’t convert a first down during the entire first half. And Asack didn’t notch a completion until midway through the fourth quarter, after which he threw two lame duck passes. Both were, unsurprisingly, picked off by VaTech’s stereotypically hawkish secondary.
Tech’s own backup, Sean Glennon (who appeared in relief after redshirt freshman Tyrod Taylor got the hook) fared only slightly better, leading Vatech 87 yards for a touchdown, the only significant drive of the evening by either team.
Duke faces North Carolina Saturday at home to close out the season. A win might bring some vindication for all that talk about changing the losing culture, and perhaps even some momentum going into next season. Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, they play a North Carolina team led by a man who, after last week's debacle, is obviously in need of a punching bag.