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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Duke tops Virginia again; once long-shot season goals very much alive

Posted by on Sat, Oct 31, 2009 at 8:13 PM

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Duke's football juggernaut keeps on rolling on.

Will Snyderwine (pictured) hit five field goals while Thaddeus Lewis overcame five sacks by the top-rated pass defense in the ACC as the Blue Devils got past host Virginia 28-17 at Scott Stadium.

It was the third straight victory for Duke, all in ACC, a feat the Blue Devils (5-3, 3-1 ACC) had not accomplished since 1989. The win means David Cutcliffe's squad needs to win at least two of its last four games to qualify for the school's first bowl bid since 1994, and with two wins a bowl invitation would be a mortal lock.

It was Duke's second straight win on the road and third road win this season.

Lewis, who completed 24 of 40 passes for 343 yards against the ACC's best pass defense, gave his team an 18-17 lead on a 42-yard pass to Connor Vernon with 3:45 left.

Charlie Hatcher then recovered a fumble from the Cavaliers' Jameel Sewell 23 seconds later, returning it seven yards for a touchdown with Snyderwine's boot making it 25-17.

After Virginia failed on fourth down, Snyderwine was able to remove all doubt by nailing a 42-yard field goal with 1:15 remaining.

Virginia (3-5, 2-2 ACC) dropped its second straight game and its second straight to Duke.

Duke's defense again came up big, holding the Cavaliers to 196 yards total offense to the Blue Devils' 423.

Sewell completed eight of 22 passes for 86 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Vernon had seven catches for 106 yards, while Donovan Varner had seven for 112 for Duke.

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