Crowder leads Duke over Virginia, 20-13

PHOTO: Jamison Crowder
Credit: Grant Shorin

DURHAM, N.C. ( -- Duke senior wide receiver Jamison Crowder caught eight passes for 99 yards and Duke held Virginia to just three points in the second half to upend the Cavaliers 20-13 in a key ACC football battle at Wallace Wade Stadium. The Blue Devils move to 6-1 on the year and into at least a tie for the top spot in the Coastal Division.

Anthony Boone completed 22-of-37 passes for 176 yards and one touchdown, while Shaquille Powell led the ground game with 68 yards on 11 carries. Duke outrushed Virginia (4-3, 2-1 ACC) 155-140 for the game.

Crowder, with his eight catches and 99 yards, moved to third on the ACC all-time receptions list with 238. He pushed his career yards total to 3,068 to move into third in Duke football history behind Clarkston Hines and Conner Vernon.

It was a tale of two quarters in the first half with Duke (6-1, 2-1 ACC) dominating play in the first period and Virginia responding with 10 unanswered points to tie the game in the second frame.

The Blue Devils capitalized on an early fumble by Virginia to grab an early 7-0 lead on a Boone one-yard pass to Erich Schneider. Defensively, Duke was outstanding in the first quarter in holding the Cavaliers to just 66 yards of offense and two first downs.

Duke, starting the second quarter on the Virginia 36-yard line, quickly added three points to its lead with a 19-yard field goal from Ross Martin. The Blue Devils, on the strength of a 26-yard grab by Crowder, advanced to the 1-yard line, but were unable to punch it in.

The tides turned in Virginia’s favor in the final 12 minutes of the second quarter, as the Cavaliers responded with a nine-play, 75-yard drive to cut Duke’s lead to three. Virginia quarterback Matt Johns completed four of his six passes for 70 yards, including the five-yard toss to Khalek Shepherd for the score. The Cavaliers, getting the ball back with 1:05 left on the clock, quickly made their way down the field 85 yards to tie the score at 10 heading into the locker room.

Both teams, struggling to find the end zones on their opening drives of the third quarter, traded field goals to remain square at 13-13. Defense continued to be the story in the third period as neither Duke nor Virginia made their way into the red zone for nearly 12 minutes.

After forcing Virginia into a 3-and-out early in the fourth quarter, Duke took over with the ball on its own 35-yard line. Shaquille Powell quickly put the Blue Devils into Virginia territory with a pair of rushes for 19 yards.

Powell added nine more yards to put Duke in the red zone for the first time since 10:35 of the third quarter. Boone, after throwing an incomplete pass, dashed 23 yards to the left on a read option to the Virginia 7-yard line.

Powell picked up four more yards and Thomas Sirk completed the drive with a three-yard jump-pass to David Reeves to put Duke up 20-13 with 7:23 to play in the fourth quarter.

Duke’s defense, led by David Helton’s 14 tackles, continued its outstanding efforts on Virginia’s final two drives of the game. The Blue Devils did not allow the Cavaliers into the red zone in the final 22:11 of the game. Jeremy Cash made 11 tackles, including five solo stops, one pass break-up, a quarterback hurry and a forced fumble. Devon Edwards added 10 stops, while Breon Borders had three pass break-ups to go along with his three tackles.