Duke Tallies ACC Win with 31-3 Victory Over Virginia
Sept. 27, 2008
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -Duke took advantage of five second-half turnovers to beat Virginia 31-3 on Saturday and end a 25-game Atlantic Coast Conference losing streak.
Quarterback Thaddeus Lewis completed nine of his first 10 pass attempts after halftime, and the Blue Devils scored three touchdowns in a 10-minute span.
Duke intercepted Virginia's Marc Verica four times in the second half. Jabari Marshall returned the third interception 42 yards for a touchdown for Duke (3-1, 1-0 ACC), off to its best start since the 1994 team started 7-0.
Duke's last ACC victory before Saturday was Nov. 13, 2004, a 16-13 home victory over Clemson.
This one also seemed headed toward a last-second ending. The teams were locked in a 3-3 defensive battle at halftime, and Virginia had locked down Duke's passing game.
Freshman Jay Hollingsworth took a screen pass 10 yards for his first touchdown to give Duke a 10-3 lead. Then Duke relied on its defense, getting an interception from Leon Wright to set up Eron Riley's 30-yard touchdown reception.
Riley, Duke's top receiver, was held without a catch in the first half, but he had three for 36 yards in the third quarter, including his sixth touchdown of the season and 20th of his career.
Marshall snared a tipped pass off the hands of Virginia tight end John Phillips and dashed 42 yards for a touchdown and a 24-3 lead.
Virginia (1-3, 0-1) has been outscored 144-20 this season.
Though Virginia moved the ball at times in the first half, it couldn't finish drives. The Cavaliers failed to pick up a first down on their first nine third downs.
Each team struggled offensively in the first half. Duke had two turnovers and botched a fake punt in Virginia territory and got only Nick Maggio's 20-yard field goal with one second left in the half.
Ras-I Dowling had two first-half interceptions for the Cavaliers. His first, on the first play from scrimmage, ended Lewis' school-record streak of 206 attempts without an interception.
Lewis finished 18-for-32 for 160 yards.