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Hokies Beat #21 Duke

Turnovers help the Hokies end a 3 game slide and beat Duke.

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Tech pulled out a heard fought 17-16 victory over the #21 ranked Duke Blue Devils on the road. It was not pretty, but it was a victory none the less, which ended a 3 game slide, but continued the success they have had against ranked opponents on the road. It was more than just a number in the win column for Frank Beamer's squad, this win showed this team that they can win close games and that if they stick together they will have a shot to be victorious.

The key to victory was for Virginia Tech to establish a decent running game, which they did with JC Coleman and backup QB Brendan Motley. Freshmen starter Marshawn Williams left the game early with was is perceived to be a potentially season ending knee injury. Overall, the Hokies were able to run the ball for 145 total yards, including lost yardage due to 6 Duke sacks. Michael Brewer had a good enough outing where he completed 12-23 passes for two touchdowns and one interception. Freshmen standouts Isaiah Ford, Bucky Hodges and Cam Philips continued to play mature football and make plays all over the field, which helped Michael Brewer a lot in this grind it out affair in Durham.

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On the defensive side of the ball, Bud Foster's group showed up to play and really didn't break all afternoon. The defensive line gave great effort and kept Duke behind the chains, which allowed the speed in the defensive backfield to shine. Deon Clarke recorded an interception at a critical moment in the first half that led to a 98 yard touchdown drive by the Hokies offense. Overall, the defense recorded 4 sacks and 9 tackles for loss, while forcing Duke into turning the ball over 4 times. Special Teams coverage was also good all afternoon as the Hokies were able to force a Duke fumble on a kickoff in the second half that lead to another Hokies scoring drive on offense.

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Virginia Tech improved to 2-4 in the ACC and 5-5 overall and might have played the spoiler for a Duke team that before the loss controlled the Coastal Division. With the loss to VT, Duke falls to 4-2 in the ACC and 8-2 overall.

The Hokies will be back in action next Saturday as they travel to Wake Forest for a 12:30 kickoff against the Demon Deacons.