Duke explodes for 38 straight points in win over Georgia Tech

Duke’s Mateo Durant (21) carries the ball past Georgia Tech’s Bruce Jordan-Swilling (12) and Quez Jackson (44) during an NCAA college football game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)

DURHAM — Georgia Tech opened the game at Duke with a 75-yard touchdown drive. Tech also closed the first half with a 75-yard touchdown drive.

In between, the roof fell in on the Yellow Jackets.

Duke scored 38 straight points in between Tech scores, and the Blue Devils cruised to a 41-23 homecoming win over Georgia Tech.

It was Duke’s third straight win on homecoming and seventh in eight years. More importantly, it put the Blue Devils atop the ACC Coastal Division, tied with UNC and Virginia at 2-1 in conference. Duke is 4-2 overall and needs two more victories to qualify for a bowl game.

After surrendering the opening score, Duke tightened up on defense. In the next five Georgia Tech drives, the Yellow Jackets gained a total of eight yards as Duke logged 10 tackles for loss on the day and Victor Dimukeje became the first Blue Devil in three years to get three sacks in a game. He was the first to do it against an ACC foe since 2003.

The Duke offense also clicked early. Quarterback Quentin Harris had completions of 42 and 41 yards in the first quarter, setting up scores. The Blue Devils had struggled to move the ball early in each of the last two games.

Duke’s running game also pitched in. Deon Jackson rushed for two scores. Harris and wide receiver Eli Pancol each added scoring runs as well. Mataeo Durant had a career-high 38-yard rush but was ruled six inches shy of the goal after a replay review, setting up Harris’ scoring plunge.

Tech’s ability to slow the Blue Devils offense was hampered after linebacker David Curry, the team’s leading tackler, was ejected for targeting in the second quarter.

The Blue Devils also got a boost on special teams, blocking a punt for a touchdown for the first time since 2012.

Harris finished the game 11 of 20 for 176 yards passing. He also rushed for 38. Jalon Calhoun had four catches for 68 yards to lead Duke. Durant led on the ground with 74 rushing yards.

Duke now travels to the two Coastal teams that share the lead with the Blue Devils. Next Saturday, Duke will be at Virginia, and the Blue Devils close the month at North Carolina.