The thought of Duke in the ACC title game got a whole lot more realistic on Saturday.
The Blue Devils pulled away from Miami in the fourth quarter to win 48-30 and with two games to go is in complete control of the ACC's Coastal Division.
With Georgia Tech's loss to Clemson on Thursday and Virginia Tech's loss to Maryland earlier Saturday, the game between Miami and Duke served as a playoff game for the right to likely play Florida State in Charlotte.
You had a sense that it was Duke's night late in the third quarter when Ross Martin banked in a 48-yard field goal off the right upright for a 31-30 lead. But there was no sensing the fourth quarter that was about to come, as Duke reeled off 17 unanswered points.
Those came courtesy of quarterback Brandon Connette's fourth touchdown run of the game and a 33-yard backbreaker from Shaquille Powell, who had already caught a touchdown from Connette earlier in the game.
Those five rushing touchdowns were on the heels of an efficient Duke ground attack that tallied 358 yards on 39 carries. Oh, and the Duke defense wasn't too shabby either, forcing Miami into three punts and two turnovers on downs in its final five drives of the game.
Now the Blue Devils have a game lead on everyone else in the division with a game against Wake Forest and a pivotal game against North Carolina that could potentially serve as the Coastal championship game. Who'd have thought of that at the beginning of the year?
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