DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke Blue Devils suffered their third straight loss as the Pittsburgh Panthers rolled to a decisive 31-13 win at Wallace Wade Stadium on Saturday.
While quarterback Parker Boehme threw for 248 yards, completing 23-of-42 pass attempts with one interception for Duke (6-4, 3-3), the Pitt defense kept him busy and eventually sacked him three times.
Boehme made the most of his first career start as he provided the Blue Devils’ only scoring touchdown – part of a rushing performance that included 11 carries for 80 yards.
Place kicker Ross Martin completed Duke’s other scoring sequences, booting two field goals from 27 and 51 yards out, and further extended his career-leading point totals.
On the other side of the ball, the Panthers (7-3, 5-1) wore down the Blue Devils defense, taking 81 snaps while rushing for 248 yards, passing for 180 yards, and scoring on every red zone opportunity they were afforded.
“They have physically strong guys up front, from the linemen to the tight ends,” Duke defensive end Kyler Brown said.
“That’s where they draw their strength from. They do a little misdirection here and there, to catch the eyes of the linebackers and the safeties.”
Pitt quarterback Nate Peterman was productive in completing 13-of-23 attempts and threw three touchdown passes to Zach Challingsworth (3 catches, 57 yards, 1 TD), J.P. Holtz (2 catches, 31 yards, 1 TD, and Dontez Ford (3 catches, 35 yards, 1 TD).
Deondre Singleton and A.J. Wolf led Duke’s defensive effort with 10 tackles apiece.
While the teams were tied 10-10 at halftime, the Panthers took advantage of their opportunities to take the lead, extend it and earn the win over the final 30 minutes of play.
“We gave up too many explosive plays,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said.
“They ran for under 100 yards in the first half and they ran for 178 and we rushed for minus two in the second half. You don’t even really have to get past that to understand what just happened. We don’t have that kind of margin. We’ve got to play consistently. For whatever reasons we have not.
That’s pretty obvious to everyone and I told our team, Cutcliffe continued; ‘There’s no reason to sugarcoat this. We got whipped in every phase badly and our only choice is to address it, but I can’t tell you anything to make you feel good. I usually have some source to make you feel good, but I’m not going to make you feel good. We should all feel bad. That’s the mentality right now.’”
Highlights – ACC Digital Network (TheACC.com)