Duke’s defense shut down a woeful Army offense allowing only a field goal and 168 yards of total offense to beat the Black Knights 44-3 to improve to 5-1 (2-0 ACC).
Army couldn’t get anything going on offense and turned the ball over three times in an uncharacteristically sloppy performance from a service academy.
A huge part of the reason why was the outstanding play from Tinashe Bere who was all over the place especially the Army backfield. That constant pressure forced the Black Knights to hurry up their triple option and that may have lead to those turnovers.
They were close several more times to giving the ball back to the Blue Devils, but the ones they did give up cost them because unlike in recent games Duke’s offense capitalized.
Led by quarterback Thomas Sirk, Duke put up 458 yards of total offense. Sirk looked more comfortable in the pocket, though that could have been because there was virtually no pressure coming from the Black Knights. He finished the game with 197 yards on 17 of 27 passing and a touchdowns.
Sirk was also the Blue Devils second leading rusher (53 yards) behind Jela Duncan who scored his first touchdown in more than two years while rushing for a game high 78 yards and a second score.
Duncan showed the type of power that the Blue Devils were accustomed to running through tackles and showing that burst of speed.
The offensive got some surprises as wide receiver Anthony Nash, hardly used in previous games got his second straight start and made the most of it catching 5 passes for 57 yards.
The big lead that Duke was able to build allowed them to rest some starters and allowed backup quarterback Parker Boehme to get some game action and he delivered completing all 3 of his passes for 46 yards and rushing for 27 more while scoring two touchdowns on the ground.
While the offensive explosion was a welcome sight for Duke fans who were getting frustrated with the dink and dunk offense of the last three weeks, it was against a clearly outmatched Army team.
The Blue Devils have a week off to prepare for Virginia Tech and try and heal up. Duke had several defensive players leave the game with injuries including Kyler Brown who was reported to have an MCL sprain, which could keep him out awhile.
Offensively the Blue Devils have to find a way to move the ball as easily against better teams. While Virginia Tech has scarcely looked like the Division favorite they were heading into the season they got a much needed win against NC State on Friday and will get a chance to get back in the Coastal race if they can knock off Miami next week.