The Duke Blue Devils had an opportunity to avoid back-to-back losses as it visited Virginia on Saturday. However, behind a tough passing day from Daniel Jones, they fell by a 28-21 margin.
Each team got on the board first by throwing a pick-6, but it was the Blue Devils finding themselves unable to get past the Cavaliers in the end. Jones was inefficient, throwing the ball 42 times but getting picked off twice and was unable to make quality plays as he completed just 14 passes all game. Duke didn’t have a good bit of success running the ball, either.
Here’s what coach David Cutcliffe said after the Blue Devils fell to 4-2 (1-2 ACC) on the season.
On the performance overall, which saw Daniel Jones go 14 of 42 and throw 2 interceptions: “Obviously there’s not a lot pleasant to talk about in a seven-point loss. If we played as well as we could play, we could have had a different outcome, but we didn’t. The story is pretty simple: The passing game [has] got issues. It’s just somewhat disappeared. When they’re open, we’re missing them. When we hit them, they’re dropped. It’s just malfunctioning. That’s something we’ve obviously got to start finding answers for.”
On their second half performance: “The most disappointing thing is that we got whipped so badly in the second half. On third downs, they’re 7 for 11, we’re 0-for. They certainly ran the ball better. We didn’t at all. A lot of issues that we have to address.”
On why things aren’t “clicking” for Jones right now: “I just don’t think he’s throwing it extremely consistently. All the rhythm, all the timing, it’s got to be there. You’ve got to look at every aspect of everything that we’re doing and make sure that we’re putting him in the best position to be successful. All the throws that he’s not making, there’s a reason, so we’ll find that reason. Obviously we’re out sync – not just him; across the board. … I don’t think we’re doing anything very good in the passing game … and it starts with me.”
On the pass protection that only gave up two sacks: We had a good plan going in. I thought it was better. We still had some hurried throws that shouldn’t have been there. We had a miss or two of an assignment. Communication is so critical and pass protection is one of the things we’ve got to continue to grow in. There’s so much to it.”