Duke football: What went right/wrong against Notre Dame

Duke football lost to Notre Dame this past weekend 27-13. Let’s see what went right and wrong in that game.

What went wrong

Duke started out the game pretty good even though first drive ended after it decided to go for it on fourth down. The Blue Devils still were in the game throughout the first half.

The first thing that went wrong was being unable to slow down Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams. Williams finished the game with 112 rushing yards on 19 carries, adding 93 receiving yards and two scores.

Second was the inconsistency of the offense. Duke’s offense looked pretty good in the first half and kept the game close. However, when the Blue Devils had a good drive, they couldn’t punch it in the end zone. They must have a more consistent red zone offense next week against Boston College. When they weren’t in the red zone, they had a series of punts or turned the ball over.

Turnovers were a big problem for Duke on Saturday. The Blue Devils may have slowed Notre Dame’s offense at times, but they would often give it right back. They had two fumbles over the course of the game, which halted their comeback attempt. Duke still had a chance to pull away and win this game, and those cost them.

Finally, their running game was inconsistent. Deon Jackson was unable to find any holes in this game. He finished with 52 yards on 15 carries. His longest run was 12 yards, and he averaged 3.5 yards per carry. We’ll have to see if he can have a better game against Boston College.

What went right

Despite all this, Duke’s performance can be seen as a positive outlook for the rest of the season. Duke was able to hold off Notre Dame’s offense for most of the first half. First, even though Kyren Williams had a great game, the defense played solid throughout the game. It forced Ian Brook to make some bad throws and even force an interception after it looked like Notre Dame was going to score another touchdown.

Second was the ability to get off blocks. The defense finished with three sacks that game with five tackles for a loss. If Duke keeps up that level of play, it’ll give the offense more chances to get in the end zone and will lead to wins in the future.

Finally was Chase Brice’s performance. Even though it didn’t look like it at times, Brice played well in his first game as a Blue Devil. He was consistent with his throws and didn’t throw an interception over the course off the game. He had some struggles getting the ball into the end zone, but a lot of people didn’t expect the game to be this close and Duke was playing against a great Notre Dame defense. Expect him to play well against Boston College and give the Blue Devils their first victory of the season.

Duke’s performance overall should give Blue Devil fans something to be excited about and we’ll have to see how they go out and perform against Boston College this Saturday.

Photo by Hayden Adams | The Observer