Quentin Harris’ jump pass to Daniel Helm late in the third quarter put Duke ahead for good, and the Blue Devils beat reeling Miami 20-12 on Saturday night to hand the Hurricanes their third straight loss.
Deon Jackson scored on a 75-yard rush on the game’s first snap from scrimmage for Duke (6-3, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), which secured bowl eligibility and won at Miami for the first time since 1976. The Blue Devils had lost six straight at Miami.
Deejay Dallas had an 83-yard touchdown run for Miami (5-4, 2-3) and finished with 124 rushing yards, but also fumbled the ball away twice. Travis Homer had a game-high 133 rushing yards and a touchdown for the Hurricanes.
It was just the third time in the last 40 years that Miami, Florida and Florida State, the “Big Three” of college football in the Sunshine State lost on the same day. The others were Oct. 30, 2004 and Oct. 8, 2011 – though all three schools also lost last weekend, just not on the same day.
Miami started Malik Rosier at quarterback, and he completed 8 of 12 passes for 76 yards. N’Kosi Perry replaced Rosier early and they rotated throughout the game; Perry completed 3 of 10 passes for negative-1 yards.
Miami has not scored more than 14 points in any of its last three games. Miami got to the Duke 13 in the final seconds and Lawrence Cager caught what would have been a touchdown pass with 10 ticks remaining, but he was called for offensive pass interference and Miami’s last-ditch try from the 28 fell incomplete as time expired.
With the field waterlogged, thanks to a first-half downpour, both offenses struggled. But Duke found a way to create its own breaks on the drive that gave it the lead.
Facing third-and-3 at the Miami 15, Jackson took a handoff, stopped short of the line of scrimmage and threw a jump pass to the 6-foot-4 Helm – who couldn’t make the initial catch, but tipped the ball over 5-foot-11 Miami safety Jaquan Johnson, then dove and caught his own deflection as Johnson punched the turf in disbelief.
The go-ahead pass from Harris came two plays later.
Duke: Jackson finished with 113 rushing yards for Duke, which survived another Miami game that went down to the last play. The Hurricanes beat Duke on an eight-lateral kickoff return as time expired in 2015, but no such miracle save Miami this time.
Miami: Dallas’ touchdown run was the sixth-longest rush in Miami history, a run where he splashed with every step down the field. It was one of the few highlights for the Hurricanes, whose chances to repeat as ACC Coastal champions took an enormous hit.
The downpour that started shortly after kickoff left the turf at Hard Rock Stadium a complete mess. Countless puddles lined the field for most of the first half, and a considerable amount of grass was worn down to a layer of slick brown mud. That’s not good news for the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, who play on the same field Sunday at 1 p.m.
Duke: Host North Carolina on Nov. 10.
Miami: Visit Georgia Tech on Nov. 10.