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ahh - the pagentry, ESPNU welcomes you to Carter-Finley, and its brand-spanking new turf!
Is it hyperbole to call this the biggest game of the Cutcliffe era? If we win, a bowl remains a distinct possibility. If we lose, no chance.Game on!
Here comes the Airborne offense!
Head Dude - it is no doubt the biggest game of the season - and a good start as Lewis finds a wide open Austin Kelly on 1st down.
Vernon spotting the two rubber-band-per-arm approach. It's a new one.
Thad comes out firing. 3-for-3 to open the game -- a passing game that resembles Texas Tech so far.
and 1st review of the game comes 3 plays in, as we look to see if Varner actually stepped out of bounds early - nope!
First running play goes to Boyette. Is Scott not starting?
1st run of the game out of the shotgun - i wonder if Thad will see any time under center at all!
and here comes a big 3rd and 5. Thad has yet to miss! Scott is a change of pace back now.
Great juke by Kelly for the first down ... and the chains keep moving deep into Wolfpack territory. Thad showing pinpoint accuracy on screen passes.
Austin Kelly with a terrific one on one move on the corner and scampers for the 1st down! Hey DB, you left a piece of intimate laundry on the field!
Ahh "Old Duke" returns with a delay of game on 1st and 10.
and Thad finds a soft spot in the middle of a zone for a big 1st and 10 at the 11 yd line.
But Thad now 6-for-6 with a strike downfield between the hash marks to the tight end.And Boyette strolls down the middle to the 1 -- First and Goal!
Boyette nearly gets in for 6!!! it is looking easy so far!
Oof - Boyette stuffed on 1st down - let's see if we spread the field a bit more.
King drops a sure touchdown pass -- suddenly 1st and goal at the 1 is 3rd and goal at the 3.
Ouch!! King drops a TD pass - big 3rd down here.
Touchdown!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Huffman -- perhaps a Jew?
Touchdown Airborne!!! Brett Huffman - Thad looking sharp!! 7 for 8, and the only incompletion was the dropped TD pass.
Early analogy:Duke is to quick TDs to start a game as Obama is to Nobel Peace Prizes to start a presidency.
With that strike Thad is now tied with Ben Bennett with 55 career TD strikes - Congrats Thad!!
BTW - i got my "Thad is Rad" shirts today - they look awesome.
In other games, Sam Bradford struggling early in his return -- the Texas Dudes need him to return to form quick so he's ready next week.
Wright rings the wide receiver's bell on first down!
Leon Wright with a huge hit on 1st down! And Russell Wilson's numbers look like Nintendo numbers, especially that TD/INT ratio.
In men's water polo scores, courtesy of ESPNU, Cal beat Pacific 10-6
With the passing attacks on display so far - we could have quite the shoot out today! Looking for Do The Wright Thing to make a play here.
Duke's front is getting absolutely no pressure on Wilson.
and the 1st pressure nets the 1st incompletion of the game from Wilson.
A lot of open running lanes right now for State.
The Duke defense is being absolutely shredded by the run and the pass.
Geez -- Wilson sits back in the pocket for five seconds, pressure finally comes, and he dances into the end zone from 10 yards out.We're tied at 7.
And State answers with a very impressive drive on its opening possession. The State football team may score more than the State basketball team at this rate.
In other news, Greg Paulus may have gotten the last start of his collegiate career today.
Duke's screens constitute its running game - short gains, but effective.
And first appearance for Desmond Scott, who emerges from a pile with a 7 yard gain.
Desmond Scott ... the Felix Jones of the Duke running attack. Except less injured.
Great scramble by Thad -- avoids the sack and scampers to his left for 6 yards on a first down to keep the drive going into Wolfpack territory.
A big 3d and 5 near midfield, and Lewis escapes from disaster, and rumbles up the middle for the 1st down!
Nice. I like the Scott-Jones analogy.
Great play fake by Thad!And a strike to Huffman down to the 10.
great play fake by Lewis - fooling the camera man - and finds Huffman down the field WIDE OPEN!
Let's hope the Heisman voters are watching #9 out there this afternoon.
And a big third down after Williams gets drilled going over the middle - let's hope he's okay.
The mark will be close - a good stretch by Huffman at the end.
Huffman again -- near the chains after a 3rd and 13 dump pass. I think he got it.
Boyette down to the 2. Time for another play action and look for Huffman in the end zone.
Boyette carries it down to the 1 1/2 for a second and goal - a 14-7 lead after the 1st quarter would be nice... The offense has looked SHARP!
Thad is RAD!! Up the middle on the QB Draw..
Thad a perfect fake handoff, strolls in around the corner for another Duke TD!
bad kick coverage allows Russell Wilson to start at the 37, not that he needs any help!
Duke's 14-7 lead holds up for 16 seconds as State strikes for a 63-yard TD. Yikes.
oh my goodness - NCSU answers with a 63 yd strike on 1st and 10 - and it's 14-13, pending the PAT.
Where's the defense for Duke!?! Where's the pressure?!? C'mon Airborne - let's bring it!
Vernon drops an easy 8-yard pickup on first down. Must've been the double rubber bands.
But Vernon makes it up with a nice grab for a first down at midfield! Great pass by Thad.
Huge 3d and 10 conversion to start the 2nd quarter, and another receiver goes down as Vernon limps off. And what's this? a run play?
2 run plays in a row - is someone jamming Coach Cut's headset?
Just gaping holes in the middle of the defense as Thad finds Varner WIDE open.
Wide open strike to Varner down the middle -- 30 yards to the 10! The receivers are getting open and THad is right on target.
2nd and goal from the 8; Lewis nearly throws a costly pick over the middle.
What a great play by Boyette to slide down the sideline, get open, and catch a perfect pass from Thad...for another Duke TD!
Touchdown Thad!! Raquan Boyette hauls in a nice touch pass from Thad... It's almost safe for Undude to retire that Renfree or die moniker...
now if the defense can just step up
Duke swarms the kick return -- hopefully a sign of better defense to come.
Pack gets poor field possession - which just means it will be a longer TD drive.
Leon Wright a second late for a pick six, but still with the nice stop on first down.
C'mon Duke D - show me at least a 3d down play! Huge holes everywhere.
how did this defense stifle VaTech in the 1st 3 quarters last week?
woah.. a negative yardage play for the Pack offense - unreal!
and a 3d and 1 upcoming from the 11.
Geez -- terrible tackling. Could've forced a field goal, instead State struts in and ties the game.
Tony Baker breaks a tackle - and we're going to be tied at 21 - defenses are looking absolutely pathetic.
Thad finds another wide-open receiver to start the drive for 20 yards.
I feel like Thad should try to take as much time off the clock as possible before scoring the TD here - only way we can stop the Pack offense.
No, I think we need to score and give enough time for them to score and us to get one more drive.
run on 2nd and short - it strikes me that the WR screens are more effective short yardage plays than runs.
4th and 1 - i bet Cut goes for it.
Not a good run by Williams -- I thought he could've taken a more direct route to the first-down marker. Duke going for it on fourth and 1! Might as well, since we won't stop them anyway.
Cut calls a time out - makes no sense to punt here, not with the way our defense has been playing.
I hope Cut doesn't change his mind. They haven't stopped us all day, so no reason to get conservative.
I don't like the call -- QB sneak, but it's enough for a first down.
Or is it? The officials will review.
QB sneak gets the 1st down - though the refs will take a look at this one upstairs.
Right now, you can draw a box starting 5 yds beyond the line of scrimmage - no Wolfpack has been there all day.
In field hockey scores, Louisville beats Virginia 6-2.
Who needs timeouts in the 1st half anyway - whoever gets the ball last will probably win.
Uh Oh! Big Fumble!
Oh no -- Boyette fumbles after breaking free for a first down. Huge, huge play. Wolfpack about to embark on 85-yard drive.
a State incompletion? wow - i think that's probably the second one all day.
i don't even remember the last NCSU 3rd down - and this 3d and 1 is easily picked up.
Huge 3rd and long coming up. Gotta make a stop.
Another negative yardage play! and a first 3d and long situation for NCSU ALL GAME!
Duke makes the stop! Nice pressure coming Wilson, and he lofts a pass into quadruple coverage. We'll finally see a punt.
pressure up the middle causes Wilson to get rid of the ball , and it falls incomplete! Duke forces a punt!
Nice field possession and plenty of time to drive down for points before the half.
1:41 left for Duke to try to go ahead before the half - I wonder if Duke will try go to Scott more with Boyette's fumble - guess not, Boyette gets the handoff.
State calls a timeout with 53 seconds left to try and stop Duke on 3rd down and get the ball back? Seems a little risky.
3rd and seven for Duke - a WR screen that gets batted down... unfortunate - as the screen was set up well
2 straight punts after an offensive clinic - a little adjusting necessary. and Wilson gets off another 20 yard scramble on 1st and 10.
A Sack for Duke! Finally, some semblence of defense. 16 seconds left for the Pack to do something.
With the Pack getting the ball 1st in the second half - a stop would be huge.
2nd half underway - with more of the same - the NCSU offense rolling - until Wilson nearly throws a pick
that dropped pick was huge - as Duke's defense has shown little signs of life so far.
wow! a stop by the Duke defense! that's two in a row. With the ball at midfield - Duke may be pinned fairly deep though
and Airborne will get the ball at the 3.5 yd line - not the ideal place to start a drive.
a bomb to Varner gets Duke out of the shadow of its own goal posts!! Duke picks up right where it left off.
And back to the ground we go with Varner for a 1 yard gain.
Vernon looks like the ultimate warrior with those rubber bands and the hair.
And the Ultimate Warrior gets another WR screen and gets it to the 3.
Thad Lewis with a TD strike to TE Danny Parker!! Wow - Thad is Rad!! I hope Undude is feeling bad about wavering on Thad v. Renfree earlier this season.
Dang it - and the lead lasts for about 8 seconds as Graham takes the kick back 93 yards for the TD
argh - a fumble near the goalline, a kickoff returned for a TD - not mistakes that a team like Duke can afford to make.
so we're left with more duke shredding the NCSU defense with WR screens.
Terrific scramble by Lewis, finds Varnar for a big 3d down pickup - new question - should Duke retire Thad's number?
the refs make a rare appearance - calling Duke for a false start.
Thad is like a surgeon - pump faking on the screen, goes down the sidelines for Kelly.
The Ultimate Warrior!! breaks two tackles, and scampers down to the 3!
Scott hammers the ball to the 1 - protect the ball here gentlemen.
big play on 2nd down as Lewis gets caught on the fake-boot.
But Thad makes up for it with the quick slant to Kelly for the score!! I don't think I've ever seen the Duke offense play better.
gentlemen - let's cover this kick shall we?
I'm still here -- just dealing with a sick little boy, who's only comfort is the antics of King Thaddeus!
delayed blitz from Airborne - and Vinny Rey gets a huge sack, setting up a big 3d and 12.
big dropped pass from Spencer - Rumbakumba had a hand in the breakup - but uh oh - the punter gets knocked down, and NCSU gets a fresh set of downs.
huge penalty - absolutely HUGE.
Wilson had a man open, but overthrows him deep - setting up another 3rd down.
Wilson scrambles around forever - and picks up some yards, though about 4 yards short of the 1st down at midfield, Pack to punt again.
duke ball at the 10. and here comes King Thaddeus and the Ultimate Warrior.
King Thad gets 6 on a QB draw on 1st and 10.
And Duke takes a 7 point lead into the 4quarter - still 15 minutes to go.
King Thad finds Williams down the field with another laser pass! all the way down to the Pack 38
A 3rd and 8 after a low WR screen pass - and another challenge for Duke - Thad is smothered on a sack - and Duke drops to 11 for 14 on 3rd downs, still remarkable. Duke now punting.
Wow! Huge break for Duke, as NCSU player gets hit by the ball - and Duke recovers at the 10!
Play is under review - but pretty clear it should be Duke ball.
No question that hit the State player in the back. We could look back and remember this play from Oahu, Nashville, or Boise several months from now.
Ultimate Warrior on another screen - gets the ball to the 6.
a 3rd and goal - let's see if King Thad can work some magic here.
Touchdown!Go Duke, F-them up!Go Duke, F-them up!
And the Ultimate Warrior - in the end zone - and the Duke fans go wild!!
Was that Thad's 5th TD pass? A run? What?
Remember I'm blind out here
Never mind just checked si.com
So far in 2009, Tim Tebow has 643 yds and 6 TDs through the air; 271 yds and 5 TDs on the ground; Thad Lewis has about 1600 yds and 12 TDs in the air; and about 40 yds and 3 TDs on the ground. So who's the Heisman candidate?
Isn't NCSU where THad first earned the Thad is Rad moniker from Undude?
and the Boo-birds are out at Carter-Finley - as Duke's defense forces another punt!
Duke goes 3 and out.
Would have liked to see Duke take some more clock there of course - but it's time for the Duke D to step up again.
a 4th and one - presuming that the Pack will be going for this one at the Duke 40
Baker is stuffed by Hatcher!!! Huge stuff - and Duke gets the ball back with 6 minutes and a 14 pt lead!
Here comes the clock killing stuff as Des Scott heads up the middle for 2.
Scott up the middle for 2 more, 3rd and 6; would like to see Duke kill the clock with the short passing game.
Thad Lewis! still the King - rumbles up the middle on the QB draw for the 1st down.
Two more first downs will just about do it - one of the happiest moments in recent Duke football fandom!
Duke runs 3 running plays - burns all of NCSU's timeouts, and will now punt to try to pin the Pack deep.
And another NCSU miscue on a punt, as the ball is apparently touched by a Wolfpack, and Duke recovers in the end zone for the "make it look pretty" touchdown.
The announcers call it a bad loss for State -- I say they should feel fortunate to have stayed close for three quarters!
NCSU gets the ball with 3 minutes left - and no timeouts - time for the fat lady to warm up the pipes!!
And Leon does the Wright thing, but picking off Wilson's pass.. Now Thad can just run the victory formation!!
Dudes you guys rock!Thanks for the lively and informative live blog. For one banished beyond the Rockies and poor this was a good enough substitute.
Coach Cut getting high fives on the side line - Thad kneels down on 3rd down, and maybe a punt on 4th down with 30 seconds left?
You gotta love Duke -- we take a knee even before we can fully run out the clock, just because we don't get the chance that often.
Thad kneels on 4th and 15 - 43 seconds left on the clock
oh my goodness - NCSU is spiking the ball to stop the clock.
You like at the schedule now, and with the exception of Miami and possibly Ga Tech, we have a shot in all of the others. We'll likely need 7-5 to go bowling, but at this point, just winning our first ACC road game since 2003 is enough.
And Duke makes the pick in the end zone. One more victory formation play.
Now we get a proper kneel to run out the clock.A big afternoon in Raleigh!First Obama, then Thad -- a big Columbus Day weekend for Dudes all across the land.
now I'm thinking Bowl!
Bob Harris quote to end all Bob Harris quotes..."Welcome back to the Duke Radio Network where your final score from Raleigh is Duke 49, NC State 28. You heard me right, I'm not mistaken, and I don't drink."
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