Duke’s pace gives Cards fits

By on October 15, 2016

By Conner Farrell–

The ACC showdown between seventh-ranked Louisville and the Duke Blue Devils resulted in a Cards win, 24-14. This game comes off the heels of U of L’s first loss of the season against the Clemson Tigers.

Unlike the other games this season, the Cardinal offense churned out their lowest scoring output of the season. It was clear from the first drive of the game that Duke was going to play the game very conservatively and the rest of the game followed suit.

Run the zone-read, quick runs to the outside and set up quick screens to get the ball into playmaker’s hands. This effectively neutralized the vaunted pass rush that U of L bolsters. The Cards failed to register any sacks or turnovers in a game for the first time this season. This series of quick plays resulted in the Duke offense being able to retain an average of four yards a play which set up many third down and manageable.

Petrino gave the Duke coaching staff credit after the game.

“It’s a little frustrating, there’s no doubt about it. They did an excellent job getting into third and shorts and converted,” Petrino said.

A major area of the game that the Duke offense controlled was the time of possession. By controlling the game at their pace, the Blue Devils effectively kept the high-powered Louisville offense on the bench.

The final time of possession stat in the game was 37:12 to 22:48 in favor of the Blue Devils. Duke dictated the pace and made the game into a grind-it-out type of game. This controlling of the pace also kept the crowd in check.

Petrino addressed the pace of the game.

“I think every season when you win games, and have a good season, there’s going to be one or two games that are very close and difficult. You know never know what’s going to happen, that’s why you go out and play,” Petrino said.

Perhaps Duke gave the rest of the nation the recipe to defeating the Cardinals in the future. This was the first full game Jackson was held in check for the most part and Duke remained in the game because of it. U of L now prepares for the second half of the season.

Photo by Karen Nguyen / The Louisville Cardinal

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