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Virginia Falls to Duke, 20-13

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Clock management and play-calling doom another Cavalier effort

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Same London shit, different London day.

Down 20-13 and facing a 4th and 7 with under three minutes to play, Virginia head coach Mike London allowed the play clock to expire and set the Hoos back an additional five yards. Matt Johns' pass sailed wide as the Blue Devils brought pressure, and despite stopping Duke to get the ball back with thirty seconds remaining, the last-ditch drive by the Cavaliers came up short as a pass over the middle to Doni Dowling ran out the clock.

The loss was Virginia's first in ACC play this year and brought their overall record to 4-3. Duke improved to 6-1 and 2-1 in the ACC; David Cutcliffe's squad is bowl-eligible for the third straight year.

Johns got the start despite Greyson Lambert being cleared to play. Lambert had injured his ankle against BYU and missed the last two games. The word from the coaching staff was that both QBs would play but Lambert never saw any action despite Johns struggling on deep balls and—at times—appearing to have difficulty getting the play calls. Johns finished the day with more than 300 yards passing but completed less than 50 percent of his throws.

In a bright spot for Virginia, the run game got itself going. Kevin Parks and Khalek Shepherd pounded the ball between the tackles, with both averaging more than 4.5 yards per carry. Miles Gooch was the receiving star of the day with a career-high 129 yards on six receptions. Darius Jennings added 79 yards on three catches, finding most of his success running the seams out of a slot position.

Virginia outgained Duke 465 to 339 and limited the Blue Devils to only 4-of-13 on third downs. Jamison Crowder had another big day for Duke, amassing 99 yards and moving into third place on the ACC's all-time receptions list.

Dropped passes and a questionable turnover call hampered the Hoos early as they fell behind 10-0. Virginia fought back to tie the game at ten on an Ian Frye field goal as time expired in the first half.

Virginia returns to action at home against UNC-Chapel Hill on October 25th. Duke plays at Pittsburgh after a week off.