Virginia Beats Duke 28-21 in ACC Opener to Win Third Straight Game
Doni Dowling scored two touchdowns in Virginia's 28-21 win over Duke
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -
Virginia's defense limited Duke to just one third down conversion in the second half as the 'Hoos picked up their third straight win, beating the Blue Devils 28-21 from Scott Stadium Saturday.
The 'Hoos have now won three straight over Duke and have a record of 4-1, 1-0 ACC.
Virginia has already doubled its win total from last season.
"I was proud of our players for the resiliency they showed and have shown," says Bronco Mendenhall. "Again, its fun to see them smile. Its fun to see them happy. Its fun to see them exhausted, but also have a tangible outcome that they can look to and justify and continue the momentum they're generating."
Kurt Benkert completed 23-of-43 passes for 182-yards and three touchdowns.
Two of Benkert's passing scores went to Doni Dowling, who also had 52 receiving yards.
"We're clicking, we're in rhythm," says Dowling. "Benkert can drop back and throw and then hand off to Jordan Ellis. He runs somebody over. Its just a momentum builder and there's nothing the can do."
Quin Blanding gave the Cavaliers an early lead when he hauled in his 7th career interception and returned it 58-yards for his first career touchdown.
"Its just amazing to see it work," says Bladning. "We've been trusting it since last season. The offseason was a really big step forward for us and now look at us."
Duke responded by reeling off 14-straight points.
The Blue Devils picked off a Benkert pass and Jeremy McDuffie returned it 42-yards for a touchdown.
Blue Devils' quarterback Daniel Jones would then connect with Davis Koppenhaver for a 7-yard touchdown pass to give Duke a 14-7 lead in the second quarter.
The 'Hoos answered by scoring the next 21-points.
Benkert would find Olamide Zaccheaus for an 11-yard touchdown right before the break.
Then in the third quarter, Benkert would pass to Dowling for a five-yard touchdown to give UVa a 21-14 lead.
Dowling caught his second touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to give Virginia a 28-14 lead with 7:08 left in the game.
The Cavaliers continue conference play next Saturday when they head to Chapel Hill to take on North Carolina for a 3:30 p.m. kick off.
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