Ben Cohen


Duke Snaps Conference Slide

Forgive Jabari Marshall for his fourth-quarter excessive celebration penalty. The end zone must have looked so close, near enough for him to finally grasp and literally dive into, and his interception return for a touchdown was about to seal Duke’s first ACC win since 2004 and the first of the senior’s career.

Maybe he just wanted to get there quicker. After all, it had been a long three years on the other side. And after the day Duke’s newly stalwart defensive unit enjoyed, Marshall had plenty of reason to celebrate-even excessively.

The Blue Devil defense forced six turnovers-including four interceptions in the second half-and did not allow a touchdown, and a shaky offense suddenly became efficient after halftime as Duke routed Virginia 31-3 Saturday in Wallace Wade Stadium, snapping a 25-game ACC losing streak and exceeding its total amount of wins from the past three seasons combined.

Marshall wasn’t the only one celebrating, although he was the only one to earn a flag for Duke on the play.

Vince Oghobaase and Greg Akinbiyi were two of the last players off the field after hobnobbing with the student section, and before they retreated into the tunnel leading to the Yoh Football Center, they hugged and chestbumped one last time. Nose guard Clifford Respress, a high school trumpet player, did his best imitation of a maestro in conducting the marching band.

The party was, indeed, 25 games in the making.



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