Herbert runs wild as Virginia Tech tames Duke
Khalil Herbert amassed 358 all-purpose yards, including a career-high 208 rushing with two touchdowns, to lead Virginia Tech to a 38-31 victory over Duke in Atlantic Coast Conference play on Saturday at Durham, N.C.
Herbert, a transfer from Kansas, carried the ball 20 times and also totaled 150 yards on three kickoff returns, including a key 83-yard effort right after Duke took a brief 14-10 lead with 11:27 left in the third quarter after Deon Jackson’s 10-yard touchdown run.
The return was initially ruled a touchdown before it was overturned after review. Six plays later, quarterback Braxton Burmeister scored the first of his two rushing touchdowns as Virginia Tech turned a four-point deficit into a 24-14 lead.
The Hokies (2-0, 2-0 ACC) would not trail again.
Burmeister started once again despite quarterback Hendon Hooker being available for the Hokies, and ran for 54 yards on 15 attempts while passing for 163 yards, one touchdown and one interception while completing 9 of 24 attempts.
Duke entered the game having committed 14 turnovers, but won the turnover battle 3-1 including a muffed kickoff return by Virginia Tech receiver Tayvion Robinson with 11:43 left in the first quarter that Jaylen Stinson recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.
However, the Blue Devils (0-4, 0-4) couldn’t capitalize on their most vital takeaway late in the fourth quarter.
With Virginia Tech looking to add to a 31-28 lead with 4:41 left, Duke senior defensive end Victor Dimukeje recovered a fumble at the Blue Devils’ 18-yard line.
But Duke lost a yard on three plays and was forced to punt. The Hokies then sealed the outcome on Herbert’s 60-yard touchdown run.
Virginia Tech totaled 324 rushing yards as a team, which surpassed last week’s 314-yard output in a win over North Carolina State.
Virginia Tech found itself significantly short-handed for the second consecutive week as it played without 21 players due to COVID-19 positive tests and contract tracing concerns. The Hokies were without 23 players last week.
Virginia Tech played without defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton for the second consecutive week. They were also without defensive backs coach Ryan Smith.
The secondary was among the most depleted without cornerbacks Jermaine Waller, Armani Chatman, Brion Murray, Devin Taylor and starting free safety Divine Deablo.
Duke quarterback Chase Brice completed 22 of 39 passes for 271 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
–Field Level Media