*****It was late in the game and Duke radio man Bob Harris was just saying on the broadcast that Duke was headed for their first bowl victory since 1961 and his partner Wes Chesson said that might be a bit premature and ‘Durham’s Finest’ proceeded to fumble the ball at the Cincinnati Bearcat 5-yard line…..Bearcats throw a long TD pass and then take a pick-six back for six more…..What a sad way to end a game and a season….Fumble by Josh Snead of Smithfield-Selma and the Devils go down……*****
Duke running back Josh Snead fumbled at the Cincinnati 5 with 1:20 left and Kay threw an 83-yard touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce with 44 seconds to go, lifting the Bearcats to an improbable 48-34 win over the Blue Devils on Thursday night.
Cincinnati’s Brandon Kay threw for 332 yards and his four scoring passes were a Belk Bowl record.
Duke appeared to have the game in hand and was driving for the go-ahead score — and its first bowl victory since 1961 — but the final 80 seconds proved disastrous. With the game tied at 34, Snead fumbled and Bearcats defensive lineman John Williams recovered.
Kay quickly took advantage of the change in momentum, connecting with Kelce down the middle for the go-ahead score. Kelce got behind the Duke defense on a seam route, caught the ball in stride and raced the final 60 yards to the end zone as Blue Devils fans looked on in stunned silence.
Cincinnati (10-3) sealed it on the next series when Maalik Bomar came crashing into Duke quarterback Sean Renfree, forcing a deflection that Nick Temple returned 55 yards for a touchdown.
Renfree threw for 358 yards — another Belk Bowl record — for the Blue Devils (6-7). Conner Vernon, the ACC’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards, had 190 catches for 119 yards and a touchdown in his final game for the Blue Devils.
*****That last part about Vernon and his 190 catches for 119 yards may be one of those ESPN misprints…..*****