Final - 2OT
  for this game

Duke outlasts Pitt in double-overtime

Nov 1, 2014 - 9:43 PM Pittsburgh, PA ( - Duke and Pittsburgh played another wild one, and this time it took overtime to decide a winner.

Thomas Sirk scored on a 5-yard run in the second extra period to lift the 24th-ranked Blue Devils to a 51-48 victory over the Panthers on Saturday at Heinz Field.

Last year, Pittsburgh pulled out a 58-55 win at Duke. The Panthers were in prime position to win this one with the final possession of regulation, but Chris Blewitt missed a 26-yard field goal attempt as time expired.

The teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime, as Anthony Boone ran 12 yards for a Duke score and James Conner answered for Pitt with a 14-yard TD run.

Pittsburgh had the ball first in the second extra period and failed to pick up a first down, forcing Blewitt to kick a 43-yard field goal. The Blue Devils then needed four plays to end the game, as Sirk found just enough room up the middle to reach the end zone.

Sirk, a backup quarterback used primarily in short-yardage situations, had just two carries, but both went for scores. He bulled in from the 1-yard line on the final play of the first half to even the contest at 28-28.

Boone threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns while adding 47 yards on the ground for the Blue Devils (7-1, 3-1 ACC), who have won three straight and sit atop the ACC's Coastal Division. Jamison Crowder was Boone's favorite target, catching nine passes for 165 yards and two scores.

"That was a classic college football game," said Duke head coach David Cutcliffe. "I am certain that will be on ESPN's long list of classics. I want to congratulate our team because that was a team victory. We were resilient, continued to fight and believed down to the very end. I certainly want to congratulate the Pittsburgh program and I have to say that James Conner is a special football player."

Conner had a monster day for Pittsburgh (4-5, 2-3), rushing for a career-high 263 yards and three scores on 38 carries. Chad Voytik threw for 236 yards with a pair of touchdowns and ran for a score in defeat.

"I'm certainly proud of the effort that the guys gave us today and all week," said Pitt head coach Paul Chryst. "It did not finish the way we'd like it to finish. Give Duke credit. They are a good football team. There were lots of plays in that game and it didn't come down to one or two plays."

The Panthers, who have lost five of six after a 3-0 start, had a chance to win the game with the final possession of regulation. Facing 3rd-and-3 from the Duke 48, Voytik beat a Blue Devils blitz by throwing the ball up for Dontez Ford, who came back for the underthrown pass and hauled it in for a 26-yard gain.

Voytik then ran twice for 14 yards to set up for a short field goal try with two seconds remaining. Duke called a pair of timeouts to ice Blewitt and the strategy worked when the kicker badly missed wide left as time expired.

Pittsburgh's first possession also ended in a botched field goal try thanks to a bad snap. The teams then combined for eight touchdowns on the next nine possessions.

Duke struck first when Boone threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Crowder to cap a 60-yard drive, but Pittsburgh answered with an 82-yard march and tied the game on a 1-yard run by Conner.

Boone then hit Shaun Wilson with a 10-yard scoring strike late in the first quarter and the Panthers again responded on the second play of the second quarter when Voytik took a quarterback draw 13 yards to the end zone.

Duke was forced to punt after its next possession and Pittsburgh went in front for the first time with a 68-yard drive that Voytik concluded with an 11-yard pass to J.P. Holtz.

Boone and Crowder hooked up for a 45-yard scoring connection just over two minutes later before the Panthers marched 85 yards in 6 1/2 minutes and opened a 28-21 advantage on Voytik's 3-yard toss to Holtz.

The Blue Devils still had 77 seconds left before the break and needed each one to tie the game. Boone and Crowder combined on a 27-yard pass that was ruled out of bounds inside the 1-yard line with three seconds left and rather than try a short field goal, Duke went for the touchdown and Sirk bulled into the end zone as time expired to knot the contest heading to the intermission.

After each team punted to start the third quarter, Duke drove far enough for a 23-yard Ross Martin field goal for a 31-28 lead. Pittsburgh answered with a six-minute drive and tied the game early in the fourth on Blewitt's 38-yard kick.

DeVon Edwards then returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to again put Duke ahead, but the Panthers marched 81 yards in 15 plays and tied the game with 5:18 remaining on a 1-yard Conner run.

Game Notes

Sirk has seven rushing touchdowns this season ... Duke improved to 15-1 in its last 16 regular-season games ... The Blue Devils last won seven of their first eight games in 1994 ... Conner's previous career best rushing day was 214 yards against Boston College earlier this year ... Pittsburgh still leads the all-time series, 10-9 ... The Blue Devils will visit Syracuse next Saturday, while the Panthers are idle and will next play on Nov. 15 at North Carolina.