Duke misses OT field goal, loses at Georgia Tech

The Blue Devils have lost two of three since starting ACC play

ATLANTA — Quarterback Jeff Sims ran for 95 yards and threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns before leaving with an injury on the first play of overtime and Georgia Tech held on for a 23-20 victory over Duke on Saturday night.

The Yellow Jackets (3-3, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) have won two straight for the first time since they beat Miami and Virginia in November 2018. A 26-21 win last week at then-No. 24 Pittsburgh snapped a nine-game losing streak against FBS opponents.

A week after stopping a 13-game ACC losing streak, Duke (4-2, 1-1) floundered most of the game until Sahmir Hagans’ 81-yard punt return for a touchdown down the right sideline pulled the Blue Devils within 20-13 with 5:55 remaining.

The Jackets lost leading receiver Nate McCollum, who had eight catches for 101 yards, to an injury with 5:45 left in the game. They quickly punted, and Hagans ran the ball back 50 yards to the Georgia Tech 44. But a fourth down from the 39 resulted in LaMiles Brooks’ pass breakup on a drag route.

Georgia Tech’s defense had to make one last stand in regulation but couldn’t overcome three 15-yard penalties that advanced Duke to the 2, before tight end Nicky Dalmolin hauled in a TD catch to send the game to overtime.

The Jackets took a 23-20 lead in overtime on Gavin Stewart’s 37-yard field goal. On Duke’s lone possession of overtime, an offensive pass interference call against the Devils pushed the ball back to the 34 and Charlie Ham was short on a 52-yard kick to end it.

Georgia Tech outgained Duke 407 yards to 272 in total offense in regulation.

The Blue Devils entered averaging 35 points per game, fifth-best in the ACC.

A win would’ve given Duke its best start in the ACC since 2015. Instead, the Blue Devils drop into the middle of the pack in the Coastal Division. Leading receiver Jordan Calhoun was hurt early in the game and didn’t return.

Duke hosts UNC next Saturday.