The Jackets head to the locker room at the end of the first half trailing 14-12. A two-point conversion attempt was stopped at the half yard line, a great effort by the Duke defense; stopping a Zach Laskey with a head full of steam from getting three yards is a tall order, but the defense was able to fill it.
A chill breeze is picking up, and the sky is darkening. We might see a very different second half in twenty or so minutes. For most Tech fans, that'd be a welcome change. The Jackets offense struggled in the red zone for much of the first half, not finding the end zone until the 0:40 mark of the second quarter. Penalties have also been a recurring theme: the Jackets have 6 penalties for 44 yards. All things considered, though, the Jackets could be in much worse shape. Thanks to a solid first half by the defense, Duke has only scored twice.
One of the biggest story lines of the first half is the ejection of redshirt-freshman DB Corey Griffin, who was called for targeting early in the first quarter. It was the first of many questionable calls, and ultimately set the tone of general frustration we have seen since then. The call came shortly after an offsides penalty gave a punting Duke a first down. The Devils capitalized on the costly mistakes and took a 7-3 lead.
Later in the half, the Jackets allowed the Devils to convert a 3rd and 25, which set up their next touchdown. The Jackets trailed 14-6 before finally scoring their lone touchdown late in the second quarter.
Justin Thomas leads all rushers with 81 yards. The Jackets hold a slim 203-193 advantage in total yards on offense. Tech will get the ball to start the second half. If the Jackets can avoid any more penalties, they should be in a good position to make it a close game.
What are you looking for in the second half? What do the Jackets need to change?