Duke Controls Own Destiny in ACC and Beyond on Devil's Night

Mike KlineAnalyst IOctober 31, 2009

The strangest things just seem to happen on Halloween.

For Duke Football this Halloween proved to be extra sweet as the Blue Devils extended their ACC winning streak to three games after beating Virginia 28-17.

The win moves Duke (5-3, 3-1) into second place out right in the Coastal Division behind Georgia Tech.

After a field goal duel for most of the game, Duke looked dead in the water and was trailing 17-12 late in the fourth quarter.

But as the Devils have done for much of the year, they rode the arm of quarterback Thad Lewis to victory.

Duke now is only two games away from bowl eligibility with four games remaining. Of those four, two, North Carolina and Wake Forest, are generally considered by many winnable.

What may be the bigger story is that the Blue Devils actually have a chance to win the Coastal Division.

Granted there is still a long way to go, and Duke is not likely to be favored in any of their remaining games.

However, this team under second year coach David Cutcliffe, is doing something most, including Duke football fans, thought was impossible. They are competing and winning in the ACC.

The fact that Duke can say at this point in the season that they control their own destiny is mind boggling.

If you were to tell anyone that after their opening season loss to the FCS's Richmond Spiders they would have laughed in your face.

This team may be lucky, they may even be a fluke, but they are winning. And for the players and fans who have struggled through not just years but decades of failure, they will take wins anyway they come.

The Blue Devils are starting to show they can win close games, ugly games, road games, and games where they are favored and expected to win.

Cutcliffe has said that November is a key month for any college football team and this November Duke will have a chance to prove their worth.

Next up is arch rival UNC who is coming off a huge upset of Virginia Tech. Duke hasn't defeated the Tar Heels since 2004.

Seeing though as the Blue Devils are making making a habit of breaking losing streaks,  nothing would be better for them than to march into Chapel Hill and take back the Victory Bell.

But like everything else for this team, it won't come easy and they will have to fight for it.

If they somehow can pull off a fourth-straight win, as improbable as it sounds, it would set up a showdown with Georgia Tech with the Coastal Division Title on the line.

A lot has to happen for that to occur, but the fact that the Blue Devils have some control over the ACC and their bowl status may be nothing short of miraculous.