“I’m not sure I can put into words how difficult what we’ve been dealing with is,” Fuente said. “Just the uncertainty and the in and out and the last minute changes, but our kids continue to believe in the cause.”

After Duke took a 14-10 lead early in the third quarter, it was Herbert’s 86-yard kick return that provided just the spark Tech needed to get going. Herbert ran it back to the end zone on the return, but a review of the play showed him stepping out of bounds with a sliver of his big toe at Duke’s 16-yard line.

It was the program’s longest return since Demitri Knowles returned a kick 88 yards against Maryland in 2013. Herbert took back another return across midfield in the fourth quarter.

The performance drew Herbert for Heisman tweets from his teammates after the game, which drew a laugh from the running back in his post-game press conference.

“Oh man, nah, no thoughts on that,” Herbert said. “Just trying to celebrate this one with the guys and get back to Blacksburg.”

On the ensuing drive, Burmeister put Tech up 17-14 on a 2-yard run. He extended the team’s lead to 10 points on the next possession with a 14-yard touchdown run. He set up the score with a 56-yard pass down the middle of the field to receiver Tayvion Robinson.

He finished the game 9 of 24 for 163 yards with three touchdowns (one passing) and an interception. He carried the ball 15 times for 54 yards.

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