Duke's effort falls short against Virginia Tech

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Close, but not quite. The Blue Devils just aren't ready yet to knock off a top-10 team, but take note of this program, despite its 34-26 loss to No. 6 Virginia Tech. Based on what Duke did today, the rest of the ACC is not safe. The Blue Devils proved they're not a pushover anymore, and with 25 seconds left in the game, they scored again. Had Duke been able to run the ball -- and the top three running backs have been banged up this season -- the outcome might have been different.

As for Virginia Tech, it can exhale. The Hokies' validity as a top-10 team will come into question, though, from outsiders unfamiliar with Duke's progress. You have to credit Duke's defense for holding the Ryan Williams under 100 yards rushing. Tyrod Taylor deserves credit for winning with the passing game, and that's the difference in Virginia Tech this year. We just didn't think Duke would be the team to point it out.