Lewis completed 17-of-28 passes for 141 yards with touchdowns covering 7 and 20 yards to Riley for the Blue Devils, who shook off a pregame weather delay and scored on four straight possessions to secure their first season-opening victory since beating East Carolina in 2002.
Clifford Harris added two 1-yard scoring runs for Duke, which snapped a nine-game losing streak with its most lopsided victory since a 40-14 rout of VMI in 2005. The Blue Devils had lost 31 of the 32 games that followed that victory.
Rodney Landers rushed for 96 yards and had a nifty 47-yard touchdown run for the Championship Subdivision's Dukes (0-1). But he was just 4-of-9 passing for 51 yards, and allowed Duke to take control by turning it over on James Madison's first two possessions of the second half.
First, he fluttered a pass deep in Duke territory and it was intercepted by Jabari Marshall, whose 67-yard return to the Dukes' 22 set up Harris' second touchdown six plays later that put the Blue Devils up 21-7.
Landers then opened the Dukes' next drive by fumbling away a keeper, Greg Akinbiyi recovered at the 34 and six plays later Lewis found Riley in the end zone from 20 yards out to give Duke a three-touchdown lead.
Lewis put the Blue Devils ahead to stay with 5 seconds before halftime, hitting Riley with a 7-yard scoring pass to make it 14-7.
Riley finished with seven catches for 67 yards to help Cutcliffe become the first coach to win his Duke debut since Fred Goldsmith opened the 1994 season with a victory over Maryland.
Even Duke's historically horrendous special teams got into the scoring act. Nick Maggio kicked a 27-yard field goal for the Blue Devils, whose kickers were a combined 3-of-11 on field-goal attempts during the 1-11 season that cost Ted Roof his job.
Nearly everything clicked for Duke under Cutcliffe, the former Mississippi coach whose December hiring reinvigorated a laughingstock program that had lingered at the bottom of the bowl subdivision for nearly two decades.
The start of the Cutcliffe era was delayed 1 hour, 27 minutes by lightning, but Duke's offensive performance wound up being worth the wait.
Harris' first touchdown run came on Duke's second possession, was set up by a pretty 14-yard scramble by Lewis and capped an 11-play, 66-yard drive. But the Dukes tied it right away on Landers' long scoring run, with the dual-threat quarterback -- called "the Tim Tebow of I-AA" by Cutcliffe -- taking off right on a keeper, then cutting back left through the Blue Devils' defense to make it 7-all.
Nike Men's Duke Blue Devils Duke Blue Football Icon Legend T-ShirtShop
Daryl Gross, who spent a decade as Syracuse's athletic director, will start as Division II Cal State-Los Angeles' AD in July.
Freshman DB Chad Clay didn't last long with the Georgia football team, as the Bulldogs dismissed him following a second arrest in the past four months.
Brenda Tracy, who allegedly was sexually assaulted by four men, including two Oregon State players, in 1998 spoke Wednesday to the Nebraska football team.
A man who claims he told Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in 1976 that he was sexually abused as a teen by Jerry Sandusky asked a judge Wednesday to protect his identity and limit questions.
FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman joins The Paul Finebaum Show to share his thoughts on the upcoming National Championship race.
Urban Meyer, Thad Matta and Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith were among the crowd at the parade for the Cleveland Cavliers on Wednesday.
|William & Mary||6-2||9-4|