DURHAM, N.C. -- Sean Renfree passed for 274 yards and three
touchdowns to help Duke beat North Carolina Central 54-17 on
The Blue Devils scored touchdowns on offense, defense and
special teams for the first time since 2004. They improved to 2-1
for the first time since 2008, coach David Cutcliffe's first
Lee Butler notched Duke's first punt return for a touchdown
since 2001 as the Blue Devils bounced back from a 50-13 loss at No.
21 Stanford last week.
Josh Snead rushed for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass,
becoming the first Duke player since 1999 to accomplish that feat
in the same game.
Ross Cockrell intercepted two passes for the Blue Devils,
returning the second for a 32-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Jordan Reid passed for 218 yards and ran for a touchdown for
N.C. Central (1-2).
The Eagles, in their second year of full FCS membership, dropped to 0-3 all time against teams from
Duke led 27-10 at halftime despite getting outgained 200-198 in
total yardage and going 0 of 6 in third down conversions.
Butler led the charge, returning three punts in the first
quarter for a total of 106 yards. He set up Duke's first score, a
25-yard field goal by Ross Martin, with a 19-yard punt return.
When the Eagles punted on their next possession, Butler fielded
the ball and ran left to elude a pair of defenders, circled back to
his right - retreating 15 yards to change sides of the field.
Butler then turned the corner, broke a tackle next to the sideline
and sprinted the final 40 yards untouched for a 65-yard touchdown
to give Duke a 10-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Renfree added touchdown passes to Snead, Jamison Crowder and
Issac Blakeney to help Duke pull away from its in-city foe. The
schools, which squared off in football for just the second time,
are separated by about five miles.
The Blue Devils received a lift before the game when wide
receiver Blair Holliday returned to campus. Holliday participated
in the pregame coin toss and led the team on the Devil Walk, a
tradition in which Duke's players walk past cheering fans to enter
Holliday was injured in a watercraft accident July 4, suffering
a traumatic brain injury that left him in critical condition.
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Linebacker Myles Jack, who suffered a season-ending knee injury, said Thursday he decided to leave UCLA and enter the 2016 NFL draft because he wants to be compensated for his skills.
The tougher tests await down the road for No. 3 Baylor Bears, but coach Art Briles has seen enough of his Bears to know this is his best team.
A decision has been made that Randy Edsall will not be the football coach at Maryland next season, and discussions are taking place about how and when to separate, a source said Thursday night.
Florida State running back Mario Pender has been released from the hospital but could be given a medical redshirt if he cannot return to the field this season.
Tennessee chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek has issued a statement amid rumors that alleges coach Butch Jones fought and punched senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during a fall practice session.
With the addition of a few tweaks, UConn football coach Bob Diaco is still planning to bring a rivalry trophy with him to Florida on Saturday when the Huskies play UCF.