HALFTIME: Duke dominating NCCU
Just as promised, Duke has started the new football season with a balanced, effective offense.
The Blue Devils didn’t punt in the first half against N.C. Central, scoring four touchdowns and missing a field goal on their other possession to lead 28-0 at intermission.
Anthony Boone, in his first game taking over the Sean Renfree as starting quarterback, has been the peak of efficiency. Boone completed 14 of 17 passes for 154 yards. He has also run five times for 21 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown plunge in the second quarter.
Brandon Connette, Duke’s versatile backup quarterback, threw for one touchdown and ran for another. On those plays, Boone lined up at wide receiver with Connette taking the shotgun snap.
Connette’s touchdown pass was to junior tight end Braxton Deaver for 3 yards. Deaver missed last season with a fractured knee cap.
Jamison Crowder had the top highlight-reel play of the half, returning a NCCU puny 76 yards for a touchdown.
Duke’s offense has gained 272 yards in the first half, compared to NCCU’s 106. The Blue Devils are mixing in more running plays, just as coach David Cutcliffe said was the plan.
Duke has 156 passing yards with 116 yards rushing. The Blue Devils have attempted 24 rushes while throwing 18 passes.
The Blue Devils have played four running backs. Senior Juwan Thompson started and has 16 yards on four carries. Sophomore Shaq Powell leads Duke with 39 yards on five carries while fellow sophomore Jela Duncan has 18 yards on three carries.
On defense, redshirt sophomore Jeremy Cash has impressed in his first game for Duke. Cash, a transfer from Ohio State who sat out last season, leads Duke with five tackles, including one for a loss.
Sixth-year senior defensive end Kenny Anunike has Duke’s lone sack.