Duke uses strong second quarter to complete comeback against Troy

Duke used a 21-point second quarter to overcome a slow start en route to a 34-17 win against Troy at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Troy, Ala.

Trailing 14-3 early in the second quarter, the Blue Devils needed a couple huge stops on fourth down and big scoring plays from quarterback Anthony Boone to take a 24-14 lead into the half. Although Troy was able to stop the bleeding in the second half, the game never felt within reach as the Blue Devils prevented the Trojans from reaching the end zone again.

Duke looked sloppy out of the gate, failing to reach the end zone in its first two drives and allowing Troy to advance the ball with ease. The Trojans averaged 6.7 yards per carry in the first quarter and had just one incompletion through the air as they put together two long scoring drives.

The Blue Devils finally found the end zone with a 30-yard touchdown scamper by Boone on their third possession, the first of redshirt senior's two rushing touchdowns on the day—a feat he had accomplished just once before in his career.

The redshirt senior captain mixed brilliance with mistakes through the air, finishing with 268 yards and a touchdown on 27-of-41 passing. Boone did not commit a turnover and tossed a couple beautiful passes for a fourth down conversions and a long touchdown connection, but missed a number of throws to open receivers throughout the game.

After Boone's score, the Trojans took over with good field position and the opportunity to retake an 11-point lead. But the Blue Devils were able to force a fourth-and-short attempt, and they came up with the stop they desperately needed when sophomore safety Deondre Singleton stood up and took down the Trojan running back Jordan Chunn in the back field.

The stop on fourth down gave the Blue Devils the ball in Trojan territory, and seven play later Duke took the lead with a two-yard jump pass from redshirt sophomore Thomas Sirk to tight end David Reeves. The touchdown pass was the first of Sirk's career and put the Blue Devils ahead to stay.

After a quick defensive stop and a Troy punt, Duke tacked on another score on a 49-yard connection between Boone and Issac Blakeney, who led the Blue Devils in the game with 90 yards on five catches. That long score gave the Blue Devils the 24-14 lead they took into halftime.

Both teams were able to move the ball offensively in the second half, but another stop on fourth down and a crucial third down stop in the red zone allowed the Blue Devils to limit Troy to a third quarter field goal.

Relying on a running attack that balanced carries between Boone, junior Shaquille Powell and redshirt senior Josh Snead, Duke milked the clock throughout the half while picking up Boone's second rushing score in the third quarter and a 48-yard Ross Martin field goal in the fourth.

Boone finished the day the Blue Devils' leading passer and rusher, finishing with 268 yards and a score through the air and 47 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

The win marks the Blue Devils' sixth straight on the road and gives the team a 2-0 record for just the second time since 1998.


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