Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - After replacing the injured Anthony Boone, Brandon Connette tossed two fourth-quarter touchdowns to lead the Duke Blue Devils to a 28-14 victory over the Memphis Tigers in a non-conference matchup at the Liberty Bowl.
Connette came in midway through the second quarter and completed 14-of-21 passes for 198 yards for Duke (2-0). Boone was 11-of-16 with 99 yards and a rushing touchdown before having the depart with an upper body injury.
Jamison Crowder caught a career-high 11 passes for 140 yards for the Blue Devils, while Juwan Thompson had 14 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown.
Paxton Lynch was just 14-of-24 passing for 148 yards in the Tigers' (0-1) season opener. Brandon Hayes had a team-high 39 rushing yards, and Tevin Jones reeled in two receptions for 49 yards.
Duke struck first early in the opening frame, as Boone ripped off a 23-yard touchdown to give the Blue Devils a 7-0 lead.
Duke was on the doorstep of adding to its lead early in the second quarter as it drove into Memphis territory, but Bobby McCain picked off a Boone pass and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown to tie the game up.
The Blue Devils regained the advantage. 14-7, at the 9:25 mark of the third quarter following an eight-yard touchdown rush by Thompson.
The seesaw continued early in the fourth quarter, as Jai Steib ran in an 11- yard touchdown for Memphis to knot up the score, but Duke took the lead less than two minutes later on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Connette to Issac Blakeney.
The Blue Devils sealed the deal less than three minutes later when Connette connected with Brandon Braxton on a 12-yard touchdown.
Duke nearly doubled up Memphis in total yards, 470-237.
09/07 20:41:49 ET
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