Duke takes down Army in opener
By BOB SUTTON | Times-News, Burlington, N.C. | Published: September 1, 2018
DURHAM, N.C. (Tribune News Service) — Daniel Jones ran for a touchdown and threw for a score as Duke opened the season by defeating Army 34-14 on Friday night at Wallace Wade Stadium.
The outcome came with a strong fourth quarter for Duke, which avenged a 2017 road defeat.
"We were an efficient football team," Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. "We were efficient on offense and one defense until the second half when we gave up some big plays."
Army quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. threw for 197 yards despite Black Knights' run-first offense.
Hopkins' 3-yard touchdown run gave Army a boost at the end of an 11-play, 55-yard drive, closing the gap to 17-7 with 5:44 left in the third quarter.
That came after Duke linebacker Joe Giles-Harris went out with what he later said was leg cramps.
On the ensuing possession, Duke converted on Brittain Brown's fourth-down run before sophomore running back Deon Jackson's 7-yard run for his first career touchdown. Jones hit Johnathan Lloyd with two big pass plays on the drive.
Army stormed back with Hopkins' 45-yard pass to Cam Harrison. Duke countered with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Aaron Young.
Jones ended up 13-for-17 for 197 passing yards plus 43 yards on the ground. Young picked up 114 yards on four receptions.
The Blue Devils outscored Army 10-0 in the fourth quarter.
They also led 17-0 at halftime.
"That's a good feeling coming into the half," Giles-Harris said of the shutout at the time.
Earlier, Duke took advantage of a fumble on Army's first possession, converting on Collin Wareham's 25-yard field goal.
Army drove later in the first quarter but came up empty on Landon Salyers' missed 33-yard field goal attempt.
The Black Knights reached the Duke 30 in the second quarter after a fourth-down pick-up, but then fumbled on a pitchout.
Brown scored Duke's first touchdown of the season with a 12-yard, second-quarter run.
It was 17-0 after Jones' 61-yard pass to Young set up the quarterback's 1-yard keeper for a touchdown on the next play.
Duke improved to 9-2 in season openers under coach David Cutcliffe, yet it was the team's fewest points in an opener since a 2011 loss to Richmond.
The Blue Devils have won 10 of the past 13 matchups with Army.
- Army defensive lineman Alex Crawford, a Southern Alamance alum who had been injured in the preseason, didn't make the trip with the Black Knights.
- Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford was in attendance. So was former ACC chief Gene Corrigan, whose son, Boo Corrigan, is Army's athletics director and a former associate athletics director at Duke. Gene Corrigan is a Duke graduate.
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