Duke 48, Tulane 27
DURHAM, N.C. (AP)
Tulane entered the game with a robust scoring average of 33.0, but that was deceiving. The Green Wave had lacked consistency, scoring 47, then 3, then 49 points. The trend continued at Wallace Wade Stadium as the Green Wave offense was held out of the end zone until the fourth quarter.
Tulane (2-2) did not force Duke to punt until the fourth quarter, allowing 451 yards through three quarters and 484 overall. Duke's defense limited the Green Wave, who scored 49 a week ago in their Conference USA opener against UAB, to 148 yards through three quarters.
''They just did a good job covering the quarterback and got after us pretty good,'' Tulane coach Bob Toledo said. ''They kind of got us out of our rhythm, so to speak.''
Tulane quarterback Ryan Griffin completed 14 of 29 passes for 188 yards. The Green Wave was held to 55 rushing yards.
''It was a tough team,'' Griffin said. ''Offensively, we put ourselves in bad situations in second- and third-and-long, which is why we struggled getting first downs. We didn't execute well enough, and they outplayed us tonight.''
Tulane was playing a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference for the first time in 16 years.
The Blue Devils (2-2) surpassed their previous scoring average of 18.3 points per game with 21 in the first quarter. Duke's first-quarter scoring drives lasted 2:03, 51 seconds and 1:57.
Renfree capped an 18-play, 75-yard drive in the second quarter with a 2-yard score, and his 7-yard scramble late in the third quarter gave Duke a 45-13 lead.
Before halftime, Renfree ran for a score and threw for 179 yards, and Vernon had five catches for 93 yards. The Blue Devils didn't punt until midway through the fourth quarter.
Vernon finished with six catches for 96 yards and moved up to seventh on Duke's all-time receiving yards list and third on its receptions list.
The only touchdown until the fourth quarter for Tulane came on Ryan Travis' 23-yard interception return in the first quarter. That was one of the few mistakes by the Blue Devils.
By then, Duke's defense, which shut out Boston College in the second half of a 20-19 win last week, had put together a streak of five quarters without allowing a touchdown.