Duke 54, NC Central 17

Sean Renfree passed for 274 yards and three touchdowns to help

Duke beat North Carolina Central 54-17 on Saturday night.

The Blue Devils scored touchdowns on offense, defense and

special teams for the first time since 2004. They improved to 2-1

for the first time since 2008, coach David Cutcliffe’s first

season.

Lee Butler notched Duke’s first punt return for a touchdown

since 2001 as the Blue Devils bounced back from a 50-13 loss at No.

21 Stanford last week.

Josh Snead rushed for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass,

becoming the first Duke player since 1999 to accomplish that feat

in the same game.

Ross Cockrell intercepted two passes for the Blue Devils,

returning the second for a 32-yard touchdown in the fourth

quarter.

Jordan Reid passed for 218 yards and ran for a touchdown for

N.C. Central (1-2).

The Eagles, in their second year of full Football Championship

Subdivision membership, dropped to 0-3 all-time against teams from

the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Duke led 27-10 at halftime despite getting outgained 200-198 in

total yardage and going 0 of 6 converting on third down.

Butler led the charge, returning three punts in the first

quarter for a total of 106 yards. He set up Duke’s first score, a

25-yard field goal by Ross Martin, with a 19-yard punt return.

When the Eagles punted on their next possession, Butler fielded

the ball and ran left to elude a pair of defenders, circled back to

his right – retreating 15 yards to change sides of the field.

Butler then turned the corner, broke a tackle next to the sideline

and sprinted the final 40 yards untouched for a 65-yard touchdown

to give Duke a 10-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

Renfree added touchdown passes to Snead, Jamison Crowder and

Issac Blakeney to help Duke pull away from its in-city foe. The

schools, which squared off in football for just the second time,

are separated by about five miles.

The Blue Devils received a lift before the game when wide

receiver Blair Holliday returned to campus. Holliday participated

in the pregame coin toss and led the team on the Devil Walk, a

tradition in which Duke’s players walk past cheering fans to enter

the stadium.

Holliday was injured in a watercraft accident July 4, suffering

a traumatic brain injury that left him in critical condition.