DURHAM, N.C. – Duke quarterback Daniel Jones was 13-for-17 passing for 197 yards and accounted for a pair of touchdowns, while running Brittain Brown rolled up 133 all-purpose yards and touchdown to lead the Blue Devils to a 34-14 victory over Army West Point in the season opener Friday night in Durham.
The victory improved Duke, coming off a seven-win season and a bowl victory, to 9-2 in season-openers under head coach David Cutcliffe. The Blue Devils have now won seven straight season openers for the first time since a similar stretch between 1949 and 1955.
The defense forced a pair of first-half turnovers and cashed in both for points as the Blue Devils opened a 17-0 lead at the break. Victor Dimukeje forced a fumble on Army’s opening drive and seven plays later, Collin Wareham’s 25-yard field goal opened the scoring.
Army misfired on a field-goal attempt on its next possession and Brown capped a nine-play, 90-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown to make it 10-0. Michael Carter II scooped up another fumble on Army’s next drive, and Jones paid off the drive with a one-yard touchdown in the half’s closing minutes.
The Black Knights scored a pair of third-quarter touchdowns, wrapped around Deon Jackson’s first career touchdown – a seven-yard run – and the home team took a 24-14 lead to the fourth.
Duke regained its 17-point cushion early in the fourth quarter when Jones hit Aaron Young for a 25-yard touchdown to make it 31-14. Ben Humphreys helped put the game on ice as he swatted away an Army field goal attempt, and Wareham booted his second field goal five plays later.
Dylan Singleton led Duke’s defensive effort with a game-high 11 tackles and one forced fumble. Koby Quansah finished with nine stops and was in on a tackle for loss while the duo of Joe Giles-Harris and Edgar Cerenord each finished with seven stops.
Duke out-gained Army 381-365 and the Blue Devils converted all five of their trips to the red zone.
Army QB Kelvin Hopkins Jr. completed 10 passes for 197 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown strike to Cam Harrison. Hopkins also accounted for the visitor’s rushing score.
Duke is back in action Saturday, Sept. 8 at Northwestern. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. ET on ESPNU.