Quarterback Sean Renfree completed 28-of-30 passes for 314 yards and one touchdown while rushing for 28 additional yards and two scores in Duke's 34-31 win over Navy on October 30.
Photo Courtesy: Brian Schneider
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DURHAM, N.C. - The 2010 football campaign provided fans with plenty of outstanding highlights. With the calendar year ending today, GoDuke.com takes a look back with its top 10 list of the best performances from the season – plus a few honorable mention entries.
10. Sean Renfree, Donovan Varner & Conner Vernon vs. Elon In the season-opening win over the Phoenix, the passing attack clicked with Renfree completing 31-of-39 passes for 350 yards and two TDs while both Vernon (10 receptions, 129 yards) and Varner (7 receptions, 123 yards, 1 TD) topped the 100-yard plateau.
9. Kelby Brown & Josh Snead vs. Alabama In defeat, this pair of true freshmen gave fans a glimpse of the future. Brown, seeing his first collegiate action, was on the field for just 19 snaps but produced four tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery while Snead rushed for 83 yards and posted the eighth-highest single-game all-purpose yardage total (187 yards) among Duke freshmen.
8. Cooper Helfet vs. Virginia En route to earning ACC Player of the Week honors, Helfet caught seven passes for a season-high 122 yards and one touchdown – a 30-yard strike from Sean Renfree – in the win over the Cavaliers. On the game-winning drive late in the fourth period, Helfet hauled in receptions covering 18 and 12 yards to produce a pair of first downs.
7. August Campbell vs. Boston College In making one of the most exciting defensive plays in recent Duke gridiron history, Campbell scooped up a fumble and darted 95 yards down the left sideline for a fourth quarter touchdown against the Eagles. The return, which established a new school record for longest fumble return for a touchdown, gave the Blue Devils life as prior to the return, Boston College held a 21-9 lead and were deep in Duke territory.
6. Brandon Connette vs. Virginia The rookie signal caller set a new school single-game record for points by a freshman (14) with two rushing touchdowns and a two-point PAT conversion on the ground. In the victory, Connette rushed 12 times for a season-high 78 yards and the two scores while completing his only passing attempt for 40 yards to tight end Cooper Helfet. In all, six of his 13 offensive touches resulted in a first down (5 rush & 1 pass).
5. Kelby Brown & Matt Daniels vs. Navy While Duke had many defensive heroes in the road triumph over the Midshipmen, Brown and Daniels stood out with their individual efforts. Brown had a season-high 12 tackles along with 2.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 quarterback sack and three QB pressures while Daniels’ tremendous open field tackle for loss on Navy’s Andre Byrd with less than one minute remaining all but sealed the victory for the Blue Devils.
4. Abraham Kromah vs. North Carolina The linebacker ended a spirited senior season with a game-high 20 tackles against the Tar Heels – one of 15 single-game outings of 20 or more tackles in Duke history. Kromah finished the year with a team-high 129 tackles and received All-ACC honors.
3. Kyle Hill & Desmond Scott vs. Virginia Hill and Scott make the chart for their respective efforts on one play – the 35-yard, game-winning touchdown run by Scott – against the Wahoos. With just under one minute remaining and Duke trailing by one point, Scott took a pitch, raced around the left end and sprinted down the sideline for the go-ahead touchdown, with Hill’s “highlight reel” block on Virginia free safety Corey Mosley springing him loose.
2. Conner Vernon vs. Wake Forest Vernon had a big afternoon in Winston-Salem with eight receptions for a career-high 181 yards and two touchdowns in the six-point loss to the Demon Deacons. With the 181 yards standing as the 10th-highest single-game total in Duke history, the Miami native had scoring receptions of 70 and 51 yards from Sean Renfree to become the fifth player in school history with two scoring catches of 50 or more yards in a single contest.
1. Sean Renfree vs. Navy For those fortunate enough to see it, Renfree’s performance in Annapolis was indeed one to remember. In guiding the Blue Devils to a 34-31 win over Navy, Renfree completed 28-of-30 passes for 314 yards and one touchdown while rushing for 28 additional yards and two scores. His pass completion percentage of .933 broke the previous school standard of .852 set by Spence Fischer against Navy in 1994 as the Scottsdale, Ariz., product utilized six receivers – including four with five or more catches (Cooper Helfet – 7, Conner Vernon – 5, Donovan Varner – 5, Desmond Scott – 5). Renfree was nearly flawless in the opening half, hitting on 17-of-18 throws as Duke converted five-of-seven third downs and held possession for 18:35 to claim a 24-0 advantage. The first half also featured 16 consecutive completions to match the school record held by D. Bryant, who connected on 16 straight attempts at N.C. State in 2000.
Honorable Mention Sean Renfree & Donovan Varner vs. Virginia Much like the No. 3 entry, this QB-WR duo earns recognition after converting 4th-and-20 from the Duke 21 yard line with just over one minute left in the game. Varner’s precise option route and Renfree’s perfect pass produced a 32-yard gain and kept alive what would be a game-winning, 10-play, 91-yard scoring drive that was capped off by Desmond Scott’s 35-yard run around left end.
Patrick Egboh vs. Georgia Tech Playing in the next-to-last game of his Duke tenure, Egboh posted a career-high nine tackles with a pair of quarterback sacks in Atlanta.
Will Snyderwine vs. Maryland In the midst of making a school-record 18 consecutive field goals, Snyderwine booted three-pointers on Duke’s first three offensive possessions to stake the Blue Devils to a 9-0 lead at Byrd Stadium. The Potomac, Md., native would finish the year with 95 points on 21 field goals and 32 PATs and receive first team All-America honors from the AFCA.
Bryan Morgan vs. Virginia The senior captain battled through injury to play all 76 offensive snaps as Duke totaled 489 yards – 230 rushing & 259 passing – and 55 points in the seven-point win over the Cavaliers.
Ross Cockrell vs. Virginia Cockrell logged five tackles, two interceptions and one PBU in the win over the Cavaliers. His first pick and 15-yard return paved the way for a two-yard touchdown run by Brandon Connette while the second set up a 47-yard field goal by Will Snyderwine.
Jay Hollingsworth vs. Miami The elder statesman of the RB unit, Hollingsworth came off the bench to spark Duke’s ground attack by picking up a season-high 69 yards on just 10 carries with a long run of 22 yards.
Charlie Hatcher vs. North Carolina The anchor of the defensive front posted a career-high 10 tackles – highlighted by a tackle of Tar Heel running back Shaun Draughn in the end zone for a safety – in the season finale.