Add one more completion for Duke redshirt junior quarterback Sean Renfree.
In leading Duke to a 20-19 victory over Boston College on Saturday, one of Renfree’s pass completions – a nine-yard strike to freshman Jamison Crowder – was credited as a completion for reserve quarterback Anthony Boone.
Renfree’s official passing line from that game has been changed to: 41-for-53 pass attempts for 368 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
His 41 completions sets a new school single-game record, moving him past the previous mark of 40 set by Thaddeus Lewis against N.C. State in 2009
Duke (1-2, 1-0 ACC) now heads into its home-game against Tulane on Saturday (3:30 p.m./ESPNU) with a confident quarterback and team that avoided a 3-0 start.
“Getting a win that’s where you get all your confidence from,” Renfree said. “I could care less how many completions I threw for, how many touchdowns I threw for. Getting a win makes you feel so much better, not only individually, but everybody on the team. And you feel that much when you go back to work at practice the next day. It’s almost like winning cures everything.”
Last week, Duke coach David Cutcliffe urged Renfree to “cut loose” after showing some hesitant play in losses against Richmond and Stanford, and the second year starter heeded that advice.
Looking like the quarterback who passed for 3,131 yards last season, Renfree finished with a career-high in yards and completed 77.3 percent of his throws – the ninth-best single-game mark in school history.
He’s been that accurate before and owns three of the top-nine completion percentage performances in school history.
Cutcliffe said offensive coordinator Kurt Roper challenged Renfree with his play-calling on Saturday.
“It kind of loosened him up,” Cutcliffe said. “He made some throws down field that he hadn’t been making. He also had lots of opportunities with our screen game. He got rolling.”
With his offensive line pass-protecting in front of him, Renfree fired a 53-yard, confidence-building touchdown pass to junior receiver Conner Vernon early in the second quarter to help start the team’s rally. It was his longest completion of the game.
Renfree was hit on the play and remained on the turf for a few minutes unable to get up. He didn’t know the Devils had scored a touchdown until Cutcliffe told him.
“I feel fine now,” Renfree said. “I feel much better after getting a win.”
Finding main targets senior Donovan Varner and Vernon, Renfree completed 21 passes in the second half. He spread the ball around to seven receivers, including to five for 50 or more yards.
Renfree, who struggled with 17 interceptions last season, threw his first of the season against the Eagles. He said ball-protection remains his highest priority.
Still, in helping the Devils to the first win of the season, Renfree takes needed momentum the rest of the season.
He didn’t care that he edged Lewis – who he was backup for in 2009 – in the record book.
“It’s not that big of deal,” Renfree said. “The best thing I feel about throwing that many completions is that I contributed to that win in a significant way. ... That’s what I’m most proud of.”