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Duke beats Memphis 28-14

MEMPHIS, Tenn.— There were several times it could have all unraveled for Duke. Starting quarterback Anthony Boone was knocked out in the second quarter with a broken right collarbone. The Blue Devils committed three turnovers, each with momentum-changing potential. And the Tigers tied the game late, as Duke was struggling to generate sustained offensive drives.

Despite all that, the Blue Devils managed a fourth-quarter comeback and beat Memphis 28-14 in front of an announced crowd of 44,237 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Duke is off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 1998. There is no timetable for Boone's return yet—he will undergo an MRI Monday.

“It was a very good win for our program,” head coach David Cutcliffe said. “When things don’t go exceptionally well, often teams can crumble on the road, often when it’s their first game on the road, when you lose your starting quarterback. It seemed, when we came out and put one in the end zone, that it was going to be pretty easy on offense. Then it wasn’t.

“Fortunately, our defense played such good team defense. People everywhere they needed to be.”

Duke loses quarterback Anthony Boone, tied with Memphis at the half

Duke went into the locker room at halftime Memphis tied 7-7, but the Blue Devils’ starting quarterback, Anthony Boone, went back earlier in the second quarter with an upper body injury. He is done for the day.

Boone was replaced by backup Brandon Connette, who struggled to advance the offense on the final two drives of the half. Connette, a redshirt junior, finished the half 3-for-7 for 16 yards and took two sacks.

The Blue Devils (1-0) recorded 176 yards of total offense in the first half, with 61 rushing yards and 115 passing yards, 99 of which came from Boone before he left the game. Duke also committed two turnovers, though, one of which led directly to Memphis’s points.

Game preview: Duke at Memphis

Anthony Boone will make his first road start at Memphis. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

Duke at Memphis

When: 4:34 p.m. (EST)
Where: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee
Line: Duke by 4.5 (it opened at 7)
TV/Radio: ESPN3, WDNC-620 AM, WKIX-102.9 FM

Scouting Memphis: (0-0, 4-8 in 2012, picked to finish last (10th) in the American Athletic Conference)

The Tigers are one of six FBS schools to start their seasons after an open date. Memphis, which lost 38-14 in Durham last year in hapless fashion, will be breaking in a new starting quarterback in redshirt freshman Paxton Lynch, who beat out last year’s starter, redshirt senior Jacob Karam.

More on Duke tight end Braxton Deaver

Braxton Deaver (89) gets a warm reception from his teammates after scoring last week against N.C. Central. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

In today's paper is a story about Duke tight end Braxton Deaver that touches both his return to the field and his friendship with his roommates, quarterback Anthony Boone and wide receiver Brandon Braxton. Boone said it's been suggested that they should make a reality TV show detailing the happenings in their house. All three do have outgoing, dynamic personalities.

Duke depth chart: reviewing the true freshmen that played and projecting upperclassmen redshirt candidates

Cornerback Breon Borders waits for the game-ending interception to drop into his hands. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

Duke played five true freshmen in Saturday's win over N.C. Central. Head coach David Cutcliffe has said repeatedly that any true freshmen that don't redshirt will be expected to play a major role on the team. With that in mind, a breakdown of what each of the five did on the field, in order of number of snaps played:

CB Breon Borders

The unofficial newcomer of the year in training camp (based on number of times teammates offered unsolicited praise), Borders played 32 snaps and recorded his first career interception on the final play of the drive, returning it 19 yards before the final horn (for comparison's sake, Jeremy Cash played 49 snaps). Borders also recorded a pass breakup on the final drive of the third quarter.

1378555038 Duke depth chart: reviewing the true freshmen that played and projecting upperclassmen redshirt candidates The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Duke's Jamison Crowder among ACC Players of the Week

Thanks in large part to his first-quarter punt return for a touchdown against N.C. Central, Duke's Jamison Crowder was named the ACC Specialist of the Week. Crowder, a 5-foot-9, 175-pound receiver from Monroe, N.C., scored his first career special teams touchdown with the 76-yard return. It's the second time Crowder has received ACC Player of the Week honors—he was the receiver of the week in last year's regular season finale against Miami after recording a 99-yard touchdown reception.

Here are the rest of the awards—guess who is Rookie of the Week—as voted on by a panel of ACC writers, which includes Andrew Carter and myself:

Duke vs. Memphis: ask a Tigers beat writer

Jela Duncan and the rest of the Blue Devils had their way with Memphis last year. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

Read more here:

As mentioned last week, there's a new blog feature this football season! Each week, I'll (hopefully) talk to beat writer who covers Duke's opponent. Today we have Phil Stukenborg, who covers Tigers football for the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Links to his work can be found here, and Phil is on Twitter at @Phil_Stukenborg.

1. Last time we saw Memphis, the Tigers were struggling to do much of anything right in a 38-14 loss in Durham. Do you think the Tigers will be better this time around, as Justin Fuente begins his second year as head coach?

Read more here:

Rewind: looking back at Duke's 45-0 win over N.C. Central

Duke's defense, including cornerback DeVon Edwards (27), linebacker Kelby Brown (59) and cornerback Garett Patterson (24), shut down the Eagles Saturday. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

I hope everyone is enjoying their Labor Day. Here's a recap of our coverage of Duke's season-opening victory over N.C. Central. A big thanks to Chip Alexander for filling in for me:

••• Duke rolled to a 45-0 win, the Blue Devils first shutout since Steve Spurrier's last game in 1989.

••• Jeremy Cash made his Duke debut, along with other notes.

••• A photo gallery from staff photojournalist Chuck Liddy

And here's a look back, courtesy of Chip:

Game preview: Duke vs. N.C. Central

It's go time for new Duke starting quarterback Anthony Boone. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

Duke vs. N.C. Central

When: 4 p.m.
Where: Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham
Line: Duke by 33
TV/Radio: ESPN3, WDNC-620 AM, WKIX-102.9 FM

Scouting N.C. Central (6-5, 5-3 in the MEAC last year, picked to finish fourth this summer)

First things first: N.C. Central fired its head coach last week after he was arrested and charged with violating a domestic violence protective order. Now, he’s appealing his termination on the basis of the school violating his civil rights. Assistant coach Dwayne Foster, who coached the offensive line, is filling in on an interim basis, but still, the disruption can’t be helpful.

Duke defensive end Justin Foxx expected to play in opener

Justin Foxx (92) is healthy enough to play for Duke in the season opener. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

DURHAM—When Justin Foxx was a freshman, head coach David Cutcliffe used to find him cleaning up the locker room. That was an early sign of leadership from the fifth-year senior who was recently voted a team captain.

Now, Cutcliffe is happy that he will see Foxx on the field against N.C. Central on Saturday, as the season opener kicks off at 4 p.m. on ESPN3. At the beginning of training camp, Foxx’s ability to be ready for the first game was in doubt, as he was still recovering from an early Jan. knee surgery. It wasn’t until the second week of the preseason that trainer Hap Zarzour told Cutcliffe Foxx had a chance.

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