ACC Football Roundup
The ACC roundup …
DURHAMó Thaddeus Lewis threw two touchdown passes to Eron Riley, and Duke beat James Madison 31-7 Saturday night to give David Cutcliffe a victory in his coaching debut with the Blue Devils.
Lewis completed 17-of-28 passes for 141 yards with touchdowns covering 7 and 20 yards to Riley for the Blue Devils, who shook off a pregame weather delay and scored on four straight possessions to secure their first season-opening victory since beating East Carolina in 2002.
Clifford Harris added two 1-yard scoring runs for Duke, which snapped a nine-game losing streak with its most lopsided victory since a 40-14 rout of VMI in 2005. The Blue Devils had lost 31 of the 32 games that followed that victory.
Rodney Landers rushed for 96 yards and had a nifty 47-yard touchdown run for the Championship Subdivision’s Dukes (0-1). But he was just 4-of-9 passing for 51 yards, and allowed Duke to take control by turning it over on James Madison’s first two possessions of the second half.
First, he fluttered a pass deep in Duke territory and it was intercepted by Jabari Marshall, whose 67-yard return to the Dukes’ 22 set up Harris’ second touchdown six plays later that put the Blue Devils up 21-7.
Landers then opened the Dukes’ next drive by fumbling away a keeper, Greg Akinbiyi recovered at the 34 and six plays later Lewis found Riley in the end zone from 20 yards out to give Duke a three-touchdown lead.
Lewis put the Blue Devils ahead to stay with 5 seconds before halftime, hitting Riley with a 7-yard scoring pass to make it 14-7.
Riley finished with seven catches for 67 yards to help Cutcliffe become the first coach to win his Duke debut since Fred Goldsmith opened the 1994 season with a victory over Maryland.
Even Duke’s historically horrendous special teams got into the scoring act. Nick Maggio kicked a 27-yard field goal for the Blue Devils, whose kickers were a combined 3-of-11 on field-goal attempts during the 1-11 season that cost Ted Roof his job.
Nearly everything clicked for Duke under Cutcliffe, the former Mississippi coach whose December hiring reinvigorated a laughingstock program that had lingered at the bottom of the bowl subdivision for nearly two decades.
The start of the Cutcliffe era was delayed 1 hour, 27 minutes by lightning, but Duke’s offensive performance wound up being worth the wait.
Harris’ first touchdown run came on Duke’s second possession, was set up by a pretty 14-yard scramble by Lewis and capped an 11-play, 66-yard drive.
Maryland 14, Delaware 7
COLLEGE PARK, Md. ó Da’Rel Scott ran for 197 yards in his first college start, and Maryland used three quarterbacks in an attempt to generate some offense in a lackluster 14-7 win over Delaware. Scott carried 26 times and had runs of 40, 37 and 26 yards. The 5-foot-11, 192-pound sophomore totaled 137 yards rushing last season in nine games as a backup.
Boston College 21, Kent State 0
CLEVELAND ó Quarterback Chris Crane, who waited four years for his chance to run the offense, ran for two touchdowns to lead Boston College to a 21-0 season-opening win over Kent State.
Making just his second career start, Crane, a fifth-year senior who spent last season sitting behind former BC star and Atlanta Falcons starter Matt Ryan, completed 12 of 18 passes for 106 yards.