College Football: QBs shine in Duke spring game

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 26, 2011

Associated Press
DURHAM ó Duke coach David Cutcliffeís teams have been known for their quarterbacks. That even extended to Saturdayís spring game.
Redshirt freshman Anthony Boone led two second-half touchdown drives against the second-string defense to lead the White past the Blue 21-14 on Saturday in the Blue Devilsí spring game. Boone finished 7 of 13 for 94 yards with a scoring pass while playing for both teams.
Starter Sean Renfree played four series and was 8 of 14 for 105 yards with a 6-yard touchdown pass to veteran receiver Conner Vernon for the White.
Backup Brandon Connette threw for 102 yards and rushed for a TD for the Blue.
ěHeís a good runner ó we all know that,î Cutcliffe said of Connette. ěHeís become a better quarterback over the last two weeks. Heís grasped our system, and is going to secondary receivers. … He came out just looking picture-perfect.î
Desmond Scott rushed 16 yards for a touchdown on the Whiteís first possession of the second half to make it 14-all. Boone then put the White team up for good with a 32-yard TD pass to Tyree Watkins early in the fourth quarter.
ěWe got (done) a lot of the things we wanted to accomplish,î Cutcliffe said. ěWe looked at some different people, the quarterbacks in different circumstances and different units, and I was extremely pleased in that regard with the naked eye.î
Cutcliffeís teams at his earlier coaching stops have been defined by their quarterbacks ó from Peyton Manning at Tennessee to Eli Manning at Mississippi. Cutcliffe was offensive coordinator at Tennessee before becoming head coach at Mississippi. As he enters his fourth season leading the Blue Devils, he introduced a unique format for this yearís game with the QBs the only constants on the teams.
Renfree led the White team, reserve Brandon Connette was on the Blue, Sean Schroeder played all but a few series with the Blue and Boone spent most of his day with the White. The rest of the players shuffled back and forth between the squads.
Renfree primarily led the first-team offense against the first-team defense, while Connette, Schroeder and Boone each worked against a mix of the defensive reserves.
ěThe combination, just the changeup that it gives the defenseî can be productive, Connette said.