DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke Blue Devils dominated the Navy Midshipmen at Wallace Wade Stadium last weekend in all three phases of the game – offense, defense and special teams.
The Blue Devils’ exceptional defensive performance in holding the then eighth-ranked rushing offense in the country to 65 yards below their season average, helped to shed even more of the spotlight on the offensive performance of quarterback Anthony Boone.
After missing three weeks due to a fractured collarbone suffered against Memphis, Boone returned to action last week and completed 31-of-38 throws for a career-high 295 yards and three touchdown passes in Duke’s 35-7 victory over Navy.
Until Boone’s return, Brandon Connette had started three games for Duke and threw for 1,022 yards and 11 touchdowns, while rushing for 224 yards and six touchdowns in five games played.
As Duke heads to Charlottesville, Va. to take on the Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday, Boone and Connette have led the Blue Devils offense to a combined 133-of-191 completion/pass attempt ratio for 1,592 yards, 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Virginia head coach Mike London understands the challenge his team will face with an offense that features both Boone and Connette when his Cavaliers squad will kick off against the Blue Devils at 3:30 p.m.
”They have a two-headed attack that bodes well for them,” London said.
As a result of Duke’s dominant play last weekend, both Boone and Perry Simmons, who stabilized the defensive line against the Midshipmen, were recognized as Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Offensive Back and Offensive Lineman of the Week, respectively.
With the defense playing as effective a game as it had all season against Navy, Duke head coach David Cutcliffe was looking to keep his team focused on playing a tough grinding road game against a struggling ACC opponent.
“I think the biggest concern or issue we have just as far as being something a little different for us, it’s the seventh game of the year and only our second road game,” Cutcliffe said.
“So we’ve got to adjust gears quite a bit in that regard and focus ourselves into going and playing an ACC game on the road, which is always a huge challenge. Virginia is a very gifted, talented, big, physical team, which has always been a very difficult matchup for us in that regard. We have to work hard on being a physical team ourselves.”