(Photos) Duke shuts out NCCU 45-0 at home

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Blue Devils stake claim to first shutout since 1989

The Duke Blue Devils started their season with a dominating 45-0 drubbing of the NC Central Eagles during the two teams’ Bull City Gridiron Classic game played at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, N.C. on Saturday.

It was the first time that the Blue Devils had shut out an opponent since beating North Carolina 41-0 on the road in 1989, and the first time doing so at home since 1978 when they beat Wake Forest 3-0.

Quarterbacks Anthony Boone (16-20, 176 yards) and Brandon Connette (5-8, 55 yards, 1 INT) combined to lead Duke’s no-huddle offense that took 77 snaps throughout the game and gave the Eagles defense little time to rest.

“Well, we played a lot of players in the first half, that’s the critical part of it,” head coach David Cutcliffe said.

“I think our secondary was really well aligned all day. We didn’t do a lot back there, but we defended and we defended and they got nothing easy.”

Duke rushed for 257 yards on 49 carries and four different running backs (Juwan Thompson, Josh Snead, Jela Duncan, and Shaquille Powell platooned effectively to make an impressive debut on the ground.

Kicker Ross Martin went a perfect 6-for-6 in converting PAT’s while finishing 1-and-1 in field goal attempts.

Starting at 1-0 and breaking a five-game losing streak since ending last season with a loss in the Belk Bowl, Cutcliffe is eager to get his team on the road next week against the Memphis Tigers, a team they beat last season at Wallace Wade..

“Memphis hasn’t played a game, they’re going to be fresh,” Cutcliffe said.

“They’re going to be different. Who knows what we’re going to see. Memphis will have different weapons than what North Carolina Central has on both sides of the ball.”