(Photos) Panthers top Blue Devils 58-55

DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke Blue Devils couldn’t overcome trailing the Pittsburgh Panthers throughout a 58-55 loss at Wallace Wade Stadium on Saturday.

Quarterback Brandon Connette made his third career start for the Blue Devils, completed 21-of-32 passes for a career-high 323 yards while tallying a career-best four passing touchdowns and adding two rushing scores as well.

Even while throwing four interceptions, including one for a touchdown, Connette felt the game was always in the Blue Devils’ control.

“I’m really proud of the team, the way that we played and the way we kept on fighting,” Connette said.

“Special teams, defense, offense – we kept on fighting no matter what. We just kept on playing the way that we thought we should be playing. Unfortunately, we just came a couple of plays short.”

Wide receiver Jamison Crowder finished the game accounting for three touchdowns on the day (one receiving, one rushing, one punt return) and had 279 all-purpose yards on the afternoon (141 receiving yards, 109 punt return yards and 29 rushing yards).

In addition to the performances of Connette and Crowder, sophomore wide receiver Max McCaffrey (3 catches, 34 yards) made a spectacular leaping catch to record his first career touchdown to open the Blue Devils’ scoring late in the first quarter.

“It’s a tough loss, but tomorrow we gotta’ come in and get ready for Troy, the next one,” Crowder said.

“We never gave up. We kept fightin’. That’s always a plus, but at the same time there are things we gotta’ clean up. Hopefully we can have a good week and be ready to play next week.”

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