Duke and Baylor met Saturday, each coming in with two wins and no losses, in a rematch of last year’s Duke victory. This year was more of the same, as Duke led the whole way and finished with a 40-27 win. Quentin Harris had a largely successful debut, going 12/30 for 174 yards and 3 touchdowns. He missed on a lot of passes, but didn’t throw a pick, and his three scoring passes were each perfectly placed.
Duke defended well on the opening drive, forcing Baylor to kick. Marquise Waters then shot around the end and partially blocked it. After being forced to punt, Duke forced a fumble on the ensuing Baylor drive thanks to Josh Blackwell (forced fumble) and Deon Singleton (recovery). Deon Jackson scored his 31-yard touchdown run soon after. Later in the half, Harris hit on a 30-yard play-action pass to a wide open Rahming, then a beautiful throw to Lloyd in traffic (which he caught with one hand) in traffic for 66 yards. Collin Wareham added a midrange field goal to make halftime scoring 23-0.
Baylor scored two quick touchdowns to open the second half, one off a blocked punt, but Duke regained composure and went 75 yards in 11 plays to score on a gorgeous goal line fade to Rahming. Baylor responded a few drives later with a touchdown, but Wareham hit another field goal and Leonard Johnson iced the game with a 53 yard six pick in his first start as a Duke DB.
Deon Jackson continued to get significant carries, as Duke ran for 225 yards as a team, including 83 yards on the ground from Harris and 55 from Brittain Brown. Despite decent performances Baylor was tripped up significantly by some untimely penalties, and what felt like at least a half dozen drops by open receivers. One cannot deny, however, excellent performances across the Duke defense. Despite giving up some points, the Duke D-line generally dominated the trenches, and the secondary played well against some talented Baylor receivers.
This is a heartening performance given the significant injuries Duke has sustained. Harris played well after getting his feet under him, and the defense held up about as well as one could ask for. The Blue Devils have traditional FCS opponent North Carolina Central next week, and then kicks off ACC play by hosting #13 Virginia Tech.