DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Riley Leonard broke loose from a tackler and sprinted to the open for a 44-yard touchdown that highlighted Duke’s tough and physical performance that shocked ninth-ranked Clemson 28-7 in Monday night’s season opener for both teams.
Jaquez Moore added a 9-yard scoring run by beating multiple defenders to the near pylon on the right side in the fourth quarter for the Blue Devils (1-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), giving them an unexpected two-touchdown lead in a game they largely controlled in spite of numerous miscues.
That’s because Duke thrice held up after Clemson had pushed inside the 10-yard line — even to the 1 on two of those possessions — to hold the Tigers scoreless. The Blue Devils blocked two field goals and twice forced fumbles in those critical near-the-goal-line moments. And they made Clemson work to move the chains instead of moving the ball in chunks under new offensive coordinator Garrett Riley.
In short, the Blue Devils made the preseason ACC favorite look very, very ordinary en route to beating the Tigers (0-1, 0-1) for the first time since 2004.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll