DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Sean Renfree passed for 274 yards and three touchdowns to help Duke beat North Carolina Central 54-17 on Saturday night.
The Blue Devils scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams for the first time since 2004. They improved to 2-1 for the first time since 2008, coach David Cutcliffe's first season.
Lee Butler notched Duke's first punt return for a touchdown since 2001 as the Blue Devils bounced back from a 50-13 loss at No. 21 Stanford last week.
Josh Snead rushed for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass, becoming the first Duke player since 1999 to accomplish that feat in the same game.
Ross Cockrell intercepted two passes for the Blue Devils, returning the second for a 32-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Jordan Reid passed for 218 yards and ran for a touchdown for N.C. Central (1-2).
The Eagles, in their second year of full Football Championship Subdivision membership, dropped to 0-3 all-time against teams from the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Duke led 27-10 at halftime despite getting outgained 200-198 in total yardage and going 0 of 6 converting on third down.
Butler led the charge, returning three punts in the first quarter for a total of 106 yards. He set up Duke's first score, a 25-yard field goal by Ross Martin, with a 19-yard punt return.
When the Eagles punted on their next possession, Butler fielded the ball and ran left to elude a pair of defenders, circled back to his right - retreating 15 yards to change sides of the field. Butler then turned the corner, broke a tackle next to the sideline and sprinted the final 40 yards untouched for a 65-yard touchdown to give Duke a 10-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Renfree added touchdown passes to Snead, Jamison Crowder and Issac Blakeney to help Duke pull away from its in-city foe. The schools, which squared off in football for just the second time, are separated by about five miles.
The Blue Devils received a lift before the game when wide receiver Blair Holliday returned to campus. Holliday participated in the pregame coin toss and led the team on the Devil Walk, a tradition in which Duke's players walk past cheering fans to enter the stadium.
Holliday was injured in a watercraft accident July 4, suffering a traumatic brain injury that left him in critical condition.
|DUKE||Ross Martin 25 yd FG|
|DUKE||Lee Butler 65 yd punt return (Ross Martin kick)|
|NCCEN||Andre Clarke 1 yd run (Oleg Parent kick)|
|DUKE||Jamison Crowder 33 yd pass from Sean Renfree (Ross Martin kick)|
|DUKE||Ross Martin 30 yd FG|
|DUKE||Josh Snead 18 yd pass from Sean Renfree (Ross Martin kick)|
|NCCEN||Oleg Parent 33 yd FG|
|DUKE||Josh Snead 5 yd run (Ross Martin kick)|
|DUKE||Issac Blakeney 54 yd pass from Sean Renfree (Ross Martin kick)|
|NCCEN||Jordan Reid 1 yd run (Oleg Parent kick)|
|DUKE||Ross Cockrell 32 yd interception return (Ross Martin kick)|
|DUKE||Jack Wise 6 yd pass from Anthony Boone (failed 2pt rush)|
|Third Down Efficiency||6-17||1-10|
|Fourth Down Efficiency||2-3||1-2|
|Kick Return Yds||152||50|
|Punt Return Yds||9||105|
|Time of Poss.||31:47||28:13|
|NCCEN: Andre Clarke 14-59, Adrian Wilkins 3-28, Arthur Goforth 3-12, Gary Douglas 5-11, Deyonta Wright 1-7, Jordan Reid 10--2, Decona Roberts 1--2, Matt Goggans 2--15|
|DUKE: Jela Duncan 6-50, Josh Snead 6-21, Shaquille Powell 6-18, Juwan Thompson 5-18, Sean Renfree 3-10, Jamison Crowder 1-7, Brandon Connette 1-3, Anthony Boone 1-1|
|NCCEN: Jordan Reid 17-26-218-2, Matt Goggans 2-5-21-0|
|DUKE: Sean Renfree 24-34-274-0, Anthony Boone 1-1-6-0|
|NCCEN: Marvin Poole 6-83, Decona Roberts 4-62, Arthur Goforth 2-21, Gary Douglas 2-11, DeMario Johnson 1-34, Jonathan Nicely 1-11, Lamar Scruggs 1-7, Nathan Scruggs 1-6, Rashad Daniels 1-4|
|DUKE: Jamison Crowder 7-84, Desmond Scott 5-56, Conner Vernon 5-51, Issac Blakeney 2-57, Josh Snead 2-24, Brandon Connette 2-8, Jack Wise 1-6, Juwan Thompson 1--6|