Virginia blown away by Duke, 42-17
Blue Devils score 28 unanswered second-half points to hand Cavaliers fourth straight loss
The reeling Virginia football team seemingly received a much-needed break before kickoff against Duke Saturday when Blue Devils redshirt senior quarterback Sean Renfree was ruled out with an arm injury. In his place, redshirt sophomore quarterback Anthony Boone made his first career start but looked like a seasoned veteran against a porous Cavalier defense.
Boone completed 18-of-31 passes for 212 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions to lead the Blue Devils (5-1, 2-0 ACC) to 28 unanswered points in the second half and hand Virginia (2-4, 0-2 ACC) its fourth straight loss, 42-17. The loss marked Virginia’s third defeat by 20 points or more in the last four weeks, matching the worst start in three seasons under coach Mike London.
Boone’s counterpart, Virginia sophomore quarterback Phillip Sims, had an up-and-down afternoon in his own first career start. Sims completed 21-of-42 passes for 267 yards but had no touchdowns and two interceptions. He was replaced by junior quarterback Michael Rocco for the team’s final drive.
Virginia took its lone lead of the game on the final play of the first half as junior placekicker Drew Jarrett converted his only field goal in three attempts to make the score 17-14. The Blue Devils scored touchdowns on each of their first two drives in both halves and built a commanding 28-17 by scoring twice in the first eight minutes of the third quarter.
Senior running back Perry Jones had his best performance of the season for Virginia in the loss, rushing for a season-high 101 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown.
Duke senior wide receiver Conner Vernon had seven receptions for 93 yards and two touchdowns to set the all-time ACC record with 239 career receptions.
Virginia hopes to avoid its worst seven-game start to a season since 2006 when it returns to Charlottesville to face Maryland Saturday.