Scores

Final

James Madison 7

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Duke 31

(1-0, 1-0 home)

7:00 PM ET, August 30, 2008

Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC

1 2 3 4 T
JMU 7 0 0 07
DUKE 7 7 17 031

Top Performers

Passing: T. Lewis (DUKE) - 141 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: C. Harris (DUKE) - 17 CAR, 95 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: E. Riley (DUKE) - 7 REC, 67 YDS, 2 TD

Lewis, Riley help Duke win first game of Cutcliffe era

Associated Press

DURHAM, N.C. -- Thaddeus Lewis threw two touchdown passes to Eron Riley, and Duke beat James Madison 31-7 Saturday night to give David Cutcliffe a victory in his coaching debut with the Blue Devils.

Lewis completed 17-of-28 passes for 141 yards with touchdowns covering 7 and 20 yards to Riley for the Blue Devils, who shook off a pregame weather delay and scored on four straight possessions to secure their first season-opening victory since beating East Carolina in 2002.

Clifford Harris added two 1-yard scoring runs for Duke, which snapped a nine-game losing streak with its most lopsided victory since a 40-14 rout of VMI in 2005. The Blue Devils had lost 31 of the 32 games that followed that victory.

Rodney Landers rushed for 96 yards and had a nifty 47-yard touchdown run for the Championship Subdivision's Dukes (0-1). But he was just 4-of-9 passing for 51 yards, and allowed Duke to take control by turning it over on James Madison's first two possessions of the second half.

First, he fluttered a pass deep in Duke territory and it was intercepted by Jabari Marshall, whose 67-yard return to the Dukes' 22 set up Harris' second touchdown six plays later that put the Blue Devils up 21-7.

Landers then opened the Dukes' next drive by fumbling away a keeper, Greg Akinbiyi recovered at the 34 and six plays later Lewis found Riley in the end zone from 20 yards out to give Duke a three-touchdown lead.

Lewis put the Blue Devils ahead to stay with 5 seconds before halftime, hitting Riley with a 7-yard scoring pass to make it 14-7.

Riley finished with seven catches for 67 yards to help Cutcliffe become the first coach to win his Duke debut since Fred Goldsmith opened the 1994 season with a victory over Maryland.

Even Duke's historically horrendous special teams got into the scoring act. Nick Maggio kicked a 27-yard field goal for the Blue Devils, whose kickers were a combined 3-of-11 on field-goal attempts during the 1-11 season that cost Ted Roof his job.

Nearly everything clicked for Duke under Cutcliffe, the former Mississippi coach whose December hiring reinvigorated a laughingstock program that had lingered at the bottom of the bowl subdivision for nearly two decades.

The start of the Cutcliffe era was delayed 1 hour, 27 minutes by lightning, but Duke's offensive performance wound up being worth the wait.

Harris' first touchdown run came on Duke's second possession, was set up by a pretty 14-yard scramble by Lewis and capped an 11-play, 66-yard drive. But the Dukes tied it right away on Landers' long scoring run, with the dual-threat quarterback -- called "the Tim Tebow of I-AA" by Cutcliffe -- taking off right on a keeper, then cutting back left through the Blue Devils' defense to make it 7-all.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
JMU
DUKE
1st Downs1324
Total Yards239364
Passing51146
Rushing188218
Penalties6-603-40
3rd Down Conversions0-89-18
4th Down Conversions1-33-3
Turnovers32
Possession24:4135:19

Passing Leaders

James MadisonC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Landers4/9515.701
DukeC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Lewis17/281415.020

Rushing Leaders

James MadisonCARYDSAVGTDLG
Landers16966.0147
Holloman13554.2016
DukeCARYDSAVGTDLG
Harris17955.6254
Hollingsworth15463.109

Receiving Leaders

James MadisonRECYDSAVGTDLG
Caussin22814.0019
McCarter11212.0012
DukeRECYDSAVGTDLG
Riley7679.6220
Williams2199.5012

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERJMUDUKE
TD07:06Clifford Harris 1 Yd Run (Nick Maggio Kick)
Drive: 11 plays, 66 yds, 4:47
07
TD04:31Rodney Landers 47 Yd Run (Dave Stannard Kick)
Drive: 5 plays, 79 yds, 2:31
77
SECOND QUARTERJMUDUKE
TD00:05Eron Riley 7 Yd Pass From Thaddeus Lewis (Nick Maggio Kick)
Drive: 14 plays, 67 yds, 5:57
714
THIRD QUARTERJMUDUKE
TD11:53Clifford Harris 1 Yd Run (Nick Maggio Kick)
Drive: 6 plays, 22 yds, 2:03
721
TD08:56Eron Riley 20 Yd Pass From Thaddeus Lewis (Nick Maggio Kick)
Drive: 6 plays, 34 yds, 2:43
728
FG03:03Nick Maggio 27 Yd
Drive: 11 plays, 38 yds, 3:15
731