Devils Battle, But Fall to Vols 23-6

In only his second game as Duke's head coach, Ted Roof had Blue Devil faithful believing in miracles. Despite being over three touchdown underdogs and playing in front of 104,000 hostile fans, Roof's troops fought the Tennessee Volunteers for most of the game before finally succumbing 23-6.

All American quarterback Casey Claussen found Chris Hannon on a four yard touchdown strike as the Volunteers scored 17 unanswered second half points to hand Duke a sixth straight loss on the year.

However, unlike previous weeks the Blue Devils fought hard and actually were able to prompt the six figure crowd to boo their home team heading into halftime with the score tied 6-6.

After converting a third field goal to take a 9-6 lead, the Volunteers caught a break when Duke punt returner Jamin Pastore fumbled a return, allowing Corey Larkins to recover the ball at the Duke 37 yard line.

From there Claussen marched his team the remaining 37 yards, capped off the drive by finding Hannon in the corner of the end zone to extend the lead to 16-6.

Gerald Riggs, the third-string tailback, scored on a 12-yard run with 4:20 to seal the win.

Despite falling to just 2-7 on the season, the Blue Devils put together one of their best efforts of the season thanks to the steady play of the offense led by running backs Chris Douglas and Cedric Dargan's combined 180 yards on the ground. Douglas ended the game with 128 yards on 29 carries.

The passing game, which has been inconsistent throughout the season, provided balance thanks to the mistake free play of Adam Smith and Chris Dapolito as the Devils racked up 299 yards against the Tennessee defense.

The Blue Devils face Georgia Tech next week as they return to ACC play.

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