Defense Edges Offense in 07 Spring Game

DURHAM, N.C. -- Highlighted by Michael Tauiliili's 24-yard fumble return for a touchdown, the Blue Devil defense edged the offense, 47-46, in Duke's annual Spring Game held Saturday at Wallace Wade Stadium.

The 36-snap scrimmage featured a modified scoring system that allowed both sides of the ball to accumulate points on each play.

"I thought there was some good competition from both sides," said Duke head coach Ted Roof "A lot of guys got to play so that was good. There were some good things and some things we still need to work on to get corrected to improve our football team for next season. Overall, I was very pleased with the spring and knowing that we've made some strides to get better as a football team."

Thaddeus Lewis completed 13-of-21 passes for 169 yards with one interception to lead the offense. Ryan Wood led all receivers with three catches for 70 yards while Raphael Chestnut and Sheldon Bell had three grabs each for 20 and 17 yards, respectfully. Clifford Harris added a one-yard touchdown run and Joe Surgan booted field goals covering 19 and 24 yards.

"You can go one of two ways with a 0-12 season: you can go in the corner and feel sorry for yourself or you can pick yourself and say ‘we're going to move forward and we're going to suck it up and we're going to go to practice every day'," Wood said following the game. "That's what we've been doing--- we've been lifting hard and we came out and had 14 good spring practices and capped it off with a good spring game. That's just a testament to the character that we have on this football team this year. We have some fifth-year guys coming back and leading us and we have some other younger guys stepping up."

For the defense, Vincent Rey posted a game-best four tackles while Marcus Jones had two tackles for loss including a sack. Glenn Williams and Paul Thornton chipped in three tackles apiece and Charles Robinson added an interception.

"We knew that as soon as the season was over it was going to be all on us to make it work," Tauiliili said. "We were going to take our growing pains and we did that and now it's all on us. We have the right coaches in place and we put in the hard work in the off-season to get out here in the spring and throw our bodies around and get ready. We're not going to wait until preseason ball for that. It started right here."

Duke opens the 2007 season at home versus Connecticut on September 1.


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