Both teams squandered scoring opportunities in the first 11 minutes of the contest. On its opening possession, Notre Dame drove inside the Duke five yard line but misfired on a 30-yard field goal attempt. At the 4:22 mark of the opening period, the Blue Devils marched to the Irish 24 yard line, but missed a 42-yard field goal.
Notre Dame took a 7-0 lead with 1:17 left in the second quarter when Jimmy Clausen found David Grimes open for a 25-yard touchdown pass to cap a five play, 58-yard drive. The possession was set up when Notre Dame recovered a Blue Devil fumble. The Irish then took advantage of a second Duke miscue, turning a lost fumble into a 25-yard scoring toss from Clausen to Duval Kamara with just four seconds prior to halftime.
The Irish extended the lead to 21-0 with 25 seconds remaining in the third period on Robert Hughes' 13-yard touchdown run. Notre Dame drove 69 yards on 13 plays while clipping 6:02 off the clock. Clausen's third touchdown pass of the game covered nine yards to John Carlson and pushed the score to 28-0 with 6:51 left in the final period.
Duke posted its lone touchdown of the day when backup quarterback Zack Asack scored on a six-yard quarterback keeper with 1:12 remaining in the game. Asack's touchdown capped an eight play, 49-yard drive that took 2:30 off the clock.
Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis finished the day 16-of-33 through the air for 121 yards. Eron Riley caught three passes for 50 yards while Justin Boyle paced the ground attack with 45 yards on eight attempts.
On defense, Michael Tauiliili logged double figures in the tackle column for the third straight week and fifth game of the season with a game-high 12 stops. Catron Gainey and Vincent Rey added 10 tackles each while Vince Oghobaase carded five tackles, two tackles for loss and one quarterback sack.
For the Irish, Hughes rushed for 110 yards as Clausen hit on 16-of-32 throws for 194 yards.
The game marked the fourth between Duke and Notre Dame and first in the series since 1966. The Irish have now won three of the four meetings.
Duke closes the 2007 season next Saturday against North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.