Devils Show Well In Second Scrimmage

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke's defense recorded six quarterback sacks and forced a pair of turnovers while rookie running back Josh Snead rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns to highlight the Blue Devils' 40-play situational scrimmage on Friday morning at the Brooks Practice Facility.

"There were a lot of great lessons learned today," said Duke head coach David Cutcliffe following the session. "I thought it was everything I like as a head coach. Our defense set the tempo, and the offense fought back. There were some plays made in the red zone, which I'd been wanting to see offensively. I thought our defense kind of surged back for the most part there during third downs, and it's good to see some young players make plays."

Snead picked up his 116 yards on just seven attempts and had scoring dashes of nine and 65 yards.

"It was good to see Josh Snead today show up out there," Cutcliffe said. "His speed was extremely evident on the field."

Quarterback Sean Schroeder completed five-of-10 passes for 34 yards and one touchdown while teammate Brandon Connette was five-of-12 through the air for 109 yards and one score. Connette also was proficient during Duke's two-point conversion exercise, rushing for one conversion while finding wideout Tyree Watkins in the end zone for a second.

"Both of the conversions were great plays," said Cutcliffe. "The first one was on an option read by Connette. The play that he and Tyree Watkins made was a big-time play. That's another thing about the scrimmage is that Tyree Watkins continues to catch my eye, making big plays at receiver. I think he's becoming a heck of a playmaker. And another guy that caught my eye today making some plays – he's far from being consistent enough – but Cooper Helfet is doing the things we hoped he would do coming in here. He's just got to pick up his learning curve as far as getting comfortable in our offense."

Hauling in touchdown passes on the day were tight end Brett Huffman (15 yards from Schroeder) and wide receiver Tony Foster (65 yards from Connette).

Defensively, linebacker Tyree Glover had two tackles for loss including a sack while linebacker Abraham Kromah and defensive end Wesley Oglesby each recovered one fumble.

"I think also it's great schematically how much we've gotten in defensively in what we're doing," noted Cutcliffe. "We had to create some pressure, and probably the most important thing to me today was some legitimate pressure on the quarterback brought by our defense. I thought that was excellent. We're pretty good at protecting the passer, but I thought our defense today showed signs of being able to apply good pressure."

With seven of 15 spring practice sessions under their belt, the Blue Devils will take the weekend off before returning to the gridiron on Monday. The annual Spring Game is set for Saturday, March 27.

The Blue Devils open the 2010 season at home against Elon on September 4. Season tickets may be purchased online at GoDuke.com or by calling the Duke Athletic Ticket Office toll free at 1-877-375-3853. The Duke Athletic Ticket Office is located in Cameron Indoor Stadium and open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


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