Defense Shines In First Scrimmage

DURHAM, N.C. – Redshirt sophomore quarterback Sean Renfree threw for 153 yards while the Blue Devil defensive unit held the offense without a touchdown as Duke scrimmaged 70 snaps on Monday evening at Wallace Wade Stadium.

Renfree completed 12-of-17 throws for his 153 yards including long gains to sophomore wide receiver Conner Vernon (38 yards) and junior tight end Cooper Helfet (48 yards). Freshman Brandon Connette was four-of-13 through the air for 42 yards with one interception.

"Sean Renfree, I thought, played well, especially without the services for a good bit of time from some of his better receivers, and some banged up receivers," said Duke head coach David Cutcliffe. "Just his total command of the offense is pretty amazing. I knew he was good in that regard, and here is the thing you've got to take your hat off to Sean for at this point: here's a guy who has been out physically for a long time. What I can tell is he has absolutely studied and worked mentally, and he hasn't missed a lick in that regard. He's done a tremendous job in understanding what we want a quarterback to do. He's throwing the ball well; he's doing the physical things. But just the mental aspect of the game is what I'm most pleased with Sean about."

Redshirt junior wideout Josh Trezvant caught a game-high three passes for 32 yards while freshmen running backs Juwan Thompson (7 attempts for 23 yards) and Josh Snead (7-22) headlined the ground attack. Junior wide receiver Donovan Varner, who led the ACC with 65 receptions a year ago, was held out of action due to injury.

On defense, senior linebacker Damian Thornton posted three tackles for loss including one quarterback sack while sophomore safety Walt Canty had one tackle for loss and an interception. The Duke defense registered a safety when redshirt freshman linebacker August Campbell was credited with a sack of redshirt freshman quarterback Sean Schroeder in the end zone.

Redshirt junior kicker Will Snyderwine booted a 23-yard field goal.

The Blue Devils return to the practice field on Tuesday morning.

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