The Blue Devils had little trouble moving the ball on offense, especially on the ground as they amassed 190 total yards rushing led by Josh Snead 108 yards and quarterback Brandon Connette who rushed for 55 yards and 2 scores.
Connette had another solid game completing 20-28 passes for 324 yards and 3 touchdowns though he did throw a pick on a bad throw. Connette, though greatly improved, still lacks accuracy on the deep stuff down field missing Jamison Crowder a few times, but he hit him enough to do some damage in the air. Crowder though made the most of it catching 7 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown on a 60 yard strike.
The most alarming part, even in the win, has to be the defense’s inability to get off the field. At times Troy did whatever they wanted and if the Blue Devils can’t find a way to improve their defense this could end up being another Duke team that will have to win via a shootout. And with the inconsistencies of the offense (see Georgia Tech), they may not always be able to do that.
Duke got a scare in the fourth quarter when Connette went down on a blind-side hit. He was able to come back in on the next series but had he not, true-freshman Parker Boehme, who the staff is hoping to redshirt, would be put in a very difficult position with no other scholarship quarterback healthy.
The Blue Devils head into a much needed bye week, more so for the defense than anything else. And while there has been no timetable on the return of quarterback Anthony Boone, an extra week with no game obviously gives him one more week to try and get healthy and perhaps back into the lineup.
However, it is the defense that has to do them most improving in the bye week and with Navy the first opponent post bye, it likely won’t get easier for them.