Jones, Brown lead Duke past Army, 34-14, in opener

Saturday, September 1, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. -- Daniel Jones threw for one touchdown and rushed for another score, helping Duke open with a 34-14 victory over Army on Friday night.

Jones was 13 of 17 for 197 yards with a 1-yard touchdown run and a 25-yard scoring pass to Aaron Young. Brittain Brown had a 12-yard touchdown run and backup Deon Jackson added a 7-yard score.

The Blue Devils responded to both Army touchdowns by scoring TDs of their own to win their opener for the seventh straight year and atone for their most recent loss - a 21-16 defeat at Army last November.

"Being able to push the ball down the field and keep the defense on their heels has been an emphasis of ours," Jones said.

Kelvin Hopkins Jr. was 10 of 21 for 197 yards - the most yards passing for Army since 2015 - with a short rushing touchdown and a 45-yard scoring pass to Cam Harrison.

That touchdown in the final minute of the third quarter pulled the Black Knights to 24-14. Jones followed with his TD to Young that restored Duke's 17-point lead, and Ben Humphreys effectively ended it by blocking Landon Salyers' 45-yard field goal attempt with less than 7 minutes left.


Army: The Black Knights, who led the Bowl Subdivision last season at 362.3 yards rushing per game but are replacing four starting offensive linemen from that team, were more willing to air it out with Hopkins. He threw more passes in the first half (five) than Army did in seven of its games in 2017, and finished with the academy's most yards passing since its 208-yard day against rival Navy three years ago.

"The things we wanted to do didn't turn out how we wanted to," Hopkins said. "They were moving fast laterally, couldn't get them reach-blocked and things like that. But our pass game was working, O-line was killing it, they were giving us time and things like that. So we just kind of went with what was hot at the moment."

Duke: The good news for Duke's defense: the Blue Devils recovered two fumbles from an Army team that lost just five of them during its 10-win season in 2017. Now, the bad: Duke's secondary was at times lit up by the option-oriented Black Knights, who have pretty much ignored the forward pass over the years.


Army: The Black Knights play their home opener against the newest FBS addition, Liberty, on Sept. 8.

Duke: The Blue Devils play the first of two straight nonconference road games against Power Five teams when they visit Northwestern on Sept. 8.