Connette leads Duke past Troy for a 38-31 win
Brandon Connette threw three touchdowns passes and ran for two more to lead Duke to a 38-31 win over Troy on Saturday.
Connette, a junior from Corona, Calif., had 324 yards passing and 55 rushing. The five touchdowns are a career high for Connette, who threw for four scores in last week's 58-55 loss to Pitt.
Josh Snead also had 108 yards rushing for the Blue Devils (3-2), who snapped a two-game losing streak with the victory.
Corey Robinson had 354 yards passing and two touchdowns for Troy (2-3), which lost its third in a row. Jordan Chunn added two touchdowns on the ground.
A holding penalty negated a 56-yard touchdown run by Troy's Brandon Burks with 9:37 remaining that would have given the Trojans the lead.
Duke's defense struggled in recent weeks, yielding 344 yards rushing in its loss to Georgia Tech two weeks ago and 424 yards passing to Pittsburgh last week.
While the unit had its troubles against the Trojans, it only allowed three points in the final 28-plus minutes, forcing a number of three-and-outs and not allowing a big play in that span.
Before then, the Blue Devils built two separate 14-point leads before allowing Troy back in the game.
After Chunn scored on a 1-yard run shortly before halftime, Robinson connected Wilson Van Hooser for a 40-yard touchdown reception to tie the score at 28 with 13:15 left in the third quarter.
Duke converted on three different third-and-longs on its next drive, retaking a seven-point lead when Connette spun his way into the end zone from 4 yards out with 9:46 remaining.
The Trojans pulled within four points — 35-31 — when Will Scott hit a 37-yard field goal with 12:44 remaining in the game.
But the Blue Devils' defense stiffened from there, and Troy's best offensive play — the 56-yard run by Burks — was called back.
Duke's Ross Martin kicked a 34-field goal with 31 seconds remaining to give the game its final score. Troy got the ball on its 22-yard line with a chance to drive for a game-tying touchdown, but the Trojans' last-second attempt at a Hail Mary was intercepted.
Troy had only 186 yards of total offense in its 62-7 loss to Mississippi State last week.