Saturday, October 13, 2012

Nats' Magic Number: -1 (or +165)

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Jeez...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Nats’ Magic Number: 1

(Alex Brandon/AP Photo)

Scroll down for more on the Nats’ big win last night.

Saturday ACC Football

MR. COACH HAPPY (AP Photo)
DUKE @ VIRGINIA TECH (-9.5), 12:30 PM, TV: ACC Network (XM 190 SIRIUS 135) - If the Blue Devils find a way to upset the Hokies in Blacksburg, Virginia Tech might fire Frank Beamer and disband the program right there on the spot.  Look for the Hokies to improve defensively after giving up a “most ever to an ACC opponent” 48 points in Chapel Hill last week.

NORTH CAROLINA (-3.5) @ MIAMI, 2:30 PM, TV: ESPNU (XM 191 SIRIUS 123) - Probably the best game of the week.  North Carolina can probably outscore the Canes, don’t look for much defense in this one. 

MARYLAND @ VIRGINIA (-3), 3:00 PM, TV: RSN (XM 193 SIRIUS 136) - The Hoos are struggling and young Maryland gets more confident every game behind a stingy defense. 

BOSTON COLLEGE (-27) @ #12 FLORIDA STATE, 5:30 PM, TV: ESPN2 (XM 197 SIRIUS 128) - The Eagles are not good and Noles are pissed off...Doesn’t matter who calls the plays, FSU wins.

Clemson, Georgia Tech, N.C. State and Wake Forest have the week off.

*Point spreads for recreational purposes only.

ACC Football Links

FEDORA (Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)
By Heather Dinich | ESPN.com

Georgia Tech AD Dan Radakovich is confident Paul Johnson is the right man for the job.

This is a great story about leaders in the ACC's locker rooms who bring so much more than just football into the conversation.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney spoke out against Nick Saban's recent comments regarding no-huddle offenses.

BC is looking for some respect against FSU.

Can Duke end an 18-year bowl drought against the Hokies?

Midway through the season, the Tar Heels have settled in to Larry Fedora's pace.

Safety Anthony Nixon has been a pleasant surprise for the Terps' defense.

Virginia Tech linebacker Bruce Taylor has been the team's much-needed leader.

Virginia takes its uniform selection very seriously -- at least receiver E.J. Scott does.

FSU has plenty of reasons to remain optimistic.

Miami isn't going to rush to name its next AD -- nor should it.

Quote Of The Day

(AP Photo)
"In general, yeah, I'm going to smell the roses a heck of a lot more. It does change you. Anybody that says it doesn't, they're a lot stronger or more wacko than I am.”

UNC coach Roy Williams saying he has created a modest bucket list since his recent cancer scare.

Reports released yesterday say Ol’ Roy is feeling good and ready for Midnight Madness on Saturday. 

To read more, click here

Pictures Of The Day



Former Washington Senator player Frank Howard throws the cermonial first pitch prior to the Washington Nationals hosting the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 11, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
 Allen Craig #21 of the St. Louis Cardinals slides into second base as Danny Espinosa #8 of the Washington Nationals throws the ball to first to force out Yadier Molina #4 of the Cardinals in the top of the sixth inning. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Ross Detwiler of the Washington Nationals throws a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Four of the National League Division Series. Detwiler replaced Stephen Strasburg in the Nats’ rotation and last night he was almost flawless. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Tyler Clippard #36 of the Washington Nationals reacts after he struck out the side to end the top of the eighth inning. Jordan Zimmerman, Clippard and Drew Storen struck out eight of the ten batters they faced in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Jayson Werth (L) #28 of the Washington Nationals celebrates with his teammates as he jumps on home plate to score on his solo game-winning walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
J.J. Hardy #2 of the Baltimore Orioles bats in the game-winning run in the top of the thirteenth inning of Game Four of the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on October 11, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The O’s forced a game five as well. (Al Bello/Getty Images)
Down go the Reds.  Pablo Sandoval #48 and the San Francisco Giants reacts after defeating Cincinnati by a score of 6-4 to win Game Five of the National League Division Series and advance to the NLCS at Great American Ball Park on October 11, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers is showered in champagne by teammates celebrating after the Tigers defeated the Oakland Athletics 6-0 in Game Five of the American League Division Series at O.co Coliseum on October 11, 2012 in Oakland, California. Verlander pitched a complete game shutout as the Tigers advance to the American League Championship Series. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Nats' Magic Number: 1

Nats win! Nats win! Nats win!

Force Game 5 tomorrow night.
(Rob Carr/Getty Images)
To hear the audio of Charlie Slowes calling Jayson Werth’s walk-off home run on 106.7 The Fan during Game 4 Thursday night courtesy of D.C. Sports Bog/Washington Post, click here

To read more about the records set by the Nationals last night and Werth's 13-pitch at bat, click here.

Things That Make You Go...

Hmmm...
(T.A.H. Worldwide Media Photo)
So...that's where he is...

Nats’ Magic Number: Still 2

FRANK ROBINSON THREW OUT THE FIRST PITCH (Pablo Martinez Monsiviais/AP Photo)

Well...at least there was one thing to cheer about.  

Then the game started...

R.I.P. Alex Karras 1935 - 2012


AP DETROIT -- Alex Karras was one of the NFL's most feared defensive tackles throughout the 1960s, a player who hounded quarterbacks and bulled past opposing linemen.

And yet, to many people he will always be the lovable dad from the 1980s sitcom "Webster" or the big cowboy who famously punched out a horse in "Blazing Saddles." 

The rugged player, who anchored the Detroit Lions' defense and then made a successful transition to an acting career with a stint along the way as a commentator on "Monday Night Football," died Wednesday. He was 77.

Karras had recently suffered kidney failure and been diagnosed with dementia. The Lions also said he had suffered from heart disease and, for the past two years, stomach cancer. He died at home in Los Angeles surrounded by family members, said Craig Mitnick, Karras' attorney.

Karras played his entire NFL career with the Lions before retiring in 1970 at age 35. He was a first-team All-Pro in 1960, 1961 and 1965, and he made the Pro Bowl four times. He missed the 1963 season when he was suspended by NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle in a gambling probe. Karras was recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a defensive tackle on the All-Decade Team of the 1960s.

Karras later wrote an autobiography, "Even Big Guys Cry," and two other books, "Alex Karras" and "Tuesday Night Football." Lewand said Karras also loved to garden and cook.

Playing a not-so-bright bruiser in Mel Brooks' "Blazing Saddles," he not only slugged a horse but also delivered the classic line: "Mongo only pawn in game of life."

Several years before that, Karras had already become a bit of a celebrity through George Plimpton's behind-the-scenes book about what it was like to be an NFL player in the Motor City, "Paper Lion: Confessions of a Second-string Quarterback."

That led to Karras playing himself alongside Alan Alda in the successful movie adaption -- Karras and Plimpton remained friends for life, and one of Karras' sons is named after Plimpton. It opened doors for Karras to be an analyst alongside Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford on "Monday Night Football."

In the 1980s, Karras played a sheriff in the comedy "Porky's" and became a hit on the small screen as Emmanuel Lewis' adoptive father, George Papadopoulos, in the sitcom "Webster."

He also had roles in "Against All Odds" and "Victor Victoria." He portrayed the husband of famed female athlete "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias in the TV movie that starred Susan Clark, who later became his wife. The two formed their own production company and it was Clark who played the role of his wife on "Webster."

To read more, click here.

Quote Of The Day

(James Snook/US Presswire)

There were any numbers of reasons why Maryland didn’t hire former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, and while he may be right, comments about some of his Washington State seniors like this are one of those reasons...

"Some of (the seniors) have been great, and some of them have been very poor. Some of them have had kind of this zombielike, go through the motions, everything is like how it's always been, that's how it'll always be. Some of them quite honestly have an empty-corpse quality. That's not pleasant to say or pleasant to think about, but that's a fact." 

ACC Football Links

BERNARD (Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)
By Andrea Adelson | ESPN.com

Boston College is sticking with coach Frank Spaziani -- for now.

Clemson may turn to an in-house candidate for its open athletic director job. DeAndre Hopkins leads the ACC Sports Journal's player of the year watch.

Duke quarterback Sean Renfree practiced, but who will start Saturday remains a mystery.

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher remains confident he can be the head coach and offensive coordinator.

The audition begins for Georgia Tech interim defensive coordinator Charles Kelly.

Opportunities arise for Maryland safety Anthony Nixon.

Miami receiver Phillip Dorsett looks beyond his drops against Notre Dame.

Giovani Bernard is running like other North Carolina greats.

Brandan Bishop leads by example for NC State.

Virginia is treating its rivalry game against Maryland like a bowl game.

Virginia Tech players are not ready to label this a down year.

Dan Collins reports on what got the suspended six at Wake Forest into trouble.

Boston College is starting to see a pattern in its losses.

Clemson commit Robert Nkemdiche is getting pressure to consider Ole Miss. The best thing about DeAndre Hopkins? He's getting better.

Duke makes gains on defense.

EJ Manuel and Jimbo Fisher were on different pages about the pass game in the NC State loss.

(UVA Football/Twitter)
Al Groh is gone, but talent questions remain on the Georgia Tech defense, writes Mark Bradley in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

It is a quiet week of depth chart changes for Maryland.

Miami is looking to solve its defensive woes again.

North Carolina is on the move.

Relive NC State's win over Florida State through the eyes of fans.

Virginia begins the second half of the season looking for answers.

Fire damaged the Hoos' practice facility.

Virginia Tech is going to try to get back to the basics on defense.

Wake Forest kicker Jimmy Newman may have lost his starting placekicking job.
Twitter/UVA Football

Pictures Of The Day

Raul Ibanez #27 of the New York Yankees hits a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie Game Three of the American League Division Series against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on October 10, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Ibanez was pinch hitting for slumping Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez. (Al Bello/Getty Images North America)
No, you aren't seeing double.  Here Ibanez hits a game-winning walk off home run in the bottom of the twelfth inning to defeat the Baltimore Orioles in Game Three of the ALDS making Ibanez one of two pinch hitters to ever hist  two homers in a playoff game.   Al Bello/Getty Images North America)
Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper wears colored contacts as he looks on before an at-bat in the fifth inning of Game 3 of the National League division baseball series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina, left, scores a run in front of Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki on a sacrifice fly by Daniel Descalso in the sixth inning of Game 3 of the National League division baseball series against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, in Washington. Home plate umpire Joe West, right, watches the play. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pictures Of The Day

Duke Blue Devils head coach David Cutcliffe has words with an official during the third quarter of an ACC college football game played between the Duke University Blue Devils and the Univ. of Virginia Cavaliers at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham NC on Oct. 6, 2012. Duke won 42-17. (Ethan Hyman/Raleigh News & Observer)
 Duke wide receiver Conner Vernon (2) hauls in a 45-yard touchdown pass over Virginia cornerback Maurice Canady (26) during the fourth quarter at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina, on Saturday, October 6, 2012. Duke pulled away for a 42-17 win. (Chris Seward/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT)
North Caroliona's Quinshad Davis (14) leads the Tar Heels into Kenan Stadium for their NCAA college football game against Virginia Tech, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, in Chapel Hill, N.C. (Robert Willett, rwillett@newsobserver.com)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It’s Official: ACC Football Is Not Good

After another mediocre weekend of ACC football, the ESPN conference power rankings confirm what we already knew.  When it comes to football, the ACC is lousy.

How lousy you ask?

So lousy that only the WAC, MWC, MAC, Sunbelt and Conference USA rank behind the ACC.  For the first time this season, the Big 10 and the Big East have passed the ACC.

For comparison purposes, the first place SEC has a overall ranking of 95.6 and the ACC is sporting a whopping 47.8.

Ouch.

Former UVA Coach Fired By Georgia Tech

(Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Former Virginia head coach and current (until yesterday) Georgia Tech defensive coordinator has been “relieved of his duties” after a 32 game term.

Groh’s tenure concluded in a blizzard of points, yards and missed tackles. In the Yellow Jacket’s past three games, losses to Miami, Middle Tennessee State and Clemson, the Yellow Jackets gave up an average of 46 points and 573.3 yards. 

Opponents converted 31 of 46 third downs into first downs. Improbably, Tech fared slightly worse when opponents faced 3rd-and-7 or longer than 3rd-and-6 or less.

Tech gave up more than 40 points in the three consecutive games, the first time that has happened in school history.

“I think it’s a call to everybody, the coaches, the players, myself, everybody, that we need to do better, that we’re not giving up on the season and the way we’ve played is not acceptable,” head coach Paul Johnson said.

Hired following the 2009 season, Groh came to Tech after nine seasons as head coach at Virginia and boasting an NFL pedigree.  

After Tech’s 6-0 start last season, the Jackets were outscored 48-14 in the fourth quarter of the final seven games of the season and finished 8-5. Particularly devastating was a 30-27 overtime loss to Utah in the Sun Bowl, a game that Tech led 27-13 with less than seven minutes to go.

This season, Georgia Tech has been outscored 71-48 in the fourth quarter. In losses to Virginia Tech, Miami and Clemson, the Jackets have held fourth-quarter leads in each only to lose.

Groh will be replaced on an interim basis by secondary coach Charles Kelly.

Wolfpack Is “Team Of The Week”

N.C. State was selected as the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week following its stirring 17-16 upset victory over #3 Florida State.

The Wolfpack (4-2) made the most of a blocked punt with 2:27 left, which gave them possession at the Florida State 43. Mike Glennon connected on two fourth-down passes on the winning drive. The second went to Bryan Underwood for a 2-yard touchdown with 16 seconds left. Niklas Sade made the extra point to win the game. 

Florida State was the highest-ranked opponent N.C. State has defeated since beating the #2 Seminoles 24-7 in 1998. 

The Football Writers Association of America has named a national team of the week since the 2002 season. This is the eighth season that the award has been sponsored by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

ACC Players Of The Week

(Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)
Offensive back: Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina. Bernard rushed for a career-high 262 yards on 23 carries and scored a touchdown in a 48-34 victory over Virginia Tech. The 262-yard performance is the fifth-highest single-game rushing total in North Carolina history and the most ever gained against Virginia Tech in any game. Bernard became the first Tar Heel to rush for 200 yards in a game since Ronnie McGill totaled 244 against Wake Forest in 2003. His 11.4 yards per carry is a single-game school record.

Offensive lineman: Tyler Shatley, OG, Clemson. Shatley played 91 of 93 snaps and helped Clemson to 601 yards of total offense in the 47-31 victory over Georgia Tech. Shatley had five knockdown blocks and graded a career-high 91 percent. He did not allow a sack and provided many key blocks in the fourth period when Clemson ran for 114 yards to put the game away. 

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Receiver: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson. Hopkins had seven receptions for 173 yards and two touchdowns in Clemson’s 47-31 win over Georgia Tech. The 173 receiving yards rank as the fourth most in a game in Clemson history. He set the school record with 197 yards Sept. 29 at Boston College. Hopkins had touchdown catches of 58 and 35 yards, the second of which put the Tigers up 36-31. He then threw a 2-point conversion pass to quarterback Tajh Boyd to put the Tigers up 38-31. 

Defensive lineman: Thomas Teal, DT, NC State. Teal notched six tackles in the Wolfpack’s 17-16 win over No. 3 Florida State. He had two tackles for loss as the Wolfpack held the Seminoles scoreless in the second half. Teal helped the defense hold Florida State to 3-for-15 on third-down conversions. NC State also recorded four sacks against the Seminoles, a team that had yielded only six sacks in its previous five games. 

CANTY #4 (Chris Seward/Raleigh News & Observer)
Linebacker: Demetrius Hartsfield, LB, Maryland. Hartsfield led a strong defensive effort as Maryland beat Wake Forest 19-14 in its ACC opener. The Terrapins held the Demon Deacons to 241 yards of total offense, including just 45 in the second half and four in the fourth quarter. Hartsfield finished with 10 tackles, seven of them solo, one pass breakup and a sack. His sack of quarterback Tanner Price on fourth-and-15 with under a minute to play essentially sealed the victory for Maryland. 

Defensive back: Walt Canty, S, Duke. Canty spearheaded Duke’s defensive effort in the 42-17 win over Virginia with a game-high 14 tackles, three tackles for loss, and one quarterback pressure. With Duke nursing a 21-17 advantage early in the third period, Canty made three tackles in a four-play span that helped turn the momentum of the game. Canty helped Duke limit the Cavaliers to a combined 4-for-19 (21 percent) on third and fourth down after the Cavaliers entered the week at 46 percent (40-of-87) as Duke become the first team in 2012 to hold Virginia scoreless in the second half. 

TAPLEY (Robert Willett/raleigh News & Observer)
Specialist: Sean Tapley, WR, North Carolina. Tapley returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter in North Carolina’s 48-34 win over Virginia Tech. He finished with four kickoff returns for 152 yards. The touchdown was the first allowed by Virginia Tech on a kickoff since 1993, spanning an FBS-record 237 consecutive games. It was the first of Tapley’s career and the first for North Carolina since T.J. Thorpe had a 100-yard return last year at Clemson. Tapley also caught two passes for 43 yards and a touchdown in the win. 

Rookie: Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland. Diggs turned in his second straight 100-yard receiving game by hauling in five passes for 105 yards in Maryland’s 19-14 win over Wake Forest. His 63-yard reception in the fourth quarter, the longest by a Terrapin this year, set up the game-winning 1-yard touchdown run by Justus Pickett. He also had 20 punt return yards and 7 yards rushing, and ranks second in the ACC with 154.8 all-purpose yards per game.

ACC Football Links

SEAN ALLEN (center)
By Heather Dinich | ESPN.com

N.C. State is a team that defies explanation.


John Feinstein says ACC football remains awful.

Tony Barnhart says the league is irrelevant.

Clemson and FSU are the ACC's stats leaders.

Virginia Tech has accepted the fact it's an average team. Next step? Damage control.

Where does BC go from here? The Eagles have no answer.

How did the ACC grade this week? Better than BC.

Former UM equipment manager Sean Allen went along for the ride with Nevin Shapiro and he's talking about it.

UNC RB Giovani Bernard put up some eye-popping numbers against the Hokies' D.

Virginia quarterback Phillip Sims put the blame on himself for Saturday's loss to Duke.

Maryland's defense is worth watching.

N.C. State's win over FSU was one for the ages.

Pictures Of The Day

Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #39 U.S. Army Chevrolet, lead the field during the pace laps prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 7, 2012 in Talladega, Alabama.  (John Harrelson/Getty Images North America)
Former Boston College Eagle B.J. Raji #90 of the Green Bay Packers wears pink shoes for breast cancer awareness before a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America)
Members of the Colla 'Vella de Valls' start a construction of a human tower during the 24th Tarragona Castells Comptetion on October 7, 2012 in Tarragona, Spain. The 'Castellers' who build the human towers with precise techniques compete in groups, known as 'colles', at local festivals with aim to build the highest and most complex human tower.  (David Ramos/Getty Images Europe)
A fake hand sits on a picnic table as visitors to the Shocktober Fest enjoy a meal at Tulleys Farm on October 6, 2012 in Turners Hill, England. People dressed as zombies from around the United Kingdom have converged on Tulleys Farm in an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the most zombies together in one place. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images Europe)
New York Yankees' Ichiro Suzuki, right, of Japan, leaps past Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters to score a run on a double by Robinson Cano in the first inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series on Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Baltimore Orioles fans cheer during Game Two of the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on October 8, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Baltimore Orioles fan Mike Yoder poses before Game 1 of the American League division baseball series between the Orioles and the New York Yankees on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Why Not Duke? Duke Gets AP Top 25 Vote

RECORD-SETTER CONNER VERNON (Chris Seward/Raleigh News & Observer)
For the first time since 1994, Duke’s football team received a vote in this week's AP Football poll.

According the to the Raleigh News & Observer, the vote was cast by John Silver (surely his nickname is “Long”) of the Journal Inquirer (somewhere in Connecticut).

Silver told the N&O
:   
  
"Looking at the AP poll it was very hard this week to find teams 20-25. There's a glut of two loss teams and I didn't want to just blindly follow conventional wisdom.

I knew that there was little chance of Duke being ranked -- schedule strength -- and when I looked at Duke vs. Michigan and or TCU, I just felt that maybe we should add another team in the mix. At 5-1, it's a good start for Duke, though the schedule isn't tough outside of the 50-13 loss to Stanford.

The Blue Devils are scoring more than 40 points a game, are 2-0 in the ACC and have scored 76 points in wins over Wake and Virginia. That profile is one of a team that should get consideration in my opinion. If Duke wins at Va Tech , they would be 6-1 and 3-0 and certainly ranked. I think Duke should be on the radar with its kind of start.

I try to use those last couple of spots, when there are no obvious teams, to maybe highlight a rising team. I have put Ohio in the Top 25 for several weeks as I have done the same with La Tech. I think I have been proven right.

To me, it's trying to find teams to get in the mix and not only blindly following the polls of a week prior.

It came down to Iowa State or Duke for a spot and I felt, why not Duke?"

N.C. State was also part of the “Others Receiving Votes” category.

Florida State slipped to #12 and Clemson inched up to #16.

Nats’ Magic Number: 2

Our Washington Nationals (formerly your Montreal Expos) won their first-ever playoff game yesterday when they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 in the first game of the NLDS.
(AP Photo/Tom Gannam)
Here, the Nationals' Ian Desmond celebrates with Jayson Werth (28) and Michael Morse (38) after Morse and Desmond scored on a two-RBI single by Tyler Moore during the eighth inning. 

To read more, click here
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
The Nats' Tyler Moore celebrates in the dugout after hitting a two-RBI game-wining single...

Duke’s Vernon Sets ACC Reception Record

(Bernard Thomas/Herald-Sun/AP Photo)
Duke’s Conner Vernon caught two touchdown passes and set the Atlantic Coast Conference record for career receptions as back-up QB Anthony Boone threw four TD passes in his first start, helping Duke crush Virginia 42-17 on Saturday.

With his seven catches for 93 yards on the afternoon, Vernon now has 239 receptions in his career. Vernon surpassed Clemson’s Aaron Kelly as the ACC’s all-time leader in career receptions when he made a catch for minus-2 yards in the first quarter. The senior also hauled in a 37-yard touchdown on the Blue Devils’ second drive, and his 45-yard touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter put Duke up 18 points.

Duke starting quarterback Sean Renfree missed the game with an injured right elbow, and Boone threw for 212 yards without an interception in relief.

The victory gave Duke (5-1, 2-0) its best start to the season since the 1994 team won its first seven games.

Pictures Of The Day

Stephen Morris runs the ball for the Canes during their loss to NOTRE DAME Notre Dame in Chicago. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald)
Bruce Taylor #51 of the Virginia Tech Hokies brings down Giovani Bernard #26 of the North Carolina Tar Heels on October 6, 2012 at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Clemson fans reach out to the Tiger players during the Tiger Walk before the start of an NCAA college football game against Georgia Tech Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Clemson S.C.(AP Photo/ Richard Shiro)

Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins dives between Georgia Tech defenders Daniel Drummond, left, and Louis Young to the 1-yard line during the first half. (AP Photo/ Richard Shiro)

Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington runs out of the pocket in the first quarter. (AP Photo/ Richard Shiro)
A general view of Kenan Stadium during a game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the North Carolina Tar Heels on October 6, 2012 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Marcus Davis #7 of the Virginia Tech Hokies makes a catch for a touchdown against the North Carolina Tar Heels. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Tim Scott #7 of the North Carolina Tar Heels intercepts a pass intended for Demitri Knowles #80 of the Virginia Tech Hokies. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Demitri Knowles #80 of the Virginia Tech Hokies reacts following a touchdown. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder (3) runs for a touchdown past Virginia safety Brandon Phelps (21) during the first quarter of an ACC college football game in Durham N.C., on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Chris Seward)
Maryland quarterback Perry Hills (11) and offensive linesman Andrew Zeller (66) battle for a fumble against Wake Forest linebacker Zachary Allen, center, during the first half of an NCAA football game, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, in College Park, Md. Maryland recovered their own fumble on the play. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Maryland wide receiver Stefon Diggs (1) reaches for a pass, that went incomplete. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
A Hurricanes fan watches from the game from the stands at Soldier Field.  (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune)
Quarterback Everett Golson runs past Miami defensive lineman Anthony Chickillo during the first quarter. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune)
Notre Dame's Cam McDaniel runs down field during the fourth quarter. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune)
Army quarterback Trent Steelman (8) eludes Boston College defensive back Jim Noel (23) to score the game-winning touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, in West Point, N.Y. Army won 34-31. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

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