Defense Keys Duke's 47-13 Win Over Tulane

(Photo courtesy of Grant Shorin)

DURHAM, N.C. ( -- Duke returned a pair of interceptions for touchdowns and six different Blue Devils found the end zone to remain unbeaten in 2014 with a 47-13 win over Tulane at Wallace Wade Stadium. Senior wide receiver Jamison Crowder headlined the offense with six catches for 119 yards.

Duke (4-0) has scored 34-plus points in all four games this season and has allowed 13 or fewer in three of its four outings. The victory pushes Duke’s regular season win streak to 12.

Ross Martin, with eight points on the day, became Duke’s career points leader with 242. The junior kicker also moved to the top of the point after attempts list with 125. Anthony Boone finished 15-of-27 for 181 yards, while Shaun Wilson paced the running game with seven carries for 70 yards and one touchdown. Quarterback Thomas Sirk added five carries for 94 yards, including runs of 50 and 43 yards.

Duke wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, needing just 2:50 to jump ahead 7-0 on a Sirk touchdown. Sirk broke off a 43-yard run to put the Blue Devils in Green Wave territory and Boone added 22 yards on three ensuing carries to set up Sirk’s one-yard rush up the middle for the score.

Tulane (1-3) answered by marching 85 yards down the field with Dontrell Hilliard capping the drive with a five-yard rush up the middle into the end zone. Quarterback Tanner Lee connected on five-of-six passes for 55 yards, including a 20-yard strike to Leondre James to the Blue Devil five.

Boone’s good start to the afternoon continued on Duke’s second drive as he connected on 5-of-7 passes for 73 yards. The redshirt-senior signal caller found Jamison Crowder for 32 yards to the 1-yard line and one play later Josh Snead punched it into the end zone for his first touchdown of the season and a 14-7 Duke lead.

The Blue Devil defense, after an outstanding series resulted in a safety near the end of the first quarter, kept Tulane off the scoreboard with a pair of interceptions. Jeremy Cash hauled in the first pick and Zavier Carmichael grabbed the second to send Duke into halftime with the 19-7 advantage.

A trio of Blue Devils finished the game with 11 tackles apiece as Cash posted his second double-digit tackles performance and David Helton notched double-digit stops for the third straight game. Deondre Singleton rounded out the group with a career-high 11 tackles.

Duke got off to a fast start in the second half, finding the end zone just 2:29 into the third quarter. Boone found Crowder for a 48-yard grab to put the Blue Devils at the Tulane 16-yard line. Snead picked up 14 yards on the ground before Boone punched the ball in for his 14th rushing touchdown to move to fourth all-time among Duke quarterbacks.  

Tulane, trailing 26-7, stopped its scoring drought in the third quarter as Lazedrick Thompson snuck into the end zone from four yards out for the Green Wave’s first points since 7:03 of the opening quarter.

The Blue Devils’ special teams got in on the action late in the third quarter, recovering a fumbled punt at the Tulane 24-yard line. Four plays later, rookie Shaun Wilson took a handoff from Boone and scampered seven yards into the end zone to increase Duke’s lead to 20, 33-13.

Duke tacked on interception returns for touchdowns from Bryon Fields and Joseph Ajeigbe in the fourth quarter.

The Blue Devils open ACC play on the road Saturday, Sept. 27 at Miami.