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Luck throws four TDs as Stanford rips Duke

Sep 11, 2011 - 2:46 AM Durham, NC (Sports Network) - Andrew Luck passed for 290 yards and four touchdowns, and No. 6 Stanford shook off a little rust to rout Duke 44-14 on Saturday.

Luck completed 20 of his 28 passes and led the Cardinal (2-0) on four straight touchdown drives after he had an interception taken back 76 yards for a Duke TD in the second quarter.

Stanford, which was coming off a 57-3 win over San Jose State to open the season, starts its Pac-12 schedule next week at Arizona.

Duke (0-2) missed three field goals in the first half, draining all of the momentum gained from three good drives, and didn't score an offensive touchdown until Anthony Boone's two-yard run late in the fourth quarter.

Safety Lee Butler caught a tipped Luck pass and took it back for a TD in the second quarter.

The Blue Devils, coming off a 23-21 loss to FCS program Richmond last week, used four quarterbacks in this one. Starter Sean Renfree was 19-of-27 for 179 yards, while Brandon Connette appeared to go off with a shoulder injury.

Luck's favorite target was Chris Owusu, who caught seven balls for 106 yards and a touchdown. Coby Fleener had two TD catches, including one for 60 yards, and Stepfan Taylor rushed 14 times for 75 yards.

Backup quarterback Brett Nottingham played most of the fourth quarter with the game in hand.

Luck moved into fourth place on Stanford's all-time list with 49 touchdown passes, three behind Jim Plunkett. John Elway is the school's all-time leader with 77.

"I've only been around a couple of quarterbacks that see everything. I thought he managed the game very well," Stanford head coach David Shaw said of Luck. "Early on we had a couple of protection issues where he had to slide and throw a few off his back foot. He's resilient. He never backs down."

Stanford outscored Duke 27-7 in the second half.

Earlier, Luck completed all four of his passes on Stanford's first possession, including a pair to Owusu for 54 yards, and hit Fleener in the right side of the end zone for a three-yard touchdown and 7-0 lead.

Will Snyderwine missed a 27-yard field goal attempt on Duke's ensuing drive, while Jordan Williamson kicked a 40-yarder early in the second quarter for Stanford after the previous four drives had ended in punts for both teams.

Duke ran 12 plays on the next possession, driving to the Stanford 27, but Snyderwine booted a 45-yarder way right.

On the ensuing possession, Luck's pass was tipped directly to Butler, who bolted untouched down the right side and beat Taylor to the end zone, diving across the line to get Duke within 10-7.

Duke recovered an onside kick, but ended up punting.

Luck then completed four straight passes, hitting Owusu on the left side with the last. Owusu broke an initial tackle and busted into the left side of the end zone from 10 yards for a 17-7 Stanford lead.

"The football game took a lot of turns and twists," said Duke head coach David Cutcliffe. "I'd say the first thing from my standpoint is that they won the physical battle. I knew coming in they were a very strong football team and they were able to win that battle most of the day.

"The next thing that was difficult was that they made big plays time and again, some on defense, mostly on offense. We really had one big, big play and that was Lee Butler's interception return for a touchdown. We knew that one of the things that when a team reaches the level they have, their intensity level is high and we have to match their intensity level for 60 minutes. I thought we did that in the first 30."

Duke's Jeffrey Ijjas missed 49-yard field goal attempt wide-left in the final seconds of the half, letting Stanford take a 17-7 lead into the locker room.

Wary of its kicking game, Duke went for it on 4th-and-6 at the Stanford 14, but couldn't convert on the first possession of the second half. Stanford then scored touchdowns on its next two drives to put the game away.

Luck hit Fleener in the middle of the field -- Duke safety August Campbell went for the interception, but missed -- and the tight end rumbled untouched for a 60-yard touchdown.

A fumble by Blue Devils receiver Jamison Crowder at the Duke 39 was recovered by Stanford, and Jeremy Stewart burst through the right side of the line for a 30-yard touchdown three plays later to make it 30-7 (Williamson hit the right upright on the extra point).

Luck threw a three-yard TD pass to Zach Ertz early in the fourth and Tyler Gaffney scored from one yard to make it 44-7 with eight minutes left. Boone's TD came at the end of a 15-play Duke drive.

Game Notes

Snyderwine reportedly went out with a foot injury...It was the first meeting between the schools since they played in 1971 and '72. Stanford now leads the all-time series 2-1...Duke starts its ACC schedule at Boston College next week.