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Duke Falls to Kansas, 35-27

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Duke’s fourth quarter comeback effort fell short on Saturday afternoon in Lawrence Kan., as the Blue Devils dropped a 35-27 decision to Kansas in front of a capacity crowd of 47,233 at David Booth Memorial Stadium.

After quarterback Riley Leonard‘s 27-yard touchdown strike to Jalon Calhoun with 2:40 remaining in the contest pulled the visitors to within eight points, the Blue Devil defense forced a punt to return possession to Duke at the 2:16 mark. Leonard guided the Blue Devils into Jayhawk territory, but his 4th-and-7 pass from the 31-yard line intended for Eli Pancol was incomplete.

Leonard completed 24-of-35 pass attempts for 324 yards and one touchdown while adding a team-high 54 rushing yards. His counterpart, Jalon Daniels of Kansas, threw for 324 yards and four touchdowns.

How It Happened

  • Kansas struck first with a six-yard touchdown reception by Trevor Kardell with five minutes remaining in the opening frame.
  • Duke answered on its ensuring drive when running back Jaylen Coleman muscled his way into the end zone from five yards out to knot the score at 7-7.
  • Early in the second quarter, the Jayhawks added to its total when Daniel Hishaw broke free for a 73-yard touchdown reception.
  • The Blue Devils again responded, driving 70 yards in 12 plays, but were held to a 22-yard field goal by Charlie Ham.
  • With 1:04 left to play in the first half, Kansas found paydirt again when Luke Grimm scored on a 19-yard reception.
  • Duke would use nearly all the remaining time in the half to drive 55 yards for a 37-yard field goal by Ham to cut into the lead at 21-13.
  • Midway through the third quarter, the Jayhawks recorded their fourth touchdown of the day when Arnold Lawrence hauled in a 36-yard reception to extend Kansas’ edge to 28-13.
  • Duke continued to chip away, using a 10 play, 92-yard scoring drive to pull within 28-20 with 8:54 remaining in the game. Running back Jordan Waters scampered in for the three-yard touchdown jaunt.
  • The Jayhawks answered right back on their next drive after Daniels rushed into the end zone from three yards out to cap an eight play, 75-yard drive to make it a 35-20 ballgame.
  • The Blue Devils would not go away though, as Leonard connected with Calhoun for a 27-yard catch-and-score with 2:29 remaining to pull the visitors within eight.
  • After a quick three-and-out by Kansas, Duke received the ball back at its own five-yard line. Leonard quickly connected with Calhoun for a 40-yard gain to begin the drive. A few plays later the Blue Devils were facing 4th-and-seven at the Kansas 31 with 1:18 left to play. Unfortunately, Duke was unable to gain the needed yardage to keep its hopes alive and the Jayhawks held on for the win.


  • Both teams compiled 450-plus yards of total offense.
  • The Blue Devils went 5-of-15 and 2-of-4 on third and fourth down conversions, respectively, throughout the game. Kansas finished 6-of-10 and 1-of-2.
  • Calhoun led all receivers with 93 yards on five catches with his first touchdown of the year.
  • Fellow wideouts Jordan Moore and Pancol chipped in with 68 and 62 yards, respectively.
  • Coleman earned his fourth touchdown in as many games, while Waters registered his third score of the season.
  • Darius Joiner led all tacklers with 10, his second double-digit tackle game of the year.
  • Anthony Nelson forced a fumble in the opening frame to give Duke six caused fumbles this season.
  • Jaylen Stinson collected his second career fumble recovery.
  • Kansas had not allowed a sack all season until Joshua Pickett worked his way into the backfield late in the third quarter to take down Daniels for the Blue Devils’ only sack.
  • Porter Wilson punted three times for 154 yards for an average of 51.3 yards per punt.

Up Next

  • Duke returns to Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 1 for its first ACC matchup of the season against Virginia. The game will be broadcast on RSN.
  • Virginia fell to Syracuse on Friday night 22-20 in its first ACC contest of the year.

For more information on Duke Football, follow the Blue Devils on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching “DukeFOOTBALL”.



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