DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — After Brandon Connette scored four touchdowns in the first half, Duke's quarterback found it more difficult to move the ball down the field after halftime.
Fortunately for the Blue Devils, Troy's quarterback could say the same thing.
"I look at the game kind of as an offensive shootout in the first half and a defensive stand in the second," Connette said. "Luckily, we were able to win the first half and win the second half."
In a game where much of the offense came before halftime, 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. It came a week after Connette threw for four scores and ran for two more in a 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. Wide receiver Jamison Crowder also had 149 yards receiving for Duke, one week after a 141-yard receiving effort against Pitt.
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 reception by Troy's Chandler Worthy with 9:37 remaining that would have given the Trojans the lead.
"I don't always like how they call things, but it was a good play by Chandler, and we got some blocks," said Troy coach Larry Blakeney. "It's frustrating. It's real frustrating to be that close."
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 only allowing one play longer than 20 yards during that span.