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September 29, 2007MIAMI(AP)- Kyle Wright returned from an injury to throw a game-sealing touchdown pass to DajLeon Farr with 2:15 left, and Miami escaped an upset bid by Duke for the second straight year by beating the Blue Devils 24-14 on Saturday.
Wright was 19-of-23 for 230 yards and two touchdowns for the Hurricanes (4-1, 1-0), who won their Atlantic Coast Conference opener for the first time in three years.
Thaddeus Lewis completed 18 of 27 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns for Duke, which dropped a 20-15 decision to the Hurricanes last year - and gave Miami fits again, all the way to the final minutes.
His 31-yard pass to Eron Riley got Duke (1-4, 0-2) within 17-14 with 9:46 left, and Duke was driving deep in Miami territory later in the final quarter. But Eric Moncur's sack - one of nine by Miami - ended a drive with three minutes left, and two plays later, the Hurricanes' offense sealed the win.
Graig Cooper, who had a 2-yard TD run earlier in the fourth after a contested pass interference call, opened the drive with a 27-yard run. Wright, who left at the start of the fourth quarter with a cut inside his mouth, then found Farr with a 33-yard scoring pass on the next play.
Cooper had 101 yards on 12 carries for Miami, which lost to Florida State each of the past two years to open league play, but hardly found things easy against lowly Duke.
Leon Wright had two interceptions and Ronnie Drummer caught a screen pass and ran 40 yards for a touchdown for Duke, which is now 1-24 in its last 25 games - and has dropped 19 straight against ACC foes.
Miami outgained Duke 430-302.
The Hurricanes led 10-0 at halftime, meaning Miami still hasn't allowed a first-half point in four home games this season.
Antonio Dixon sacked Lewis for a 12-yard loss on the game's first play, setting up a three-and-out, and Miami got the ball for the first time at the Duke 46. The Hurricanes needed eight plays to score from there, with Wright finding Kayne Farquharson for a 5-yard touchdown pass with 8:34 left in the opening quarter.
It was only the second catch of the season for Farquharson, and it was a good one: He found a seam near the back of the end zone and stretched his 6-foot-2 frame high to grab Wright's hard-thrown pass.
Francesco Zampogna's 47-yard field goal five minutes later made it 10-0, but the Hurricanes didn't score again in the half, even though Wright was 10-for-11 in the opening two quarters and Miami held a 200-112 lead in total offense.
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