■ Baylor fell behind 23-0, and it couldn’t make up the deficit, falling to Duke 40-27.
WACO — Duke overcame all the distractions and an extended trip to Texas because of a massive storm and is off to a 3-0 start for the second year in a row.
Quentin Harris threw for 174 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start, filling in for injured Daniels Jones, and the Blue Devils jumped out to a 23-0 halftime lead on way to a 40-27 win at Baylor on Saturday while their home state of North Carolina was being inundated with rain from Tropical Storm Florence.
The early deficit proved too much to overcome for Baylor, which was playing its first nonconference home game against a Power Five conference team since Sept. 12, 2008, against Washington State.
“We’re obviously disappointed in not just the outcome, but the way we played in the first half,” Baylor coach Matt Rhule said. “They made the plays they needed to make at crucial times and we didn’t do that. … We had opportunities with things we’ve done at a high level, from kicking field goals, making extra points, we just weren’t able to do that today.”
Baylor outgained Duke 400-399 in total yards, but the Blue Devils took full advantage of Baylor’s two turnovers.
Deon Jackson scored on a 31-yard fumble return in the first quarter, and Leonard Johnson put the game away with a 53-yard interception return for a touchdown with less than four minutes left.
Duke was flying home Saturday night, though it was still possible the team might have to land somewhere other than Durham and bus back to campus.
T.J. Rahming caught two of Harris’ TD passes (28 and 7 yards) and Johnathan Lloyd had a 66-yard TD catch. Harris, a fourth-year junior who was 12-of-30 passing, started because Jones fractured a clavicle last week and is out indefinitely. Jones had started 27 straight games for the Blue Devils.
“I thought I had a couple balls I probably could have been more accurate on,” Harris said. “Definitely want to get the completion percentage up. But at the end of the day, it’s a team game. My individual stats don’t matter. As long as we come out on top, I’m happy as I can be.”
JaMycal Hasty returned a blocked punt for a 33-yard touchdown for Baylor (2-1).
Baylor’s Chris Platt can’t come up with the reception in the first half against Duke when the Bears fell behind 23-0. Platt finished with two receptions for 25 yards.