Duke's Renfree practices, but who starts at QB remains mystery

lkeeley@newsobserver.comOctober 10, 2012 

DUKEUVA23.SP.0100612

Duke Blue Devils quarterback Sean Renfree (19) talks with another Blue Devils quarterback Brandon Connette (18) on the sidelines during the first half of an ACC college football game played between the Duke University Blue Devils and the Univ. of Virginia Cavaliers at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham NC on Oct. 6, 2012. Renfree, the usual starting QB, did not play. Duke won 42-17.

CHRIS SEWARD — cseward@newsobserver.com

— Injured quarterback Sean Renfree was an active participant in Duke’s practice Tuesday, coach David Cutcliffe said at his weekly news conference. Renfree suffered an elbow injury in the third quarter of Duke’s win over Wake Forest and did not play last week against Virginia.

Cutcliffe said a decision on whether Renfree or Anthony Boone will start will come later in the week, after he sees how well Renfree throws – and recovers from throwing.

“He and Anthony are going to trade reps and work,” Cutcliffe said. “We’re just going to see where his health is. But he had a good start to the week. We’ll see how the week goes.”

Renfree was at practice last week, dressed in full pads and wearing a black protective sleeve over his elbow, but he was not able to take snaps. Instead, he stood behind Boone and practiced his footwork without handling a ball.

Boone went 18-of-31 for 212 yards and four touchdowns in his first start. He also ran for 41 yards on seven rushing attempts.

Even if Renfree is healthy enough to start, Boone likely will play. Cutcliffe likes playing multiple quarterbacks (in part to keep the backup ready in case the starter goes down), and Boone, with his running ability, adds an extra dimension.

“Sean is like me, we’ve all talked about it, if we get them both healthy at the same time, we’ve got to use talents to help us win games, period,” Cutcliffe said. “We have no fear, obviously, of playing Anthony. And Sean has no fear or problem with that. That’s just what captains do; that’s what good football teams do.”

Also, defensive linemen Jamal Bruce and Justin Foxx and safeties Brandon Braxton and Chris Taravez practiced Tuesday, Cutcliffe said. The first three are starters who have missed various lengths of time. Braxton did not play last week, Foxx has been out after having surgery on his finger after the Stanford game, and Bruce has not played this year.

Decisions on whether any of the four will play against Virginia Tech will be made later in the week. Still, it’s progress for the injury-plagued team.

“It’s pretty significant for a wounded team to get some bodies back,” Cutcliffe said. “It boosted our defense’s morale today.”

Keeley: 919-829-4556

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