Duke keeps losing players but it isn’t stopping the Blue Devils from finding success on the football field.
After starting quarterback Daniel Jones and all-ACC cornerback Mark Gilbert needed surgeries to repair injuries suffered in a 21-7 win at Northwestern last Saturday, the Blue Devils lost starting cornerback Michael Carter II to a knee injury early in Saturday’s 40-27 win at Baylor.
A sophomore, Carter started at cornerback with redshirt freshman Josh Blackwell starting at the opposite cornerback position as the Blue Devils (3-0) replace Gilbert, who is out for the season after dislocating his hip.
Carter walked to the Duke locker room under his own power after being checked by the training staff. But he didn’t return to the game.
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After the game, Duke coach David Cutcliffe said the initial prognosis is that Carter has a sprained ligament.
“I think we’ve got a sprain that he will come back from,” Cutcliffe said. “Hopefully pretty quickly. That’s the initial word I got. The initial word I got is that we don’t have a torn ligament. But you’re always cautious. More than likely we’ll have an MRI and we’ll know for
sure at that point.”
Junior Myles Hudzick replaced Carter at cornerback and finished the game with a team-best nine tackles.
Despite the injuries, Duke built a 23-0 lead and rolled over Baylor at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas.
In addition to playing without Jones, Carter and Gilbert, Duke also entered the game at Baylor without three other starters -- wide receiver Aaron Young (hamstring), safety Jeremy McDuffie (knee) and center Zach Harmon (lower body).
Young and McDuffie each missed their second games in a row with injuries. Harmon was in uniform, but replaced by Jack Wohlabaugh in the starting lineup.
With Jones injured, Quentin Harris became the first quarterback other than Jones to start for Duke since the 2015 Pinstripe Bowl win over Indiana. Jones had started the last 27 games, covering the 2016 and 2017 seasons plus the first two games of this season.
Harris connected with two long touchdown passes in the second quarter. T.J. Rahming caught a 28-yard touchdown pass and Harris also connected with senior wide receiver Johnathan Lloyd on a 66-yard scoring pass for a 23-0 Duke lead.
Having thrown just 15 passes during games over his first three years at Duke, Harris completed 12 of 30 for 174 yards and three touchdown throws in Saturday’s win.