Brandon Connette is no longer Duke’s jack-of-all-trades. These days, he’s only got one job – to be the Blue Devils quarterback.
Connette will make his first start as a full-time QB today when Duke plays Georgia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference’s only matchup of undefeated teams.
Connette has been Duke’s wildcat quarterback in short-yardage situations. Last year, he dabbled at tight end and receiver, and started against Miami in 2010 only because the Blue Devils began that game in the wildcat formation.
But when starter Anthony Boone broke his collarbone in last week’s win at Memphis, Connette was thrust into his first extended playing time with the first string at his primary position.
“It was a lot different for me the past couple of seasons, where I’d go in for a play or two then come back out,” Connette said. Dealing with various in-game situations is “something I haven’t had to orchestrate in a game.”
He’s trying to lead Duke to its first 3-0 start since the 1994 team reeled off seven in a row to start the year. The Blue Devils have only beaten Georgia Tech once since then (2003) and will try to avoid their 10th consecutive loss to their Coastal Division rivals.
After a week off, the Yellow Jackets (1-0) are looking to make an early statement in the division.
“Last year we struggled early, lost a couple close division games, and we dug ourselves a hole that was hard to get out of,” coach Paul Johnson said. “Our goal is to try to get back to Charlotte (for the ACC title game). We need to win in Durham if we are going to do that.”