Duke 27, Rice 24 (OT)

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Five years had passed since Duke won two
straight games, a span that saw the Blue Devils come up just short
in countless close games.

On Saturday night, things worked out for a change.

Brent Garber kicked a 30-yard field goal in overtime as the Blue
Devils beat Rice 27-24, winning consecutive games for the first
time under coach Carl Franks.

The Blue Devils blew a 10-point lead in the final 6{ minutes
only to win it when the Owls' Brandon Skeen missed a 34-yard field
goal on the second possession of the overtime.

"We really needed to come out here, get in a close game and win
a close game," Garber said. "It will help our confidence. After
several years of not winning many games, it is good for the team to
remember what it is like to win."

Chris Douglas ran for 110 yards and a touchdown, and Mike
Schneider threw two touchdown passes for the Blue Devils (2-1).

Reggie Love and Ben Patrick each had touchdown catches for Duke,
which last won consecutive games by beating Western Carolina and
Northwestern to open the 1998 season. In the four seasons since,
the Blue Devils had gone 5-40 under Franks, including 0-11 seasons
in 2000 and 2001.

"We have had a lot of bad things happen to us," Franks said.
"I am glad it worked out that we won it."

The Blue Devils got a boost from a pair of players who were
banged up in last week's 29-3 win against Western Carolina.

Schneider, a redshirt freshman, played the entire game despite
coming off a concussion. He completed 16 of 31 passes for 188 yards
and an interception. He also rushed for 52 yards. Garber, a senior,
overcame a rib injury to kick two field goals.

After watching Rice (0-2) roll up 201 total yards in the first
quarter, Duke's defense tightened up, allowing 96 yards over the
next two quarters to take a 24-14 lead in the fourth quarter. But
the Owls rallied, tying it on Greg Henderson's 9-yard pass to Andy
Hall with 3 seconds to play.

Once in the overtime, the Blue Devils overcame a dropped pass by
Douglas in the end zone to win for the fifth time in six meetings
against the Owls.

Thomas Lott rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown, while
Henderson rushed for 98 yards and a touchdown for the Owls. Rice
rushed for 346 yards.

"There's no quit in our team," Henderson said. "That's a
tough one to lose like that, being on the road. We wanted to win
this week, but we'll just have to move on."

It was an important win for the Blue Devils, now in the middle
of a critical four-game homestand. Duke opened the set with the win
against the Catamounts and faces Northwestern next week at Wallace
Wade Stadium.

The Blue Devils end the homestand with Florida State, beginning
a brutal stretch that includes home dates against Wake Forest and
North Carolina State, and games at Maryland and Tennessee. All five
teams have been ranked this season.

The win "is bigger than most people would realize," linebacker
Ryan Fowler said. "This was huge."

The teams were tied at 14 entering the second half, but Duke
pushed ahead with a 17-play, 70-yard drive that took more than 8
minutes off the clock. Garber ended the drive with a 23-yard field
goal with 5:15 left in the third.

Early in the fourth quarter, Lance Johnson had a 24-yard punt
return to give Duke the ball at Rice's 31-yard line. On the next
play, Schneider connected with Khary Sharpe for a 30-yard gain, and
Douglas ran it in for the 24-14 lead with 10:36 to play.

Rice answered with a 43-yard drive, ending with Skeen's 46-yard
field goal that cut it to 24-17 with 6:20 to play.

Duke was forced to punt on its next drive, giving Rice the
chance to drive for the tying touchdown with 3:24 left. Converting
three fourth downs, the Owls moved 75 yards in 15 plays to tie it
on Hall's touchdown.

"It is a heartbreaker," Rice coach Ken Hatfield said. "It
wasn't the one field goal, there were a lot of plays. It wasn't
just one play that did it."