Attendance for the game was 44,237. Highest attended home game since 45,207 against Ole Miss in 2009 season opener (Sept. 6, 2009). Attendance was the most against a non-SEC opponent since 47,669 attended the UAB game on Nov. 1, 2005.
It had been 27 years since a freshman or redshirt freshman started at quarterback in a season opener for Memphis. Paxton Lynch became the first Memphis freshman quarterback in an opener since Andy Whitwell started the 1986 season against Ole Miss.
Memphis first play from the line of scrimmage involved a pair of freshmen as Paxton Lynch (redshirt freshman) completed a one-yard pass to Marquis Warford (true freshman).
Memphis had just two first downs before a drive which began with 9:17 to play in the third quarter. Memphis had three first downs over a stretch of four plays during the series which began at the 9:17 mark which ended with a fumble after the Tigers had marched to the Duke 32.
Lynch hooked up with Tevin Jones for a 45-yard pass play to the Memphis 30. It was Jones' second-longest career reception. He had a 52-yard touchdown reception last year against Tulane. The play would set up a tying touchdown.
Jai Steib scored on an 11-yard touchdown run with 11:38 to play in the game. The touchdown was Steib's sixth touchdown run in the last five games dating back to the last four games of the 2012 season. He now has seven career rushing touchdowns.
Lynch finished with 148 yards passing, completing 14 of 24 pass attempts with no interceptions.
Marquis Warford led the team in receptions with four and totaled 19 yards. In the air. Tevin Jones led the Tigers with 49 yards receiving on two catches.
Bobby McCain returned an interception 75 yards with 14:45 to play in the first half for his second career pick for a score. McCain had a 79-yard interception return against Tulane as a freshman in 2011.
Tank Jakes' interception against Tulane in Game 10 of the 2012 season was the previous last pick returned for a score.
McCain also recovered an early, third-quarter fumble when Ryan Coleman stripped wide receiver Braxton Deaver during an 11-yard reception.
Martin Ifedi's second quarterback sack of the game, a fourth-down sack of Duke quarterback Brandon Connette late in the third quarter. Ifedi had athird tackle for loss early in the fourth quarter. Ifedi entered the game with 8.5 career sacks including 7.5 in 2012. His three tackles for loss ties his career high.
Anthony Brown led the Tigers with 11 tackles, including a sack. It marks his third career game with double-digit tackles and ties his career high.
Special Team Notes
Tom Hornsey booted his second punt of the game 79 yards, the second-longest in school history. The longest punt in school history was an 85-yarder by Roland Eveland vs. Washington in 1950.
Memphis' special teams also accounted for a forced fumble and fumble recovery. Dion Witty stripped and recovered a fumble by punt returner Jamison Crowder near midfield in the second quarter.