With a 100-plus yard walk from the dressing facility, Memphis had just two designated captains for the game. Linebackers Akeem Davis and Charles Harris were the Tigers' captains for the Duke game. The Tigers won the toss and deferred to the second half, electing to kickoff to begin the game.
Freshman Wynton McManis made his first career start on defense for the Tigers. On offense, junior Jai Steib made his first career start at running back.
Senior Marcus Rucker ran for a first down with his first career rushing attempt (eight yards). Rucker would go on to have two rushing attempts for eight yards on the night.
Rucker also moved onto the Memphis career list for career receiving yards. Rucker had three receptions for 19 yards against Duke to move into 10th place with 1,388 career yards. He also moved up to a tie for 11th in career receptions with 97.
Freshman Tyriq Patrick caught an 11-yard pass late in the first quarter for his first career reception. He finished with two receptions for nine yards.
Tevin Jones' two-yard touchdown run in the second quarter marked the freshman's second touchdown of the season and first on offense. Jones recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a score against Arkansas State. On the short scoring drive culminated by Jones' scoring run, Memphis utilized six offensive linemen - Jordan Devey, Taylor Fallin, Nick Chartain, Micah Simmons, Michael Stannard and Al Bonds.
Redshirt-junior running back Brandon Hayes made his first collegiate appearance with Memphis late in the fourth quarter. Hayes had two rushes for 20 yards.
Memphis' special teams and defensive units combined to recover multiple fumbles for the first time this season. The U of M recovered three or more fumbles for the first time since last year's game against Marshall. That contest also marked the last time the Tigers had four or more takeaways.
Reggis Ball's first career fumble recovery ended Duke's opening drive.
In his first career start, Wynton McManis intercepted a pass, returning it four yards for the Tigers' first points against Duke. McManis also recovered a blocked punt for a score in the Tigers' game at Arkansas State. The previous time Memphis returned an interception for a touchdown came last year against Tulane when Bobby McCain returned a pick 79 yards for a score.
After three games without Memphis registering a sack, Martin Ifedi had one for a five-yard loss in the third quarter. It was Ifedi's second career sack. Ifedi finished with five tackles and 1.5 stops for loss.
Johnnie Farms stuffed Juwan Thompson on a Red Zone series, forcing a fumble inside the five-yard line in the third quarter. The play marked Farms' first forced fumble as well and the first fumble recovery for Robert Steeples.
Junior defensive lineman Anthony Brown and sophomore linebacker Charles Harris led the Tigers in tackles with 11 each. It marked the third time Harris has led or tied for the team lead in tackles this season and his third double-digit effort. Brown's 11 tackles marked a career best.
Redshirt-senior linebacker Akeem Davis also finished in double digit tackles with 10, marking a season high.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
Cannon Smith recovered his first career fumble early in the game on a muffed punt.
Tom Hornsey's second punt of the game for 52 yards was downed inside the five-yard line. It was the fifth time this season Memphis downed a punt inside the five. Hornsey finished with eight punts for an average of 45.2 yards and had three punts over 50 yards.
Bobby McCain's 95-yard kickoff return to the Duke five in the second quarter was the longest by a Memphis player since Kevin Cobb's 95-yard return for a touchdown against Tennessee on Nov. 9, 1996. McCain's return set up a score that put the Tigers up 14-7 with 9:17 to play in the second quarter.
McCain had 131 yards on three kickoff returns, marking his second straight 100-yard return game after returning kicks for the first time last week.