The Rich Skrosky era opened in disappointment for Elon as Duke dominated the Phoenix in a 52-13 blowout.
"They're a more talented football team than we are, there's no question about it," Elon's head football coach said. "The game should have been closer than it was and I think too many of our errors were self-inflicted on both sides of the ball."
After forcing an Elon three and out on the game's opening drive, Duke jumped to an early lead on a four-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Anthony Boone to wide receiver Issac Blakeney.
Elon responded with a field goal by John Gallagher, but the Phoenix offense then went flat and only managed to rack up 10 more points over the rest of the contest.
"On offense we had too many drops and too much pressure on the quarterback," Skrosky said.
Duke, on the other hand, could not be stopped, scoring touchdowns on seven of its 11 drives and managing a field goal on another.
Duke's quarterback play was the story of the night as Boone tossed four touchdown passes and backup QB Thomas Sirk rushed for two more as the pair combined for 352 yards of total offense.
Two bright spots for the Phoenix were running backs B.J. Bennett and Tracey Coppedge, who combined for 152 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries.
"We will continue to get better," Skrosky said. "I'm so confident each and every day that the program is moving in the direction that we all want it. I've said from day one that this is an inclusive program and I want everyone to be proud of this program because we got a lot of real special kids that we're playing with."
Elon will look to rebound as it hosts North Carolina A&T in its home opener on Saturday, Sept.13 at Rhodes Stadium.
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