The first 27 minutes and 30 seconds at Notre Dame Stadium produced one of the most uneventful games in recent years.
Then David Bruton recovered a fumble, Robert Hughes busted a run for 25 yards, and Jimmy Clausen hit David Grimes for a 25-yard touchdown pass to put the Irish up 7-0.
One minute later, the Blue Devils fumbled again with 5th year senior Ambrose Wooden recovering. Clausen found Duval Kamara for another 25-yard score with 4 seconds left in the first half and the Irish were off.
Notre Dame went on to the 28-7 win over Duke, claiming its first home win of the season. The Irish avoid their first winless season at home in 74 years.
Most importantly, the team's nine 5th-year seniors go out with a win at home.
Notre Dame (2-9) must win next Saturday to avoid its worst record in school history.
The win was the first at home in 364 days when the Irish beat Army on last year's senior day.
Running back Robert Hughes became the first freshman since 2004 to rush for 100 yards in a game. Hughes had 115 yards on the ground and a 13-yard touchdown to put ND up 21-0.
A 33-yard run late in the game setup Notre Dame's final score. Jimmy Clausen found 5th-year senior John Carlson for a 9-yard touchdown to make it 28-0.
The Irish had some fun late in the game when captain Tom Zbikowski went in to play quarterback. The former high school QB did not throw a pass but had some fun with a few direct snap runs.
Afterwards, the seniors celebrated a victory they will remember forever.
The team gathered with the student body and for the first time this season they sang the Alma Mater following a victory at home.
Trevor Laws hugged his family. John Carlson jumped into the stands to celebrate with fans.
The seniors also ran around the station one last time with a victory lap.
Freshman QB Jimmy Clausen threw 3 touchdown passes for 194 yards. He was 16 of 32 passing.