Coming into Saturday’s game against Virginia, senior wide receiver Conner Vernon needed just one more catch to break the record of 232 set by Clemson’s Aaron Kelly in 2008. It didn’t take him very long. Just over six minutes into the first quarter, Vernon caught a pass for a two-yard loss from redshirt sophomore quarterback Anthony Boone. The catch was Vernon’s 35th of year and gave the receiver a total of 460 yards on the season. The pass left Vernon 382 yards behind Florida State’s Peter Warrick for the career receiving yardage record in the ACC and 183 yards behind Clarkston Hines for most career receiving yards by a Blue Devil.
Vernon has been the model of consistency during his Duke career. He has caught a pass in all 41 of the games he has played, the longest active streak of consecutive games with a reception. In 40 of those games, he has had multiple receptions because moments after setting the ACC record, he caught a 37-yard touchdown from Boone. The touchdown gave him 17 for his career, moving him into sixth place in the Duke history for touchdown receptions.