• 46°

Upset: Duke takes back victory bell

By Jessika Morgan

The Raleigh News & Observer

DURHAM (TNS)  — Duke reversed all kinds of streaks in its 28-27 win over No. 17 North Carolina on Thursday, the second times the teams have met on that day.

The Blue Devils stopped a three-game losing streak, picking up their first ACC win against an impressive UNC team (7-2, 5-2) that fell out the race for the Coastal Division title. The Blue Devils beat a ranked opponent for the first time since September 2015.

They won back the Victory Bell by playing standup defense when it counted and thanks in part to the performance of their young quarterback.

Daniel Jones threw long and short. He ran far and wide. The redshirt freshman found seven targets on his way to a 22-of-34 night, when he finished with 240 yards.

For the second straight week, Jones ran in a pair of touchdowns. He finished with 94 rushing yards, including a 29-yard pickup on third-and-3 to start the fourth quarter.

His pass on fourth-and-7 that possession fell short near the goal line, but Duke’s defense gave Jones and Co. one more opportunity. But, a one-point lead was enough in the waning moments of the 103rd game of the series; UNC won the last two, combining for 111 points in those two wins.

With 3:49, Jones found T.J. Rahming for a 19-yard gain to convert a third down. Jones wound up punting to end that possession, setting UNC up at its own 6 with 1:51 to play.

The defense needed one more big play to help seal it, and junior defensive back Alonzo Saxton II delivered.

Just 1:02 left on the clock, UNC quarterback Mitch Trubisky scanned the field and lofted the ball up the middle, right into the arms of Saxton. It was Duke’s second interception of the game, the first when Deondre Singleton picked off Trubisky in the third.

HOW DUKE WON

The Blue Devil stood up tall at the ends of the second and third quarters to limit an efficient UNC offense. Duke (4-6, 1-5) forced UNC to punt in the Tar Heels’ final two possessions of the second quarter, heightening the pressure after a timeout with 1:08 left. The Blue Devils came back on the field, broke up a Trubisky pass, caused another incomplete pass byway of a quarterback hurry and forced UNC to punt after a sack. The score was tied at 21 at halftime.

Duke also outgained the Tar Heels 227-106 on the ground, led by Shaun Wilson’s 107 on 24 carries.

WHAT IT MEANS

Duke has been to a bowl game every year for the last four. Duke moved to within a win of bowl eligibility with the victory. They’ll face Pitt then Miami on the road to close out its regular season.

And it’s first ACC win, over a ranked, good, North Carolina team, is a major momentum.

KEY NUMBER

7: Yards Ben Humphreys knocked Trubisky back on a sack at the end of the first half. With UNC’s ability to drive quick, the defense turned up the pressure to keep the score tied going into the locker room.

Comments

Local

Bell Tower Green renamed to honor Stanbacks; Nancy Stanback receives key to city

Business

Commissioners green light additional houses at Cherry Treesort in China Grove

Education

A.L. Brown will hold in-person, outdoor graduation

Local

Granite Quarry awards FEMA contract for Granite Lake Park

Local

City to vote on apartment developments, final phases of Grants Creek Greenway project

High School

High school football: North receiver McArthur a rising star

Columnists

Carl Blankenship: Pollen and prejudice make their return

News

Harris pitches $2.3T spending plan on trip to North Carolina

Nation/World

Murder case against ex-cop in Floyd’s death goes to the jury

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Man takes deputies on chase with stolen moped

Coronavirus

Afternoon, evening COVID-19 vaccination clinic planned Thursday

Crime

Concord man charged with woman’s murder in drive-by shooting

Ask Us

Ask Us: Have city, county elected officials received COVID-19 vaccine?

Local

City gives away nearly 100 trees during ‘We Dig Salisbury’ event

Local

Political Notebook: Bitzer expects most ‘Trump-like’ candidate to be favorite in state’s Senate race

Crime

Blotter: Concord man arrested in Rowan for indecent liberties with children

Coronavirus

Half of US adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot

Nation/World

Police: FedEx shooter legally bought guns used in shooting

News

Hester Ford, oldest living American, dies at 115 … or 116?

Local

Size of pipeline spill again underestimated in North Carolina

BREAKING NEWS

Kannapolis Police searching for suspect who fled scene of homicide

Education

RSS superintendent talks district’s future, strategic plan survey

News

Complaints and fines pile up against unpermitted landfill in southwest Rowan County

College

Catawba baseball: Crowd comes out to say goodbye to Newman Park