College football: Hurricanes deck Duke as late-season surge continues

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 28, 2021

Associated Press

DURHAM — Miami’s turnaround reached all the way to the end of November.

Tyler Van Dyke threw for three touchdowns and 381 yards and the Hurricanes wrapped up the regular season by winning for the fifth time in their last six games, beating Duke 47-10 on Saturday.

“We finished strong,” Miami linebacker Corey Flagg Jr. said. “Our culture, our fight. I’m just so proud of us.”

Charleston Rambo caught two of the touchdown passes on a record-setting day.

Miami (7-5, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) broke away with a 20-point second quarter for a 30-10 halftime lead. The Hurricanes outgained Duke 356-85 in the first half.

Duke (3-9, 0-8), which lost its eighth game in a row, finished with its first winless ACC record since 2007. Its losing streak in conference games is now 13. Duke has won just six of its last 29 games.

Duke coach David Cutcliffe said his thoughts were with his players and how they’ve had a challenging two months. “Just how hard they’ve worked and how disappointed they would be,” he said. “… I’ve got a job to do that’s current right now and that’s where my focus is.”

The big highlight for Duke was Jaylen Stinson’s 94-yard kickoff return for a 10-3 lead.

Duke running back Mataeo Durant became the school’s single-season rushing record-holder at 1,241 yards. He had 68 yards on 22 carries, needing 64 to set the mark.

Blue Devils quarterback Gunnar Holmberg was 20-for-33 for 148 yards with an interception.

This was the third year in a row that the Hurricanes visited Duke, each time in the home finale for the Blue Devils.

The Blue Devils have been blowout victims in all except one of its ACC games, a 31-27 home setback to Georgia Tech. Their three November home games have been defined by stellar performances by opposing quarterbacks, with Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett and Louisville’s Malik Cunningham running up big numbers before Van Dyke.

Durant broke a Duke rushing record that was set by Steve Jones in 1972. He said he wanted to be the best teammate possible.

“I’m a team player,” Durant said. “Whatever my team needs in the moment, I’m going to do it.”

The senior entered the week second in the ACC in rushing this season. He said he takes pride from his time with the Blue Devils.

“There’s a lot I can take from my experience,” Durant said. “The people at Duke are amazing. They’ve turned me into a better player and a better man.”

Andy Borregales kick field goals of 35, 29, 25 and 43 yards for the Hurricanes.

Old Dominion 56, Charlotte 34

NORFOLK, Va. — Hayden Wolff threw three touchdown passes to Ali Jennings III and Old Dominion saw a 21-point lead evaporate in the fourth quarter only to rally for a 56-34 win over Charlotte in the regular season finale to become bowl eligible for the first time in six seasons.

Old Dominion’s last appearance in a bowl game was in 2016, when the Monarchs defeated Eastern Michigan in the Bahamas Bowl.

Jonathan Cruz kicked a pair of field goals to start the fourth quarter, pulling the 49ers within one, 35-34 with 10:04 left to play.

Blake Watson capped a 75-yard drive with a 2-yard run for his third score with 6:42 left and Wolff and Jennings hooked up for a 36-yard score with 3:49 to play to make it 49-34. The Monarchs added a touchdown when Charlotte quarterback Chris Reynolds was sacked and fumbled into the end zone.

Reynolds was 24 of 40 for 231 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions for the 49ers (5-7, 3-5). Grant DuBose caught nine passes for 94 yards and a touchdown.

Old Dominion (6-6, 5-3 Conference USA) started the season with six losses in its first seven games, then closed with five straight wins.

Kennesaw State 48, Davidson 21

KENNESAW, Ga. — Quarterback Xavier Shepherd had four touchdown runs and threw for another score as Kennesaw State won its 10th straight game with the victory over Davidson in the first round of the Football Championship Series playoffs.

The Owls (10-1) will face No. 7 East Tennessee State in the second round.

Shepherd, who entered with a nation-leading 19 touchdowns rushing, carried the ball 13 times for 15 yards with all four touchdown runs coming from inside the 6. His 56-yard TD pass to Xavier Hill stretched the Owls’ lead to 41-14.

Iaan Cousin had a 10-yard touchdown run and Gabriel Benyard scored on a 63-yard punt return for the Owls.

Dylan Sparks broke loose for a 54-yard touchdown run and finished with 107 yards rushing for Davidson (8-3). Coy Williams had 90 yards on the ground that included a 61-yard TD run. Jalen Jefferson scored on a 45-yard fumble recovery early in the fourth quarter.

It was Kennesaw State coach Brian Bohannon’s 63rd career win, tying him with David Bennett (Coastal Carolina, 2003-2011) for the most in Big South Conference history.