DURHAM, N.C. – Daniel Jones ran for two scores and threw for another to help Duke upset No. 15 North Carolina 28-27 on Thursday night.
The redshirt freshman gave the defense fits all night with his mobility for the Blue Devils (4-6, 1-5 Atlantic Coast Conference), running for 94 yards as part of a ground game that kept moving the chains against the Tar Heels (7-3, 5-2, No. 17 CFP). Shaun Wilson ran for a game-high 107 yards and a score of his own, Duke finished with 227 yards rushing and converted 10 of 17 third-down chances.
That formula was on display at the end, as Duke took more than 6 1/2 minutes off the clock with a long drive from its own 1 before punting back to UNC. The Blue Devils then came up with a final stop, with Alonzo Saxton II picking off Mitch Trubisky near midfield with 1:02 left on a night that ended with Duke players sprinting across the field to re-claim the Victory Bell presented to the winner of the long-running rivalry.
UNC: The Tar Heels likely saw any chance of repeating as the league’s Coastal Division champion die with this loss, and there was a familiar problem with being physical enough to stop the run. UNC’s high-scoring offense also, surprisingly, sputtered after halftime.
DUKE: After a couple of close losses, Duke showed it had enough fortitude to bounce back and play a clean game even as it flirted with the program’s first winless ACC record since 2007. Notable in Thursday’s performance: no turnovers.
UNC: The Tar Heels step out of conference play to take on The Citadel. They’re 4-0 in that series with the last meeting coming in 2009.
DUKE: The Blue Devils play at Pittsburgh, the first of two straight division road games to close the regular season.
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