DURHAM, N.C. -- Daniel Jones set school records for total offense and rushing yards by a quarterback as Duke defeated North Carolina, 42-35, Saturday afternoon at Wallace Wade Stadium. With the third consecutive win in the series, the Blue Devils improved to 7-3 overall and 3-3 in the ACC.
Jones rushed for 186 yards and one touchdown and threw for 361 and three more scores as the junior racked up 547 yards of total offense, both single-game records at Duke. He also becomes just the third ACC quarterback with multiple 300-100 games, joining Louisville’s Lamar Jackson (three) and Clemson’s Taj Boyd (two).
The game was back and forth early with Daniel Helm and Davis Koppenhaver reeling in consecutive touchdown passes to give Duke a 21-14 lead early in the second quarter. A four-yard rush by Deon Jackson allowed Duke to regain a touchdown lead, and the teams traded long touchdown runs to cap a wild first half.
On the Tar Heels’ (1-8, 1-6) first play following the Jackson touchdown, Dazz Newsome broke free for an 84-yard touchdown that knotted the game at 28 with 6:14 remaining. Duke drove and missed a field goal on its ensuing possession, and then forced a UNC punt on the next drive. With the clock winding down in the half, Jones busted loose and sprinted 61 yards, nearly untouched, for a touchdown with 16 seconds remaining.
Duke led 35-28 at the break, and appeared to have a two-score lead when Jones broke off another long run, sprinting 70 yards for what was ruled on the field as a touchdown. The play was overturned on review as Jones was ruled down at the two-yard line, settling for a career-long 68-yard rush. But a play later, Quentin Harris bowled his way in for the touchdown and a 42-28 advantage.
A game that featured nine touchdowns in the first half produced just two in the second. The last of which came on the heels of a 16-play, 80-yard drive by North Carolina in the game’s closing minutes. QB Nathan Elliott led the drive, and capped it with a 13-yard strike to Thomas Jackson with 1:15 to play
Carolina was unable to recover the on-side kick, but regained possession after intercepting Jones in the end zone on fourth down. Elliott marched the Heels to Duke’s 39, and a desperation Hail Mary on the game’s final play was swatted away by Brandon Feamster to keep the Victory Bell in Durham for the third straight year.
Duke converted 13 of its 20 third-down attempts, while UNC was just six-of-15.
Jones carried 15 times for 186 yards, while Jackson had 78 as Duke out-gained its rival, 629-536, in total yards. T.J. Rahming had nine catches for 98 yards. Jones was 31-of-54 passing for 361 yards – his eighth career 300-yard passing game.
Michael Carter rushed for 148 yards on 18 carries to pace the Heels, while Elliott was 27-of-41 for 221 yards and a touchdown.
Duke returns to action next Saturday at Clemson. The game time has not yet been announced by the ACC.