- Associated Press - Saturday, November 7, 2015

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Duke had been able to rely on its defense all season. It took just one play for the Blue Devils to realize things would be different against rival North Carolina.

The No. 21 Tar Heels scored on an 89-yard flea-flicker on their first offensive snap and finished with their highest scoring output in the long rivalry in Saturday’s 66-31 win.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen as many explosive plays as their offense did,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said.

UNC had 664 yards - more than any ACC team had managed in a game all season entering the weekend - by the end of the third and finished with 704, the third highest total in program history.

That production came against a unit ranked eighth nationally in passing yardage defense, ninth in total defense (295 yards) and 10th in scoring defense (16.1). Duke had allowed a total of 37 first-half points all season, but trailed 38-10 at the break in this one.

The Blue Devils came in after a final-play loss to Miami on an eight-lateral kickoff for a touchdown - a score that the ACC later said shouldn’t have counted in an officiating-marred finish.

“Carolina kind of bombed us,” cornerback Breon Borders said. “They put up 66 points on us. It was pretty bad. I would definitely say this loss was worse.”

For North Carolina, Marquise Williams threw for 404 of his school-record 494 yards by halftime.

Williams threw for four touchdowns and ran for another, breaking the school passing mark in the opening minutes of the second half. The senior’s performance was the biggest highlight on an afternoon full of them for the Tar Heels (8-1, 5-0 ACC), who haven’t lost since the opener and firmed up their hold on the Coastal Division race by blowing out the Blue Devils (6-3, 3-2).

Seven players scored for UNC, from Elijah Hood running for three touchdowns to Mack Hollins and Ryan Switzer each hauling in TD catches on 100-yard receiving days.

Now 5-0 in the ACC for the first time since 1997, the Tar Heels can clinch a spot in the ACC title game next weekend with a home win against Miami along with a Pittsburgh loss at Duke.

Duke came into Chapel Hill still controlling its own destiny in the division despite the Miami loss. But that was before Williams and the UNC offense got rolling.

Williams connected with a wide-open Switzer after the flea-flicker for the 89-yard touchdown. Then, after scoring on a 4-yard run, Williams connected with Hollins for a 74-yard TD with 1:30 left in the half. Later he found Bug Howard with a 49-yard heave with 1 second left in the half.

Williams broke the previous school single-game record of 439 yards - set by T.J. Yates against Florida State in 2010 - on the first drive of the second half, which ended in another TD. UNC pulled Williams and other starters by the end of the third quarter.

Thomas Sirk ran for two scores to lead Duke, which finished with 533 total yards but never got closer than two scores after the opening quarter.

___

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

__

AP college football website: collegefootball.ap.org

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide