banner

College Football

more stats

(24) Duke (9-2) at North Carolina (6-5)



Saturday, November 30, 12 p.m. (ET)

The Sports Network

By Nicholas DeLorenzo, Associate College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: The 24th-ranked Duke Blue Devils will attempt to close out one of their best regular seasons in program history in style on Saturday afternoon, as they take on intrastate rival the North Carolina Tar Heels in an Atlantic Coast Conference bout at Kenan Memorial Stadium.

With a 28-21 victory at Wake Forest last weekend, Duke won its seventh straight game to improve to 9-2 for its best season since going 9-1 in 1941, and it has never before reached double-digit wins. The No. 24 Blue Devils are ranked in the AP poll for the first time since 1994, and they have clinched at least a share of the ACC Coastal Division title at 5-2 in the league.

"Every time we've won a game, obviously, the next one get bigger and the challenge gets bigger," Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. "This will be our greatest challenge of the year."

UNC was looking like one of the nation's biggest disappointments in the early part of the season, as it opened with just one win in its first six games. Since that slow start, however, the Tar Heels have reeled off five straight wins, and with a dominating 80-20 victory over Old Dominion last weekend, they became bowl eligible for fifth time in six seasons.

"If you look at our team, we've gotten a little bit better each week," UNC coach Larry Fedora said. "We're playing our best football at this time of the year, so it's exciting. As the head coach you watch how the team has progressed and how these young guys have progressed and how this team has grown closer together. They're having fun playing together. That's really what it's all about."

North Carolina leads the all-time series with Duke, 58-37-4, although the Blue Devils won last season, 33-30, for their first win over the Tar Heels since 2003.

Duke's resurgence has come behind a much-improved offense, as it registers the fifth-most points in the ACC (34.3 ppg) on 418.6 yards per game.

Anthony Boone, who missed three games earlier in the season with a broken collarbone, has impressed by completing 66 percent of his passes for 1,421 yards with 12 touchdowns (four rushing), three of which came in last week's near-flawless performance (24-of-29, 256 yards). Brandon Connette, who played well in Boone's absence, is still heavily utilized as a dual-threat weapon and has cashed in with 26 touchdowns, 13 apiece rushing and passing.

Jamison Crowder is one of top playmaking receivers in the nation, and after a 10-touchdown, 121-yard, two-touchdown performance in the win over Wake Forest, he now has an ACC-leading 83 catches for 1,077 yards and five scores this season, while also adding two punt return scores and one rushing touchdown.

"We know that once we kind of get things going, the offense is pretty tough to defend," Crowder said.

Jela Duncan (521 yards, three TDs) and Josh Snead (482 yards) have done solid work on the ground this year, but they have both fallen out of favor near the goal line in favor of Connette.

Defensively, Duke has shined by holding opponents to only 22.8 points per game, and against Wake Forest the unit forced two turnovers and logged four sacks while allowing just 248 yards.

David Helton has a team-high 105 tackles, while Jeremy Cash has made plays all over the field with 96 tackles, 7.5 TFL, four interceptions and two forced fumbles. Kenny Anunike (13.5 TFL, 6.0 sacks) and Ross Cockrell (three INTs, 14 passes defended) are also experiencing strong seasons.

UNC's offense has been back on the upswing during its current win streak, and after its 80-point, 721-yard explosion against ODU last weekend (both school records), its season averages now sit at 32.8 points and 431.0 yards per game.

Ever since Bryn Renner was lost for the season with a shoulder injury earlier this month, Marquise Williams has filled the starting quarterback's shoes swimmingly. Already a key part in the rushing attack with a team-high 386 yards and four touchdowns, Williams has been a great passer as well, as he's completed nearly 61 percent of his throws for 1,304 yards with 13 touchdowns and only four interceptions.

Eric Ebron is the top target in the passing game with 50 receptions for 774 yards and three touchdowns, although Quinshad Davis (45 receptions, 692 yards) has the upper hand in terms of scores with nine.

With A.J. Blue (292 yards, TD) questionable for this matchup, T.J. Logan (364 yards, four TDs) could be in for an increase in carries.

The Tar Heels' defense has been improving with each passing week as well, as they have allowed just 18.0 points per game during their five-game win streak, down from 24.9 points per game on the season.

Kareem Martin is one of the best defensive lineman in the country, as he has recorded 19.0 TFL and 11.0 sacks to go with three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Jeff Schoettmer has a team-best 79 tackles, while Tre Boston and Dominique Green have four and three interceptions, respectively.

UNC is undoubtedly one of the most improved teams in the country in recent weeks, and playing at home, it's a tough draw against most squads. But Duke is in the midst of something special this season, and it will rally around the moment to claim a school-record 10th win.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Duke 31, North Carolina 28

11/27 11:12:20 ET

Other Stories

  • CFB: Oklahoma at West Virginia

    Tonight at 6:30 on FOX50

  • NFL: Oakland at New England

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Washington at Philadelphia

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • CFB: NC State vs. Presbyterian

    Tonight at 6:00 on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Columbus

    Tomorrow at 1:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Pittsburgh

    Tomorrow at 8:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
 
1st
ECU 14
UNC 13
 
6:00pm Tonight
TOWSN
NCCU
 
6:00pm Tonight
NCSU
PRES
 
9th
KAN 2
DET 3
 
8th
CHC 6
LOS 7
 
1st
OAK 0
PHI 0
 
1st
NYY 0
TOR 1
 
1st
COL 0
ARI 0
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
BOS
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
CWS
7:10pm Tonight
MIN
CLE
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
NYM
7:10pm Tonight
HOU
SEA
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
7:15pm Tonight
STL
CIN
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
9:05pm Tonight
ANA
TEX
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
 
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
 
Final
VT 24
GT 27
 
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
 
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
 
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
 
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
 
3rd
COL 21
HAW 12
 
3rd
AKR 3
MARS 31
 
2nd
WAKE 14
ARMY 7
 
2nd
KU 7
CMICH 0
 
1st
ALA 7
UF 14
 
3:30pm Today
FIU 0
LOU 0
1st
ECU 14
UNC 13
 
2nd
NAVY 7
RUTG 7
 
2nd
SMU 0
TEXAM 17
 
2nd
MICH 3
UTAH 10
 
2nd
BYU 10
UVA 10
 
1st
WYO 7
FATL 0
 
1st
MIZZ 0
IND 0
 
1st
PSU 3
UMASS 0
 
1st
MINN 3
SJST 0
 
1st
ILL 6
TXST 0
 
6:00pm Tonight
WASH
GASTATE
7:00pm Tonight
SMISS
APPST
7:00pm Tonight
TOL
BST
7:00pm Tonight
OHIO
IDAHO
7:00pm Tonight
CIN
UMO
7:00pm Tonight
MEM
MTST
7:00pm Tonight
LSU
MSST
7:00pm Tonight
ARK
NILL
7:00pm Tonight
ARKST
UTST
7:30pm Tonight
SALABAMA
GASO
7:30pm Tonight
WVU
OKLA
7:30pm Tonight
VANDY
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
FSU
CLEM
8:00pm Tonight
NEB
MIAMI
8:00pm Tonight
NMST
NMU
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
UNLV
10:00pm Tonight
ARZ
CAL
10:30pm Tonight
BSU
LALAF
10:30pm Tonight
WASU
OREG
10:30pm Tonight
ORST
SDST
6:00pm Tonight
TOWSN
NCCU
 
6:00pm Tonight
NCSU
PRES