Recap: North Carolina vs. Duke
Chapel Hill, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Ross Martin kicked a go-ahead 27-yard field goal with 2:22 remaining and a DeVon Edwards interception secured Duke's first 10-win season along with the ACC Coastal Division title as the 24th- ranked Blue Devils edged rival North Carolina, 27-25.
Anthony Boone threw two touchdown passes to Jamison Crowder and finished with 274 yards on 23-of-34 efficiency for Duke (10-2, 6-2 ACC), which heads into next week's conference championship game against Florida State having won eight games in a row.
The winning streak is one game shy of the school record set in 1933 and matched in 1938 and 1941.
"We've got a big football game in Charlotte. We are honored to represent the Coastal Division. There are a lot of good football teams in the Coastal Division and we're very honored to be the representative in Charlotte, and we're very honored to be a part of our great conference's championship game in Charlotte," said Duke head coach David Cutcliffe. "I am expecting to see thousands upon thousands of Duke fans in Charlotte. I'm calling you out right now -- take advantage of this opportunity."
North Carolina (6-6, 4-4) had taken a 25-24 lead on Thomas Moore's 37-yard field goal with 7:03 left in the fourth quarter. The Tar Heels converted a pair of third downs on the drive after beginning the game 0-for-8.
Boone then moved the chains on 3rd-and-4 from the Duke 31 with a 7-yard toss to Crowder. After his next pass fell incomplete, Boone connected with Jela Duncan out of the backfield for 29 yards.
The Blue Devils marched to the North Carolina 5, where on 3rd-and-2 short- yardage specialist Brandon Connette was tackled for a 4-yard loss. Martin came on to put Duke back in front.
North Carolina then converted a 4th-and-5 as Marquise Williams led the team to midfield. However, his second-down pass was picked off by Edwards, who also returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.
"I got a little pressure. I got hit when the ball came out," Williams said about his last throw. "I tried to make a play, but I got hit when I was trying to throw the ball. It's not going to turn out too pretty."
Williams accounted for three touchdowns in the Tar Heels' first setback since Oct. 17. He completed 17-of-36 passes for 223 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions and totaled 104 yards and two scores on 16 carries.
North Carolina was seeking to win six games in a row for the first time since the 1997 squad opened 8-0.
The Tar Heels grabbed a 7-0 lead when a 79-yard catch-and-run by Eric Ebron set up Williams' 1-yard TD run. Duke countered with a 13-play drive and tied the score on Crowder's 17-yard TD reception with 2:31 to play in the opening quarter.
North Carolina punted to start the second quarter and the Blue Devils chewed up more than eight minutes off the clock before Martin put them ahead with a 22-yard field goal.
The Tar Heels punted again, but Crowder fumbled on the return and UNC recovered at the Duke 34-yard line.
North Carolina gambled on 4th-and-7 at the 31 by keeping the offense on the field, but the move paid off as Williams hit Ebron for 17 yards. Later, T.J. Logan appeared to fumble before he crossed the goal line on a run and Duke made the recovery in the end zone. The play went to review and was overturned, with Logan ruled down at the 1. Two plays later, Williams scored on a QB keeper.
A two-point conversion gave the home team a 15-10 lead that was quickly erased when Edwards returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown with 1:19 remaining in the second.
Duke had a chance to pad its lead, but Martin missed a 55-yard try to close out the first half.
Williams was intercepted on the second play from scrimmage in the third quarter, and the turnover resulted in Crowder's 7-yard grab in the back of the end zone.
After both teams turned the ball over on downs in enemy territory, Quinshad Davis caught a 23-yard TD pass to trim North Carolina's deficit to 24-22 with 5:10 left in the third.Game Notes
Duke posted its first win at UNC since 2003 and retained the Victory Bell ...
The Blue Devils won five road games in a season for the first time since 1952
... Crowder had 54 yards on five receptions, raising his total catches to a
single-season school record 88 ... Ebron made five grabs for 121 yards. He has
set an ACC single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end with 895.
Ebron broke the mark previously held by Maryland's Vernon Davis (871 in 2005)
... Saturday's game marked the 100th meeting between these schools.