INT return helps Duke top North Carolina
Bryon Fields Jr. returned an interception 61 yards for a touchdown with 4:01 left to help Duke hold off North Carolina 27-17 in an Atlantic Coast Conference game Saturday at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Duke (4-0, 1-0 ACC) took the lead with 6:09 remaining on Shaun Wilson’s 1-yard run to cap an eight-play, 74-yard drive. The possession was kept alive on receiver Johnathan Lloyd’s 12-yard reception on fourth-and-5 from the North Carolina 24.
Fields’ interception of Tar Heels quarterback Chazz Surratt was the only turnover in the game.
It was the 100th career coaching victory for Duke’s David Cutcliffe.
The Blue Devils have defeated their rivals two years in a row; this was the teams’ earliest meeting in a season.
Duke quarterback Daniel Jones completed 18 of 34 passes for 202 yards. Running back Brittain Brown gained 90 yards on 10 carries.
A 19-play Duke drive resulted in Austin Parker’s 24-yard field goal on the opening possession of the second half.
Surratt’s 56-yard run untouched up the middle sent the Tar Heels (1-3, 0-2) to a 17-13 lead on their first drive of the second half. Surratt finished 17 of 32 for 259 yards.
North Carolina opened the scoring on Freeman Jones’ 34-yard field goal with 1:50 left in the first quarter. Those points were set up by a 47-yard pass to Austin Proehl on a flea flicker.
Three plays later, Duke tight end Davis Koppenhaver was left alone as he scored on a 28-yard pass from Jones.
Duke’s next drive stalled in 12 plays, so it settled for Parker’s 27-yard field goal for a 10-3 lead. The Blue Devils had another 12-play drive go for naught when defensive lineman Jason Strowbridge blocked Parker’s 24-yard attempt with 22 seconds left in the first half.
Two plays later, Anthony Ratliff-Williams caught Surratt’s 45-yard pass to tie the game at the break.