Durham, NC – It was an amazing day for Blue Devils, as Duke blew past the North Carolina Central Eagles 60-7. Duke was dominant in all positions. With the help of running back, Shaun Wilson, the Blue Devils were on the board with a seven point advantage with 11:27 to go in the first quarter with a one yard run.
NC Central quarterback Micah Zanders tried to respond one the next drive, but were denied by Bryon Field Jr., who intercepted the ball and returned it for another touchdown for the 14-0 lead. That interception return tied Fields with the most interception return touchdown (3) in program history.
Everyone got in on the action for Duke, including starting quarterback Daniel Jones, who threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Both running backs Brittain Brown and Shaun Wilson continuously made their presence known. Brown stormed his way to the end zone with a 39 yard run to make it 21-0, Duke. Brown, the Canton, Georgia native, looked like he was running to Canton, Ohio. Brown ran for 120 yards and scored a touchdown. Wilson ran for 59 yards and also scored a touchdown.
Jones was soon able to rest as second-string quarterback Quentin Harris began the second quarter under center. Harris instantly got hot in the red zone, and rushed for a touchdown.
The question lingered about why Harris was called into the game. “I wanted him to get as many reps as he could,” Head Coach, David Cutcliffe exclaimed. “He is probably the most improved on the team.”
The Blue Devils were solid in the passing game, as 13 different wide receivers caught passes. Among the 13 wide receivers, Aaron Young. Jonathan Lloyd, and Noah Gray capitalized and found the end zone.
The offensive players weren’t the guys who illuminated. Redshirt Sophomore Linebacker Joe Giles-Harris had a sack along with freshman defensive end Victor Dimukeje, who finished with a team high 1.5 sacks.
The Blue Devils capitalized off a safety, due to the snap from NCCU center Steven Perry being too high for Zanders. The ball flew in to the end zone and Zanders would kick it out to result in a safety, 30-0 Duke.
The Blue and White defense struck down the Eagles’ offense multiple times with dominate players. Sophomore safety Dylan Singleton was everywhere on the field along with Tre Hornbuckle, who almost caused a forced fumble. Singleton and Hornbuckle would both finish with six tackles; Singleton managed one tackle for a loss, while Hornbuckle totaled 3.5 sacks. Those three and a half sacks is a new career-high after only having 2.5 total tackles for a loss coming in to the game.
Next week, the Blue Devils are back at home to take on Northwestern University, who is known for their powerful veteran offensive line. Last season, Duke fell to the Wildcats in Illinois 24-13.
Linebacker Tre Bucklehorn stated that they “…plan to come in tomorrow and watch the film and go from there.” Hornbuckle continued, “We are a team of brothers who will fight to win because that’s the goal…to win.”
The Blue Devils look forward to keeping the winning streak going, as they play at Wallace Wade Stadium, at 12:30.