DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Kurt Benkert threw for 336 yards and three touchdowns, and Virginia forced six turnovers in beating Duke 34-20 on Saturday.
The East Carolina transfer was 23 of 41 with touchdowns covering 28 yards to David Eldridge, 12 yards to Olamide Zaccheaus and 3 yards to Richard Burney.
Albert Reid also had a short TD run to help the Cavaliers (2-3, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) snap their 17-game road losing streak.
Joseph Ajeigbe’s 4-yard touchdown run with 11:34 left pulled Duke to 27-20, and the Blue Devils had the ball inside Virginia territory twice after that but were stopped on downs both times.
Daniel Jones threw five interceptions for Duke (2-3, 0-2), and fumbled in his own end zone after a hard hit from Jordan Mack. Eli Hamback recovered for the touchdown that put the Cavaliers back up by two touchdowns.
Virginia: These Cavaliers looked nothing like the crew that was routed by Richmond in the opener, made new coach Bronco Mendenhall a winner in his first ACC game and earned their first road win since a 2012 rout at North Carolina State.
This time, they did it with defense. After failing to force a turnover in its first two games, Virginia now has nine takeaways in the last three weeks. Juan Thornhill and Bryce Hall had two interceptions apiece.
Duke: The Blue Devils pretty much squandered whatever goodwill they generated by beating Notre Dame last week, largely because they couldn’t take care of the ball. Jones, who threw three interceptions in his first four games, surpassed that total in just 20 minutes during the first half.
With this loss, it’s fair to wonder if Duke – which still faces road games at No. 3 Louisville, No. 14 Miami and Pittsburgh – will find the four more wins it needs to qualify for its fifth straight bowl game.
Virginia: It’s all ACC opponents remaining for the Cavaliers, who have an idle weekend before playing host to Pittsburgh on Oct. 15.
Duke: The Blue Devils step back out of league play to play host to Army, but then they have only six days to get ready for a Friday night visit to Louisville on Oct. 14.