CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Shaun Wilson ran 1 yard for the go-ahead touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, Bryon Fields returned an interception 61 yards for the game-sealing score and Duke beat North Carolina 27-17 on Saturday.
The Blue Devils (4-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) matched their victory total from last year, prolonged their best start since 2014 and kept possession of the Victory Bell traveling trophy by beating the rival Tar Heels (1-3, 0-2) for the second straight year – just the second time that’s happened since 1989.
Daniel Jones was 18 of 32 for 202 yards with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Davis Koppenhaver and a key 45-yard pass to T.J. Rahming to start the drive that ended with Wilson’s TD.
Chazz Surratt ran 56 yards for a touchdown and threw a 45-yard TD pass to Anthony Ratliff for North Carolina, but followed Wilson’s short scoring run with the play of the game – his odd-looking interception to Fields, who returned it down the left sideline for his school-record fourth career pick-six with 4:01 remaining.
Austin Parker kicked field goals of 27 and 24 yards for Duke. Freeman Jones kicked a 34-yard field goal for the Tar Heels.
Duke: The Blue Devils’ defense, which entered as the nation’s best against the run, once again got away with giving up big plays. Duke allowed passes covering 35, 45 and 47 yards in addition to the 56-yard rush by Surratt. A week ago, Baylor had scoring plays that covered 44, 73 and 79 yards.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels will bemoan both the interception and the run of injuries that continue to plague the team. They ruled three starters out with season-ending injuries in the days leading up to this game – then lost top receiver Austin Proehl after his early 47-yard catch. WR Rontavius Groves was hurt early in the fourth quarter of his first college game, clutching his right knee after he planted it while trying to make a catch.
Duke: The Blue Devils have a quick turnaround with a Friday night home game against No. 14 Miami – the Hurricanes’ first appearance in Durham since the infamous eight-lateral loss in 2015.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels travel to Atlanta for another Coastal Division matchup with Georgia Tech on Saturday.