The Blue Devils opened the 2016 season by cruising past NC Central 49-6 on Saturday evening in the new Wallace Wade Stadium in the Bull City Classic.
Freshman quarterback Daniel Jones completed 10-of-15 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns in less than two quarters of work as Duke ran out to a 49-0 halftime lead before coasting to a season opening victory over NC Central.
A season ago the Blue Devils beat the Eagles 55-0 in the home opener, and this game was more of the same with Duke never being challenged on either side of the ball.
Prior to the starters being pulled ahead of next week’s ACC opener against Wake Forest, Duke was able to gobble up chunks of yardage via the air and ground attacks. When Jones wasn’t hitting any number of receivers, the stable of running backs was moving the ball with relative ease.
Jela Duncan broke things open with a 50 yard touchdown run on the first series and then scored again on Duke’s second drive of the first quarter to give Duke an early lead. Duncan finished the game with 115 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns.
Following Duncan’s first scores, it was the Jones show as the redshirt freshman found fellow first time starter Johnathan Lloyd for a 56 yard scoring strike to make it 21-0. The freshman would then show off his ability to run the ball, keeping the ball and running seven yards for Duke’s fourth touchdown in the first 18 minutes of game action.
Jones’ final recorded stat of the game would be a 20 yard scoring strike to TE Erich Schneider to make it 35-0 with just over seven minutes remaining in the second quarter.
Over the last two and a half quarters Duke would play most of the depth chart’s second team which was still a mismatch for the Eagles as the Blue Devils added another 14 points.
Duke will return to action next Saturday in the ACC home opener against Wake Forest.