Sunday, October 15, 2023

Duke Dominates NC State in 24-3 Victory

DURHAM – The No. 17 Duke Blue Devils (5-1, 2-0) delivered an impressive performance at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium on Saturday night, sealing a commanding 24-3 victory over the NC State Wolfpack (4-3, 1-2). Duke's defense shone brightly, allowing just three points, marking the fewest points scored by NC State since 2014. This ACC clash was characterized by explosive plays, defensive prowess, and a young quarterback's promising debut.

The game began with NC State taking an early lead, as Brayden Narveson drilled a career-long 57-yard field goal on the Wolfpack's opening possession. This kick set a new program record for the longest field goal, surpassing Damon Hartman's 56-yard mark from 1990.

Duke quickly responded with a two-play, 90-yard drive that saw redshirt freshman Henry Belin IV connect with redshirt senior Jalon Calhoun for a stunning 69-yard touchdown reception. This play gave the Blue Devils a lead they wouldn't relinquish, making it 7-3 with 6:26 left in the first quarter.

Before heading into halftime, Duke extended their lead to 17-3 with a career-long 52-yard field goal from Todd Pelino and an eight-yard touchdown reception by Jeremiah Hasley, his first career score. The defensive dominance displayed by the Blue Devils was evident, limiting the Wolfpack to just a single field goal.

In the second half, graduate Jordan Waters made a significant impact by rumbling for an impressive 83-yard touchdown run, securing the win for Duke with a final score of 24-3. This run tied for the third-longest touchdown in program history.

The standout performance was not limited to the offense. The Blue Devil defense recorded a season-high four sacks and eight tackles for loss, holding NC State to its fewest points scored in an ACC game since 2008.

Redshirt sophomore linebacker Tre Freeman was a force to be reckoned with, tallying a career-high 15 tackles and claiming his first career interception. The last Duke player to record 15 or more tackles in a game was Shaka Heyward in 2021.

With this victory, Duke maintained their unblemished record in ACC play, setting up an exciting matchup against unbeaten and No. 4 ranked Florida State on October 21. The Seminoles are coming off a dominant 41-3 win over Syracuse, promising another thrilling showdown in the weeks to come.