UNC, Duke, NCCU all come up big
All in all, it was a rare all-win college football Saturday for UNC, Duke and N.C. Central.
North Carolina vanquished the hangover of its opening night loss at South Carolina with a 40-20 home win over Middle Tennessee, Duke overcame the loss to injury of starting quarterback Anthony Boone to pull away at Memphis 28-14 and N.C. Central came back late and took a pair of overtime sessions to finally put away Division II foe St. Augustine’s 23-20.
About the only thing the Tar Heels didn’t do right was handle the game-opening coin flip. After botching the call on that one — the Tar Heels ended up kicking off to open both halves — the offense and defense did what they had to do to stop the Blue Raiders.
Former Herald-Sun All-Area Player of the Year Khris Francis of Hillside High saw his first game action for the Heels, in the second game of his freshman season.
In Memphis, Duke’s Boone went down in the second quarter with the score knotted 7-all — Memphis’ score coming on a 75-yard return of a Boone pick — but the defense was stout and backup quarterback Brandon Connette led the Blue Devils to three second-half touchdowns.
Duke’s defense has allowed only seven points in two games this season and perhaps not coincidentally, Duke is 2-0 for the first time in 15 years.
In Durham, the FCS Eagles came within an eyelash of a major upset, but tied the game at 13 with 29 seconds left in regulation, then won it on Oleg Parent’s 19-yard field goal in the second overtime period.