Thursday night lights: Duke to host UNC in rare weeknight game
November’s Duke-North Carolina football game at Wallace Wade Stadium is set for prime time.
Sources said Tuesday that the nationally televised ESPN game will be played on Nov. 20, a Thursday night, only the second time Duke has played an ACC game on a weeknight and the first time at home.
ACC officials will release the full 2014 football schedule at 3 p.m. today.
Also, according to a league source with knowledge of the ACC football schedule, North Carolina will host N.C. State on the final Saturday of the 2014 regular season.
The game at Kenan Stadium on Nov. 29 will be the first time that the Tar Heels will conclude their ACC schedule with a home game against their long-time rival. The teams played at N.C. State to end the 2009 and 1995 seasons and also in Charlotte to end the 1998 season.
Duke has only held two Thursday night games at Wallace Wade Stadium in the past. The first Thursday night game was on Nov. 10, 1983 when portable lights were installed for a game televised by Atlanta’s Superstation WTBS as part of its prime-time football series. The Blue Devils beat N.C. State 27-26.
On Sept. 15, 1994, Duke beat Army 43-7 in a nonconference game.
Two years later, on Sept. 26, 1996, Duke played a Thursday night ACC game at Georgia Tech, losing 64-27.
Both UNC and N.C. State played Thursday night home games last season, with the Tar Heels losing to Miami while Clemson beat the Wolfpack in Raleigh.
Coming off its first winning season since 1994 and setting a school record with 10 wins, Duke is riding a two-game winning streak in its series with UNC. The Blue Devils reclaimed the Victory Bell in 2012, beating UNC 33-30 at Wallace Wade Stadium, and retained it last season with a 27-25 win at Kenan Stadium.
Despite losing the ACC championship game to eventual national champion Florida State 45-7 and falling to Texas A&M, 52-48, in the Chick-fil-A Bowl at Atlanta, Duke still went 10-4 and was ranked No. 23 in the final Associated Press poll.
The Blue Devils will play seven home games at Wallace Wade Stadium next season, three nonconference games and four in ACC play.
Duke has home nonconference games against Elon, Kansas and Tulane. The Kansas game will be played Sept. 13, according to the schedule released by the Big 12 Conference.
In addition to UNC, Duke also has home games with Virginia Tech, Virginia and Wake Forest.
Duke’s ACC road games will be at Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Syracuse and Miami.
The Blue Devils will play a nonconference road game at Troy on Sept. 6.
Duke was 5-0 in road games last season, posting wins at Memphis, Wake Forest, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
UNC coach Larry Fedora is 2-0 against N.C. State, which won the previous five games in the series from 2007-11.
UNC has previously announced all of its 2014 opponents. UNC will host N.C. State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, San Diego State and Liberty. The Tar Heels will travel to Duke, Notre Dame, East Carolina, Clemson, Virginia and Miami.