Blue Devils nearly flawless in 60-7 rout of N.C. Central in Bull City Classic

Duke scored five touchdowns on eight possessions in the first half, on their way to a 60-7 blowout win over North Carolina Central in the Bull City Classic.

The Blue Devils (1-0) led 47-7 at the break after amassing 344 yards of total offense in the first 30 minutes. Duke quarterback Daniel Jones was nearly flawless at the break, completing 13 of 18 passes for 137 yards and one score, a perfect 54-yard strike to Aaron Young that made the score 40-0 after the extra point with one minute remaining in the second quarter.

Jones, a redshirt sophomore, finished with 232 yards of total offense, including 213 through the air and two touchdowns. Jones played just two drives in the second half before getting the night off.

The Blue Devils first-half touchdown drives covered 51, 28, 86, 66, 21, 69 and 77 yards.

Four different Duke players - Brittain Brown, Shaun Wilson, Jones, Quentin Harris, Johnathan Lloyd - all scored rushing touchdowns for the Blue Devils, who, as a team rushed 47 times for 243 yards. Brown, a redshirt freshman, led the team with 120 yards on 10 carries in his college debut. On the Eagles second offensive possession of the game, sophomore quarterback Micah Zanders stared down his receiver on an out route. The result was a 28-yard interception return for a score by Duke senior cornerback Byron Fields.

The Blue Devils’ defense forced a safety on the Eagles second possession of the second quarter, making it 33-0 with 11:25 remaining before intermission. Things could have been much worst. Duke had two second-half scores, a punt return by T.J. Rahming, and another interception by Fields, called back because of penalties. Central was flagged seven times for 66 yards.

The Eagles (0-1) avoided the first half shutout when redshirt Isaiah Totten burst through the Duke defense for an 81-yard touchdown run. That made it 40-7 in favor of the Blue Devils, a small victory for Central, who trailed 49-0 at the break last season. Central had a hard time keeping drives alive, finishing 2-for-12 on third down.

Duke finished the night with 524 yards of total offense, while holding Central to 158.

The Blue Devils improved to 6-0 in the all-time series between the two schools, averaging 52 points per game. Saturday’s 60 points were the most scored by Duke in the series.

Next week the Blue Devils host Northwestern at noon. The Eagles host Shaw University at 6 p.m.

Jonas Pope IV: 919-419-7001, @JEPopeIV