Blue Devils improve to 4-0 with win over NC Central

Duke quarterback Quentin Harris (18) carries the ball for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against North Carolina Central in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)
Duke quarterback Quentin Harris (18) carries the ball for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against North Carolina Central in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown) AP

With the 55-13 win over N.C. Central, Duke improved to 4-0 for the second straight season. the Blue Devils racked up 628 yards on offense in their seventh straight win over the Eagles (1-2).

Here’s a look at the game:

Controlling the clock

4Q, 7:51: Nicodem Pierre became the fourth Duke player to score a rushing touchdown against the Eagles, scoring his first career rushing touchdown late in the fourth. Duke now has 346 rushing yards.

Brown makes history

4Q, 15:00: Duke led NCCU 48-13 heading into the fourth quarter. The Blue Devils racked up 529 yards of total offense to just 177 from the Eagles. Duke running back Brittain Brown became the fourth Blue Devils’ player to have a rushing touchdown of 40 or more yards and a receiving touchdown of 40 or more yards in the same game. Brown caught one pass for a 44-yard score in the opening quarter, and rushed for a 43-yard score in the third quarter.

No Harris, no problem

3Q, 2:23: Chris Katrenick led Duke on two scoring drives after taking over for Quentin Harris, who left the game with a lower leg injury midway through the third quarter. Katrenick threw for a touchdown pass on his first drive, then led the offense on a nine-play, 52-yard scoring drive, putting Duke up 48-13.

Harris goes down in third quarter

3Q, 9:51: Duke quarterback Quentin Harris, who started two straight games in place of an injured Daniel Jones, went down in the third quarter after a player rolled on his left leg. Harris slowly walked off the field and was replaced by redshirt freshman Chris Katrenick. Harris had 202 yards passing and three touchdowns at the time of the injury. Katrenick led the Blue Devils to a score, throwing to Davis Koppenhaver for a three-yard score, putting Duke ahead 40-13.

Starting the second half strong

3Q, 13:18: North Carolina Central goes three and out on its opening drive of the second half and it takes Duke just two plays to score. Brittain Brown went in from 43-yards out to give him 112 yards and two scores. It’s his first 100-yard game of the season.

Duke takes advantage of penalty

2Q, 47: Discipline has been an issue for NCCU for a while and it caught up with the Eagles at a crucial time. Down 20-13, NCCU punted back to Duke. The short punt went out of bounds, but Jerome Foster was called for a late hit, giving the Blue Devils the ball at the 17. It took Quentin Harris two plays to find Jonathan Lloyd for a 16-yard score. Duke led 27-13 at the break.

Fourth down not kind to Duke

2Q, 4:09: North Carolina Central stopped Duke four times on fourth down, including two goal line stands, the second from the 1-yard line.

Defense gets into scoring act

2Q, 12:26: On fourth and one, Duke went for it around midfield. Quarterback Quentin Harris couldn’t handle the snap for Duke and NCCU defensive back Jordan McRae returned it 55-yards for the score. McRae showed off some impressive running skills, zig-zagging through Duke on his way to the endzone. Duke led 20-13 after the score.

Leaping the shield penalty ... is that new?

1Q, 35: Isaiah Totten brings his best against Duke. Last season the NCCU running back scored on an 81-yard touchdown run. Today he scored on a 20-yard run with 35 seconds remaining in the first quarter. The drive, NCCU’s longest of the quarter, was kept alive when the Blue Devils were called for leaping the punt shield on a fourth down punt attempt. Two plays later, Totten took it in for the score. Totten has 80 yards on eight carries in the first.

Missed opportunity leads my Eagles leads to more points for Blue Devils

1Q, 6:10: NCCU moved into scoring territory after a 59-yard by sophomore Isaiah Totten on their first gain, but the Eagles went backwards after that play. NCCU was flagged for a delay of game on the next play, then Totten was dropped for a loss of six two plays later and the Eagles were forced to punt.

Again, Duke was able to take advantage, scoring in seven plays, capped off when Harris found Brittain Brown for a 44-yard touchdown, giving the Blue Devils an early 20-0 lead. Duke out gained the Eagles 199-64 to this point of the game.

Special teams are special

1Q, 11:21: After Duke went up 6-0, the Blue Devils went into their bag of special teams’ tricks. Duke attempted and successfully recovered an onside kick at the 50.

It took the Blue Devils four plays to strike pay dirt, this time on a 15-yard run by Harris.

Quick-strike offense

Q1, 12:46: Duke only needed six plays to find paydirt, driving 80 yards and taking 2:14 off the clock before Quentin Harris found Davis Koppenhaver all alone for a 17-yard score. The extra point was no good, but the Blue Devils take an early 6-0. Duke had perfect balance on the drive, with three passes and three runs.