DURHAM, N.C. (GoDuke.com)– Duke University redshirt freshman quarterback Daniel Jones threw for 189 yards and two touchdowns in his quarterback debut and the Blue Devils defense held North Carolina Central to just 112 yards of offense and four first downs in a 49-6 win over the Eagles in the 2016 season opener.
Jones, accounting for three Duke touchdowns in his debut, is the fourth Duke freshman quarterback since 1951 to start his first career game, joining Jerry Barger (1951/South Carolina), Ben Bennett (1980/East Carolina) and Bobby Campbell (1997/East Carolina). His 189 passing yards ties the record for the most by a Duke freshman quarterback making his first career start in a season opener.
Redshirt senior running back Jela Duncan headlined the Blue Devils’ running game with a career-high tying 115 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns. Duke finished the game with 308 yards on the ground. Backup quarterback Parker Boehme added 68 on his seven carries.
Duke needed just two rushes from Duncan on its opening drive to get on the scoreboard for the first time in 2016. The senior running back took the ball from Jones and dashed 50 yards up the left side to put the Blue Devils up 7-0 on the Eagles.
After a second touchdown from Duncan – the 14th of his career— made it 14-0, the Blue Devil defense forced another three-and-out. Jones quickly made it 21-0 with a 55-yard strike to redshirt sophomore Jonathan Lloyd, the first career touchdown pass for Jones and the first touchdown reception for Lloyd.
The opening half was all Blue Devils as they amassed 408 total yards of offense and held NCCU to just 71 yards to take a Duke-record 49-0 lead into the locker room. Boehme orchestrated Duke’s final two drives of the half, including an incredible 34 rush to the NCCU 4-yard line to set up his pass to Davis Koppenhaver in the end zone.
N.C. Central got on the board in the third quarter with a 48-yard field goal from Brandon McLaren. The NCCU kicker added three more points to start the fourth, hitting a 34-yard kick to make the score 49-6.
Senior defensive tackle A.J. Wolf led the defensive charge with 3.0 sacks, tied for the second most in a game by a Duke player in program history. Joe Giles-Harris was tops in tackles with six, including three solo stops and two tackles for loss.