ACC Official Sponsors
Tickets & Travel
Legal & Advertising
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (goheels.com and AP) -- Marquise Williams threw for 404 of his school-record 494 yards by halftime and No. 21 North Carolina put on a dominating show to beat rival Duke 66-31 on Saturday.
Williams threw for four touchdowns and ran for another, breaking the school passing mark in the opening minutes of the second half. The senior's performance was the biggest highlight on an afternoon full of them for the Tar Heels (8-1, 5-0 ACC), who haven't lost since the opener and firmed up their hold on the Coastal Division race by blowing out the Blue Devils (6-3, 3-2).
Seven players scored for UNC, from Elijah Hood running for three touchdowns to Mack Hollins and Ryan Switzer each hauling in TD catches on 100-yard receiving days. And by the end, the Tar Heels had scored more points than ever against the Blue Devils.
Now 5-0 in the ACC for the first time since 1997, the Tar Heels can clinch a spot in the ACC title game next weekend with a home win against Miami along with a Pittsburgh loss at Duke.
The Blue Devils came in after a final-play loss to Miami on an eight-lateral kickoff for a touchdown - a score that the ACC later said shouldn't have counted in an officiating-marred finish. Yet despite that crushing loss, Duke came into Chapel Hill still controlling its own destiny in the division.
That was before Williams and the UNC offense got rolling.
Williams connected with a wide-open Switzer after a flea-flicker for an 89-yard touchdown on the Tar Heels' first offensive snap. Then, after scoring on a 4-yard run, Williams connected with Hollins for a 74-yard TD with 1:30 left in the half. Later he found Bug Howard with a 49-yard heave with 1 second left in the half.
By then, Williams had thrown for 404 yards and UNC led 38-10. He broke the previous single-game record of 439 yards - set by T.J. Yates against Florida State in 2010 - on the first drive of the second half, which ended in another TD. UNC pulled Williams and other starters by the end of the third quarter.
UNC had 664 yards - more than any ACC team had managed in a game all season entering the weekend - by the end of the third and finished with 704, the third highest total in program history. And that production came against a unit ranked eighth nationally in passing yardage defense, ninth in total defense (295 yards) and 10th in scoring defense (16.1).
Thomas Sirk ran for two scores to lead Duke, which finished with 533 total yards but never got closer than two scores after the opening quarter.