DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Mataeo Durant ran for three first-half touchdowns and quarterback Gunnar Holmberg finished with a pair of scoring runs as Duke beat North Carolina A&T 45-17 on Friday night.
The Blue Devils (1-1) broke a tie in the waning seconds of the first half on the way to only their fourth victory in their last 19 games stretching back to October 2019.
Durant, who has six touchdowns this season, didn’t have nearly the success as the week earlier when he racked up a school-record 255 rushing yards in a loss at Charlotte. Instead, he posted 41 yards on 15 carries.
Holmberg, making a start in a home game for the first time, scored on runs of 1 and 9 yards. He was 20-for-27 for 270 yards through the air.
Aggies quarterback Kingsley Ifedi scored on two first-half runs. He ended up as the game’s top rusher by gaining 83 yards on 15 attempts.
N.C. A&T (0-2) used a 20-play drive that covered 86 yards and consumed more than 12 minutes in the first quarter to score first on Ifedi’s 1-yard run.
Duke went ahead for good on Durant’s 2-yard rush with 3 seconds left in the first half.
There were no turnovers in the game, though Duke recovered an onside kick following its first touchdown. That helped the Blue Devils score 14 points in an 81-second span.
It was a similar score to Duke’s 45-13 victory against N.C. A&T early in the 2019 season in the first meeting in the series.
N.C. A&T: The Aggies were efficient by converting on 9 of 10 third-down situations in the first half. That rate declined with a 1-for-7 mark in the second half. N.C. A&T picked up 13 first downs in the opening half, but only six after halftime.
Duke: Four of the Blue Devils’ last six victories in home games have come against in-state opponents. The Aggies have been the victims in two of those outcomes.
N.C. A&T: Home opener Sept. 25 against North Carolina Central
Duke: Sept. 18 at home vs. Northwestern