DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Riley Leonard threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more as Duke continued its strong start to the season by defeating North Carolina A&T 49-20 on Saturday night.

Duke is 3-0 for the first time since 2018.

Leonard ended up 11-for-12 passing for 155 yards – all in the first half – to go with a team-high 66 yards rushing on five carries.

Leonard completed his first 11 passes before he was intercepted by Avarion Cole on his final throw late in the first half. Former Washington High School star Jaquez Moore had 55 yards rushing on four carries, including a 42-yard run.

N.C. A&T (0-3) scored on Andrew Brown field goals of 21 and 41 yards in the first half.

The Aggies, who didn’t score a touchdown a week earlier at North Dakota State, reached the end zone twice in the fourth quarter on Charlie Dixon’s 8-yard run and Eli Brickhandler’s 6-yard pass to Romello Kimbrough.

Duke scored three touchdowns in the first 8 ½ minutes, beginning with the first play from scrimmage when Leonard connected with Nicky Dalmolin for a 38-yard play.

The Blue Devils used 10 plays on their second possession, ending with Jordan Moore making a diving catch for a 4-yard touchdown. Duke’s defense produced the next points when DeWayne Carter grabbed a fumble and ran 35 yards untouched for the score.

In the second half, Leonard ran 56 yards for the first points. Jaylen Coleman (12 yards) and Eric Weatherly (14 yards) also scored on runs for the Blue Devils.

The teams have met three times in a four-season span, with Duke winning convincingly each time.


N.C. A&T: The Aggies have lost twice this season to teams from Durham after an opening-night loss to long-time rival North Carolina Central in Charlotte. They’ve been wiped out in their past two games, so they’ll look forward to playing their first 2022 home game next week.

Duke: The Blue Devils took care of business in impressive fashion under first-year coach Mike Elko, matching last season’s win total in the process. It turned out to be a chance to see numerous reserves in action in the fourth quarter.


N.C. A&T: Hosts South Carolina State on Saturday.

Duke: Plays at Kansas on Saturday.