QB Jones accounts for 3 TDs, Duke routs NC Central 49-6
Daniel Jones looked like he's played quarterback at Duke for years.
The redshirt freshman threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in his first college start, and Duke routed North Carolina Central 49-6 on Saturday night.
Jela Duncan set the tone with a 50-yard touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage, added a 3-yard TD run and matched a career high with 115 yards.
"Daniel Jones was out there dropping dimes, like I knew he could," Duncan said.
The Blue Devils (1-0) once again had an easy time against their lower-level crosstown opponent, building a three-touchdown lead before the Eagles (0-1) ran a play inside Duke territory and leading 49-0 at halftime after scoring TDs on seven of their 10 first-half possessions.
"It was a lot of fun out there tonight, and I think everyone enjoyed it," Jones said.
A year after rolling up 655 total yards against Central, Duke gained 535 yards, gave up just 112 and improved to 5-0 in the series.
Jones certainly didn't look like he was playing his first college game. He finished 10 of 15 for 189 yards with touchdown passes of 55 yards to Johnathan Lloyd and 20 yards to Erich Schneider, and added a 17-yard scoring run.
"He's smart, and he's talented, and I told you all he could run - he's really fast," coach David Cutcliffe said. "There are a lot of things he can do well. He will learn a lot from that first taste. It's going to get a lot tougher before it gets easier."
Brandon McLaren kicked field goals of 48 and 34 yards for Central.
"The first half was not what we wanted it to be, by any stretch of the imagination," Central coach Jerry Mack said.
N.C. Central: Since making the jump from Division II to the Championship Subdivision roughly a decade ago, the Eagles have now played seven FBS opponents and lost them all by an average of 44 points with three shutouts. Those results sure haven't hurt them once they start playing schools at their level: They've won shares of the past two Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles, and figure to contend for another.
Duke: All eyes were on Jones in his starting debut two weeks after returning starter Thomas Sirk was lost for the season when he re-injured the Achilles tendon he tore in February. The QB nicknamed "The Future" said earlier in the week that he thought he could both run and pass effectively.
He spent the first half proving it, starting with his first carry - a 21-yard gain on a read option before he threw his first pass.
"I guess that got me comfortable, to get his the first time," Jones said. "It got me rolling, I guess."
His touchdown run came one play after his prettiest pass of the night - a 35-yard throw that he dropped over receiverT.J. Rahming's right shoulder near the sideline. Rahming played a big role in Jones' first TD pass, throwing the key downfield block that sprung Lloyd's catch-and-run.
N.C. Central had just four first downs and Duke held a 308-38 advantage in yards rushing. ... This surely would have been even more lopsided had Duke not turned the ball over five times - three of those coming in the second half when most of the playing time went to the third- and fourth-stringers. ... Duke DT A.J. Wolf had three sacks - the first time a Duke player accomplished that since 2003.
N.C. Central: The Eagles get another crack at an FBS school next week when they visit Western Michigan - which knocked off Northwestern in Week 1.
Duke: The Blue Devils dive into Atlantic Coast Conference play with a visit from Wake Forest. Duke has won four straight in the series with its instate league rival.