DURHAM, N.C. — Daniel Jones accounted for 547 total yards and four touchdowns to help Duke beat rival North Carolina 42-35 on Saturday.
Jones threw for 361 yards and three touchdowns for the Blue Devils (7-3, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). He also ran for a 61-yard touchdown and had a 68-yard keeper in a 186-yard rushing day, helping Duke finish with a season-high 629 yards.
Duke claimed a third straight victory in the series, allowing the Blue Devils to keep the Victory Bell and in their preferred darker shade of blue paint for another year.
"There's just so much emotion in that rivalry, and especially toward the end it got a little closer than you'd like," left guard Zach Harmon said. "So it's just a huge payoff of relief at the end, it couldn't feel better."
The Tar Heels (1-8, 1-6) trailed by 14 throughout the fourth quarter until a late TD throw from Nathan Elliott to Thomas Jackson with 75 seconds left. Then, after a late stop, UNC had a final drive for the tie and pushed to the Duke 39.
But the Blue Devils knocked down the end-zone pass from Cade Fortin brought in for the final heave to end it.
"We're throwing a jump ball to tie the game up," UNC coach Larry Fedora said. "They're a good football team. Our guys continue to fight. There's no question about that, who they are and what they're made up of. I'm proud of them for that fact."
UNC: The Tar Heels had another uneven performance, the kind of fix-one-thing-and-something-else-breaks issues that have followed them most of the season. Michael Carter and the ground game couldn't be stopped in a 28-point first half while the defense struggled, only to reverse roles with the defense coming up with a blocked field goal and two takeaways after halftime as the offense went into a 28-minute slumber. UNC fought to the final play, but still ended with a 20th loss in 25 games.
Duke: Jones had quite a day in a display of his offensive potential. Jones broke a single-game record for total offense set by Anthony Dilweg (476 yards) in 1988 against Wake Forest. Jones also had the biggest rushing day by a Duke quarterback in any game, breaking a record set in 1976. And that all propelled the Blue Devils past the 600-yard mark for the third time this season.
UNC: The Tar Heels step out of league play to host Western Carolina next Saturday.
Duke: The Blue Devils draw the toughest of cross-divisional matchups, traveling to No. 2 Clemson next Saturday.