No. 24 North Carolina edges Duke in 2OT thriller

League: NCAA Football

Posted on: 12 Nov, 2023 at 05:18 AM

Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Drake Maye scored on a 5-yard quarterback keeper and threw for a two-point conversion in the second overtime as No. 24 North Carolina, which needed a field goal on the last play of regulation to extend the game, beat visiting Duke 47-45 on Saturday night at Chapel Hill, N.C.

Duke had a chance to tie after Grayson Loftis tossed a TD pass to Jordan Moore -- who caught three TDs -- but Loftis threw incomplete on the conversion pass to end the game.

Duke opened the first overtime with Todd Pelino's 49-yard field goal. Noah Burnette countered from 24 yards out for North Carolina.

Loftis threw a 30-yard, fourth-down pass to Moore with 41 seconds to play as Duke was on the verge of victory. Burnette's fifth field goal of regulation came as time expired from 43 yards out.

Moore's second touchdown catch of the game came as Loftis was pressured, but a coverage breakdown left Moore open for the Blue Devils' third touchdown in the final 10 minutes.

Maye threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Bryson Nesbit with 1:55 remaining for North Carolina's final lead of regulation.

Jordan Waters scored two rushing touchdowns for Duke in a span of slightly more than four minutes to wipe out a 12-point, fourth-quarter hole and set up the frantic finish.

Maye completed 28 of 44 passes for 342 yards with an interception, while also rushing for two touchdowns. Tez Walker made seven catches for 162 yards, while running back Omarion Hampton gained 169 yards on 31 carries with a touchdown.

North Carolina (8-2, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) lost its previous two ACC games when it was unable to protect double-digit leads, but Saturday night's result kept the Tar Heels in contention for a spot in the league championship game. Duke (6-4, 3-3) has lost three of its last four games, all to ranked teams.

Waters ran 21 yards for a go-ahead touchdown with 5:21 remaining. The Blue Devils converted on a two-point conversion pass.

North Carolina coach Mack Brown, who's in his second stint as coach of the team, has a string of 13 consecutive wins against Duke.

Loftis, a freshman making his second start because of injuries to other Duke quarterbacks, was 16-for-28 passing for 189 yards. Waters ran for 113 yards on 20 attempts.

Trailing 26-14 after Hampton's 2-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter, Duke put together a seven-play, 70-yard drive that ended with Waters' 13-yard touchdown run with 9:41 remaining.

The Blue Devils were successful on an onside kick, and then they drove for the go-ahead touchdown using eight plays. That march included picking up a fourth-and-1 conversion.

The Tar Heels, playing in their home finale, had three drives of 10 or more plays in the first half, but ended up with a touchdown and the first two of Burnette's three first-half field goals. He was good from 23, 31 and 25 yards. The last of those gave North Carolina a 16-14 lead.

Duke rarely had much going its way in the first half until scoring two touchdowns in a span of slightly more than three minutes.

Loftis threw for 10 yards to Moore for a touchdown. On the next North Carolina snap, Jaylen Stinson intercepted Maye and the Blue Devils had the ball at the Tar Heels' 14-yard line. Loftis ran 3 yards for a touchdown.

Maye opened the scoring on a 1-yard run on the game's first possession.

Duke punted to end its first two possessions, while the Tar Heels didn't punt until the fourth quarter.

--Field Level Media