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  • Writer's picturefreddiehodges22

Duke vs Unc Thoughts & Game Notes

Unc heads down Tobacco Road 8 miles to play Duke in Wallace Wade Stadium for an 8 PM kickoff Saturday night for the Victory Bell.

My thoughts on this game will be quick as I've recently traveled to Charlotte and back for the ACC Tip-off and am now heading to the beach for the weekend here in less than an hour lol. I hate that I'm going to miss this rivalry game in person at Wallace Wade but I'll be tuning in to the game at the beach. As of this writing, FanDuel has the line -7 in Unc favor. Look my mind says Unc has the momentum to win this game.. but again I'm going with my heart over my mind.

My score prediction

Duke 34

Unc 28

and I am taking the under of 67.5 points.

Keep reading below for Game Notes from Duke Sports Information

 The Victory Bell is on the line Saturday when Duke and North Carolina square off in the 109th meeting.Kickoff is set for 8 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on ACC Network. North Carolina leads the all-time series between the two schools, 63-41-4. In the last meeting on Oct. 2, 2021, Duke dropped a 38-7 decision to the Tar Heels. The Blue Devils' last win over North Carolina came on Nov. 10, 2018, when Daniel Jones set school single-game records for total offense (547) and rushing yards by a quarterback (186) to help Duke to a 42-35 victory.The Battle for the Victory Bell began in 1948 with North Carolina first earning possession following a 20-0 win. Head cheerleaders from Duke (Loring Jones) and North Carolina (Norman Sper) decided on the idea, with Jones designing the model and Sper obtaining a bell from an old railroad train. Red Lewis, Duke's business manager, agreed to find money in the budget to pay for the bell.Duke has recorded points in 22-of-24 quarters played in regulation, with its lone blemishes being the third quarter against Kansas on Sept. 24 and the first quarter against Georgia Tech on Oct. 8.Saturday's ACCN broadcast will feature Wes Durham, Roddy Jones, and Taylor Davis on the call. The game can also be heard on the Blue Devil Sports Network from LEARFIELD through the Varsity app or


Duke (4-2, 1-1 ACC) vs. North Carolina (5-1, 2-0 ACC)

Saturday, October 15, 20228 p.m.

Durham, N.C. • Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium (40,004)


RADIO  • Blue Devils Sports Network from LEARFIELD

GAME NOTES • Duke Notes (PDF)  •  North Carolina Notes




After finishing the 2021 season last in the ACC in turnover margin, the Blue Devils are tied for third in the league and tied for 15th nationally in the category with +1.17 turnovers per game. Duke is first in the ACC and tied for second with four other schools for second in the country with eight fumble recoveries.Sophomore quarterback Riley Leonard has gone 110-of-167 (.659) passing for 1,312 yards with eight touchdowns. He ranks third in the ACC in pass completion percentage. He trails Syracuse's Garrett Shrader (.709) and North Carolina's Drake Maye (.694).During Duke's last outing at Georgia Tech, redshirt freshman Sahmir Hagans returned a punt 81 yards for the touchdown, marking the Blue Devils' first since Jamison Crowder did so against Arizona State in the 2014 Sun Bowl.


Saturday's game will mark the 109th on the gridiron between the two schools with the series currently in North Carolina's favor at 63-41-4. The Tar Heels have won three consecutive, but over the last six meetings the series is tied at 3-3. The last 10 meetings are also tied at five wins each. The contest marks the 102nd consecutive meeting between the two schools. The teams met twice in 1943.


Duke is 4-0 this season when scoring first. In each of those four games, the Blue Devils have registered a touchdown to begin the scoring and three were on their opening drive.


The Blue Devils are outscoring their opponent 195-118. They are also outscoring their opponents in three-of-four quarters this year, while being tied at 44-44 in the second quarter. In addition, Duke leads the ACC in scoring margin in the opening frame. The Blue Devils hold the 66-10 advantage for a +56 point differential. The next closest team is Syracuse with a mark of +48 (51-3).


For the second consecutive season, the Blue Devils are 3-0 at home to start the year. If Duke wins on Saturday, it will be its best home start since the 2014 season when it started 4-0.


One of Duke's most veteran groups is its offensive line. The leader of the unit is team captain Jacob Monk, who entered 2022 as one of two returning starters with 2,400-plus career snaps (Shaka Heyward: 2,916). He currently has 2,798 in 41 career games played. Prior to 2022, Monk saw action at guard and tackle and is now Duke's starting center. Monk anchors Duke's offensive line that currently ranks tied for second in the ACC and tied for 32nd nationally in sacks allowed with just eight on the year. 


During sophomore quarterback Riley Leonard's opening six games of the 2022 season, he has registered 19 passes of 20-plus yards. Leonard is strong out of the gate as well. The Fairhope, Ala., native is a combined 63-of-83 (.759) passing in Duke's first half, including a 29-of-32 (.906) mark in the first quarter. 


Through six games, Duke is tied for third in the conference in rushing touchdowns (14), and fourth in rushing yards (1,144) and rushing offense (190.67). Leading the charge are redshirt junior running backs Jaylen Coleman and Jordan Waters and sophomore quarterback Riley Leonard, who have 270-plus yards rushing each on the season.Coleman leads the team with 58 carries for 307 yards. Leonard and Waters have rushed 50 and 58 times for 290 and 272 yards, respectively. All three have four rushing touchdowns on the year to make them Duke's first trio to register four-plus rushing scores in a season since Shaun Wilson (6), Brittain Brown (7) and Daniel Jones (7) did so in 2017. The threesome also make Duke the only school in the ACC with three players with 270-plus yards and four rushing touchdowns.As a team, the Blue Devils are second in the ACC with a 5.18 yards per rush average, while Coleman's 5.29 yards per rush mark ranks him sixth in the league.


Duke has held its opponents to 16-of-19 (.842) in the red zone to rank as the sixth best defense in the ACC. The Blue Devil fourth-down defense also has been stout, limiting opponents to just 5-of-11 conversions for a 45.45 percentage. That mark ranks sixth in the league, which is up from their 69.23 percent mark in 2021 (9-of-13).


In 2021, the Blue Devils finished last in the ACC in scoring defense (39.8). This season, they rank fourth in the ACC in scoring defense, limiting its opponents to just 19.67 points per game. In three of Duke's six games to start 2022, the Blue Devils have held their opponent to fewer than 20 first downs.


Duke has six players with 20-plus tackles on the year, led by graduate student Darius Joiner (46), redshirt senior Shaka Heyward (38), and  junior Jaylen Stinson (38). The trio make Duke the only school in the ACC with at least three student-athletes with 38-plus tackles on the year.


Junior  Jaylen Stinson, a 2022 preseason All-America honoree as a kick return specialist by Pro Football Network, returns for another season and will look to continue to boost Duke's return game. Last season, the Honorable Mention All-ACC selection led the team with 34 kickoff returns for 818 yards (24.06) with two kickoff returns for touchdowns versus Pittsburgh (86 yards) and Miami (94 yards).This year, Stinson has registered eight kick returns for 212 yards (26.50). His kick returns and kick return yardage rank him fifth in the ACC, respectively.As a team, Duke's 17 kick returns rank it second in the league, behind Pittsburgh's 18. The Blue Devils' 367 kick return yards also rank them third in the ACC.Duke's punt return unit of senior wide receiver Jalon Calhoun and redshirt freshman wide receiver Sahmir Hagans has the Blue Devils' first in the ACC with 231 combined punt return yards. Hagans leads the league with 139 return yards on the year, while Calhoun is tied for third with 92. In addition, Hagans' punt return average of 46.33 ranks him second in the league.During Duke's last game against Georgia Tech, Hagans broke free for a career-long 81-yard punt return for a touchdown. That return marked Duke's first since Jamison Crowder did so against Arizona State in the 2014 Sun Bowl. His 81-yard return was the second-longest in the ACC this season, trailing Pittsburgh's M.J. Devonshire's 82 yard return against Rhode Island on Sept. 24.The 81-yard punt return for a touchdown was the eighth-longest single-game total in Duke history, while the total punt return yardage (139) ranks as the second-highest single-game total in Duke history.

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