Jackson, Durant rush Duke past Syracuse
Deon Jackson and Mataeo Durant each topped 100 rushing yards in the first half as Duke used a punishing ground game to win its first game of the season, 38-24 at Syracuse in an ACC matchup on Saturday.
Duke (1-4, 1-4) rolled to 645 yards, including 363 on the ground.
Jackson, a senior, finished with 30 carries for a career-high 169 yards.
Durant, a junior, rushed 23 times for a career-best 163 yards with two touchdowns, including a 3-yarder with 5:26 left for the game’s final score.
Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito tossed two touchdown passes of more than 50 yards, but the Orange (1-3, 1-3) struggled otherwise, gaining 286 total yards.
DeVito, who completed 13 of 26 passes for 255 yards, left the game with a left ankle/foot injury with 11:03 left. He later returned to the sideline on crutches.
The Orange closed within 30-24 on a 48-yard field goal from Andre Szymt at the 10:14 mark. Duke responded with a 75-yard drive, capped by Durant’s run around left end.
Duke produced multiple 100-yard rushers in a game for the first time since 2015.
The Blue Devils, who entered the game with a national-high 15 turnovers, were nearly undone by three lost fumbles and one interception. Quarterback Chase Brice completed 22 of 38 throws for 270 yards and two touchdowns.
Charlie Ham made all three of field goal attempts for Duke, from 36, 45 and 21 yards.
Duke gained 416 yards in the first half, 247 the on ground.
Syracuse had only five first downs and 156 yards in the first half, the bulk of which came on a 79-yard touchdown pass to Taj Harris on its opening drive. Harris finished with six receptions for 138 yards.
The Blue Devils rushed for 179 yards in the first quarter but managed just a 10-7 lead, which the Orange overcame with a sack and 28-yard fumble return by Geoff Cantin-Arku for a 14-10 edge with 14:21 to go before halftime.
Duke scored two touchdowns in the final 5:09 of the half for a 24-14 lead at the break.
–Field Level Media