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No. 17 Duke leans on defense to topple NC State

Henry Belin IV completed only four passes in his first career start but two of those went for touchdowns and No. 17 Duke’s defense was up to the task in a 24-3 victory against visiting North Carolina State on Saturday night in Durham, N.C.

Jordan Waters had an 83-yard touchdown run among his 123 rushing yards for the Blue Devils (5-1, 2-0 ACC).

Belin, a redshirt freshman, was in action in place of Riley Leonard, who suffered an ankle injury in the waning seconds of Duke’s loss two weeks earlier to Notre Dame. The Blue Devils were off last week.

Belin was 4-for-12 for 107 yards, with his lone second-half throw going incomplete. He also rushed for 28 yards.

NC State (4-3, 1-2) struggled on offense in quarterback MJ Morris’ second start of the season. Morris went 24-for-40 for 193 yards and an interception.

Waters ripped off his long touchdown run for the only touchdown of the third quarter.

Duke had big momentum plays go in its favor for a 17-3 halftime lead.

Brayden Narveson drilled a 57-yard field goal on NC State’s first possession, which came after Shyheim Battle’s interception. The field goal was the longest in Wolfpack history, breaking by 1 yard a mark that stood for 33 years.

The Blue Devils scored on Belin’s 69-yard pass to Jalon Calhoun, who broke free beyond NC State’s secondary. Then Todd Pelino’s career-long 53-yard field goal for Duke made it 10-3 early in the second quarter.

Tre Freeman intercepted Morris and returned the ball to the Wolfpack 8. On the next snap, Belin’s toss to tight end Jeremiah Hasley allowed the Blue Devils to go up 17-3.

NC State outgained Duke 305-301 and dominated time of possession, 36:56-23:04.

There was rain late in the first half that appeared to cause many fans to leave. NC State, with its campus less than 25 miles away, had a large contingent of fans for the Wolfpack’s first visit to Durham in 10 years.

–Field Level Media

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