DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Malik Rosier threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score and No. 14 Miami’s defense shut down Duke in a 31-6 victory Friday night.
Rosier completed 15 of 26 passes for 270 yards, including a 49-yard catch-and-run score by Ahmmon Richards early in the fourth quarter.
Richards’ score broke it open, giving the Hurricanes (3-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) a 24-6 lead with 11:02 left.
Mark Walton – averaging a conference-best 176 yards rushing through two games – managed only 51 yards on 17 carries against the nation’s No. 2-ranked run defense. But he added 79 yards receiving before leaving in the fourth quarter with an injury.
Linebacker Michael Pinckney had 10 tackles, a fourth-down sack on Duke’s opening drive and a second-quarter interception to lead the effort that kept the Blue Devils (4-1, 1-1) out of the end zone.
”Our defense gave up some yards and grass between the 20s,” Miami coach Mark Richt said. ”But when it got in the red zone, we found ways to force field goals. … I thought our defense finished extremely well.”
Duke finished with 349 yards, but converted just 5 of 19 third downs.
”Just went south,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. ”That’s got to be on me. I’ve got to help our players. I’ve got to find out what the circumstances are. We’re going to take a long hard look at that and we will be better.”
Miami: Two years ago, the Hurricanes escaped Durham with a win on an eight-lateral kickoff return for a final-play touchdown. The Hurricanes needed no such theatrics this time, getting off to a fast start behind Rosier (who completed his first nine passes) and then leaning on a defense that stiffened just about any time Duke pushed across midfield in a matchup of unbeaten Coastal Division teams.
Duke: The Blue Devils simply have to get better in the red zone. They twice settled for field goals of 36 yards or closer after drives stalled and also took Pinckney’s sack on a fourth-and-1 from the Miami 13 to open the game. Duke came into the game ranked in the bottom third nationally in red-zone efficiency, and now has scored nine touchdowns and nine field goals in 23 trips.
Miami: The Hurricanes visit preseason ACC favorite Florida State on Oct. 7 in a game rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma.
Duke: The Blue Devils travel to Virginia on Oct. 7.
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