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Miami takes control early, clamps down on Duke to remain undefeated

Miami's Mark Walton, right, jumps over Duke's Ben Humphreys and Bryon Fields Jr. during the first half.
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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 threw 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.

Duke finished with 349 yards, but converted just 5 of 19 third downs.

THE TAKEAWAY

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 nationally in red-zone efficiency, and now has scored nine touchdowns and nine field goals in 23 trips.

UP NEXT

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.