Remember this 2016 viral video featuring high school students Daniel Lara and his friend Joshua Holz – who popularized the phrase “Damn Daniel” when marveling over his daily outfits?
This perfectly describes my reaction to Daniel Jones’ record-setting performance.
The Blue Devils (7-3) entered Saturday’s game as the favorites against the Tar Heels (1-8) who have been competitive, yet failed to win a game since defeating Pitt in week 4. But records don’t matter when it comes to rivalries of this magnitude.
The Tar Heels opened the game with a 75 yard touchdown drive – with the bulk of their offense (61 yards) gained on the ground. Duke would answer with a score of their own – which conversely was led by 70 yards gained in the air. This trend would lead to an exciting half of football with Duke and UNC trading scores, before the Blue Devils took a 35-28 lead with 43 seconds remaining in the 2nd. They would never trail again.
After the game Coach Cutcliffe said there was no one part that enabled the Blue Devils to win, but the spectacular play of quarterback Daniel Jones – who finished with 547 total yards, sure did help.
“Daniel Jones played as well as a quarterback could play. I don’t know how total yards he would’ve ended up with had we caught everything he threw, but what a tremendous effort.”
Jones, who had four touchdowns on the day (rushing for 186 yards and passing for 361), became the 2nd player in the ACC to throw for over 300 yards and rush for over 150. He joined Lamar Jackson and Tajh Boyd as the only other Atlantic Coast Conference players to have multiple games with over 300 yards passing and 100 rushing. Daniel also set two school records Saturday. His 186 yards on the ground is a new high for a Duke quarterback, as well as his 547 in total offense.
“I know I’m not the fastest guy on the field. I was just trying to move as fast as I could,” Jones said. “Both of those long runs, I’m not sure I really got touched and that’s a credit to those guys up front. There were seams there and I just tried to hit them.”
The Victory Bell, which is awarded yearly to the winner of this football game, will remain in Bull City for the 3rd year in a row.
— Carolina Blitz (@KeepBlitzin) November 10, 2018
The Blue Devils travel to Clemson next week hoping to pull off an upset against the league’s best team. UNC will play at home, trying to get their 2nd win of the season against Western Carolina.