Saturday, November 7, 2009

UNC 19, Duke 6

CHAPEL HILL -- It's good day to be Ryan Houston, and Casey Barth, but not Duke.
Houston's career-best 164 yards, and Barth's four field goals, gave North Carolina a 19-6 win over the Blue Devils on Saturday at Kenan Stadium.

The loss ends Duke's three-game ACC winning streak and leaves them 1-19 in the Victory Bell series since 1989. The loss also derails Duke's pursuit of a bowl bid and bolster's UNC's, which has won two straight in the ACC after an 0-3 conference start.

Houston carried 10 times, on a 12-play drive, for 55 yards on the game-clinching touchdown, a 3-yard run by receiver Jheranie Boyd. Houston has a career-best 157 yards on a career-best 35 carries.

Houston out-gained Duke's vaunted offense by himself, 179 total yards to 125.

Charlie Brown's interception and 54-yard return set UNC up at Duke's 20 but a illegal block penalty on Greg Little on first down stopped UNC's drive before it started. Barth hit the 41-yarder on the last play of the third quarter for his third field goal.

Barth, who kicked the game-winner on the last play of last Thursday's 20-17 win at Virginia Tech, also hit from 40, 29 and 33 yards.

Nick Maggio hit two field goals in the first half to tie the game at 6 at the half. Maggio's hit a 26-yarder on the last play of the half and a 23-yarder as Duke's passing game has stalled after reaching the red zone twice.

The Tar Heels have leaned heavily on their running game, minus Shaun Draughn, and Barth's right leg with quarterback T.J. Yates struggling. Barth hit a 29-yarder, his second field goal, after Yates whistled a high and hard fastball over the out-stretched hands of Greg Little on the 4-yard line.

North Carolina scored first, on its first possession, running six times on a 10-play drive to set up a 40-yard field goal by Barth for a 3-0 lead at 11:25 in the first quarter.

A blocked punt helped Duke even the score near the end of the first. Jordan Byas' blocked punt set up Maggio's 23-yard field goal to tie the game at 3. Maggio is subbing for regular kicker Will Snyerwine, who is out with a leg injury.

The Heels, at least momentarily, lost starting running back Draughn who suffered a left shoulder injury on the fist play of the game.

Byas blocked Grant Shallock at UNC's 30-yard at 4:00 in the first quarter to give Duke the ball in UNC's territory. A 22-yard pass from Thad Lewis to Brandon King got Duke down to the 14 but the drive stalled.

Yates has badly missed at least four open receivers, including Erik Highsmith on a post route on the first possession. He has completed 15 of 26 passes for 112 yards.
Lewis, who has four straight 300-plus games, has been held in check for 96 yards on 13-of-24 attempts with the one interception.

Receiver Austin Kelly leads Duke with four catches for 22 yards.

-- J.P. Giglio


Reid said...

Ryan Houston should've been the starter the entire season! He's been much more consistent and the offense just seems to click more when he's toting the rock with his physical style.