DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Henry Belin IV threw two touchdown passes in his first career start and No. 17 Duke benefitted from a dominant defensive performance to beat North Carolina State 24-3 on Saturday night.
The Blue Devils (5-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) limited N.C. State (4-3, 1-2) to 301 yards of total offense.
Duke’s Jordan Waters rushed for 123 yards on 13 carries, with the highlight — an 83-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Belin was filling in for Riley Leonard, who wasn’t in uniform after suffering an ankle injury in the final seconds of a loss to Notre Dame two weeks agor. Belin, a redshirt freshman, completed 4 of 12 passes for 107 yards with an interception.
N.C. State had trouble sustaining offense in MJ Morris’ second start of the season at quarterback. He replaced Brennan Armstrong in the first-string role prior to a 48-41 home win over Marshall a week ago, but there was no big point total for the Wolfpack this time. Morris was 24 for 40 for 193 yards and an interception.
N.C. State’s only points came on Brayden Narveson’s school-record 57-yard field goal to open the scoring less than two minutes into the game. The kick followed an inception by Shyheim Battle, who returned the ball to the Duke 38.
Duke, which had 301 yards of offense, had the next batch of big plays.
The Blue Devils’ first points came on Jalon Calhoun’s 69-yard touchdown catch from Belin. The lead grew to 10-3 on Todd Pelino’s career-long 52-yard field goal early in the second quarter.
Duke scored one play after Tre Freeman’s interception and return to the N.C. State 8. Belin threw to tight end Jeremiah Hasley for the points for a 17-3 halftime lead.
Belin didn’t connect on his only second-half pass.
N.C. State fans flooded parts of Duke’s Wallace Wade Stadium in the Wolfpack’s first visit in 10 years despite the campuses only 22 miles apart. That made for an electric atmosphere at times.
Rain began falling late in the second quarter, scattering a portion of the crowd.
Duke has played five of its six games at home.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack’s quarterback experiment with Morris might need to be revisited as he struggled mightily, in part because of an offense line that didn’t provide much protection. Plus, penalties were problems for N.C. State, especially with nine first-half infractions.
Duke: The Blue Devils had enough big plays to allow cover up some early offensive glitches. Duke managed just 98 yards of second-half total offense, with most of those coming on Waters’ long run.
Duke should be in line for a slight bump up after showing a strong bounce-back performance from its only loss despite playing without its first-string quarterback. Four of the next five games for the Blue Devils are on the road.
N.C. State: Host Clemson on Oct. 28.
Duke: At No. 4 Florida State on Saturday.