CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN) – Mataeo Durant’s three touchdowns weren’t enough to see Duke to a season-opening win in Charlotte as the hosting 49ers scored with 33 seconds left to edge the Blue Devils, 31-28.
The win is Charlotte’s first over a Power 5 team in program history.
Chris Reynolds connected with Shadrick Byrd for an 11-yard touchdown to put Charlotte ahead with 33 seconds to play. Duke had taken the lead, 28-24, less than two minutes prior when Durant ripped off a 53-yard run to the end zone.
Reynolds helped the hosts jump out to an early lead when he found Grant DuBose for a 56-yard touchdown. Charlotte added a field goal to take a 10-0 lead with 10:22 left in the second quarter.
The Blue Devils answered back with a pair of touchdowns before halftime. Gunnar Holmberg and Jordan Waters linked up for a 43-yard score. Then, on their next possession, Durant scampered in from 5 yards out for his first score of the game.
Renolds punched one in from a yard out a little more than five minutes into the third to restore Charlotte’s lead. Durant’s second touchdown — a 59-yard run — put Duke ahead 21-17 early in the fourth quarter.
Durant’s third scoring run gave Duke its short-lived lead. He finished the game with 255 yards rushing. Holmberg threw for 202 yards on 18-of-26 passing.
Reynolds was 10-for-30 with three touchdowns in the air. He added a fourth on the ground.
Duke will host North Carolina A&T on Sept. 10 for its season opener.