They call the cross-town rivalry game in Durham, N.C., the Bull City Gridiron Classic.
But the third edition, played on Saturday at Wallace Wade Stadium, wasn’t much of a contest.
Situational QB Brandon Connette passed for two touchdowns and ran for another and six Blue Devils scored touchdowns in a 45-0 Duke rout of N.C. Central in the season opener for both teams.
It was Duke’s first shutout since 1989 and its first at home since 1978, spoiling the college head coaching debut of the Eagles’ interim mentor Dwayne Foster.
Duke led just 7-0 before the game-changing play with 18 seconds left in the first quarter, when Jamison Crowder split the Eagles for a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown. Crowder was also the Blue Devils’ leading receiver with six catches for 62 yards.
New Duke starting QB Anthony Boone completed 16 of 20 passes for 176 yards and added a touchdown on the ground. Jela Duncan rushed for 76 yards and a TD on 11 carries.
NCCU QB Jordan Reid completed 11 of 22 passes for 87 yards.
The Blue Devils travel to Memphis next Saturday, while the Eagles host Division II St. Augustine’s.