DURHAM, N.C. — Duke opened its 2015 home football schedule with a dominant 55-0 victory over N.C. Central on the newly-dedicated Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium.
The Blue Devils, off to a 2-0 start, have outscored their opponents 92-7 in two games. Redshirt junior quarterback Thomas Sirk paced the offense with 315 yards passing, 86 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Duke held the Eagles to 1-of-13 on third downs and to just eight first downs on the night.
Shaquille Powell and Shaun Wilson shared rushing duties, combining for 128 yards on 33 carries. Wilson added an 89-yard touchdown reception on a swing pass from Sirk in the third quarter. The reception is the third longest in Duke history and put Wilson at a career-high 102 yards receiving for the night.
Jeremy Cash paced the outstanding defensive effort with six tackles, including five solo, while Breon Borders had five stops. N.C. Central finished with only 186 yards of offense and 54 on the ground.
Highlighted by two long completions from Sirk and 52 yards rushing by Powell, Duke amassed 320 yards of offense in the first half. Sirk, who ran and threw for a touchdown in the opening 30 minutes, accounted for 223 of the yards, throwing for 174 and rushing for another 49.
Defensively, Duke held the Eagles to just 69 yards of offense and only 10 yards on the ground in the opening half. N.C. Central managed just three first downs in the opening 30 minutes and went 1-for-8 on third-down opportunities.
Duke’s first touchdown on the newly-dedicated Brooks Field came midway through the first quarter on a 24-yard strike from Sirk to Powell. Wilson anchored the drive with 24 yards on five carries, including a four-yard rush to put Duke inside the 30-yard line.
After getting off a slow start offensively in the first quarter, the Blue Devils started firing on all cylinders in the second period. Duke finished with 212 yards of offense and scored 17 unanswered points en route to the 24-0 lead at the half.