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D’Eriq King, defense help No. 9 Miami shut out Duke

Miami, returning from coronavirus issues, earned its first road shutout in 20 years.
Miami coach Manny Diaz congratulates quarterback D'Eriq King after a touchdown pass against Duke during the first quarter Saturday in Durham, N.C.
Miami coach Manny Diaz congratulates quarterback D'Eriq King after a touchdown pass against Duke during the first quarter Saturday in Durham, N.C. [ NELL REDMOND | AP ]
Published Dec. 6, 2020
Updated Dec. 6, 2020

DURHAM, N.C. — D’Eriq King threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score to help No. 9 Miami beat Duke 48-0 on Saturday night in the Hurricanes’ return from a two-week pause because of coronavirus issues.

King hit Mike Harley for an 89-yard touchdown in the third quarter for the Hurricanes (8-1, 7-1 ACC, No. 10 College Football Playoff rankings), and Cam’Ron Harris ran for 96 yards and two scores.

“Cam ran like a man possessed,” Miami coach Manny Diaz said.

Miami’s defense was dominant the entire game, holding the Blue Devils (2-8, 1-8) to 177 total yards and forcing five turnovers.

“To get five turnovers, this is really kind of the feel like when the Turnover Chain became a household name in 2017,” Diaz said.

Miami earned its first road shutout in 20 years; it won 26-0 at Syracuse on Nov. 18, 2000. Duke was shut out for the first time in a dozen years.

Miami played for the first time since beating Virginia Tech on Nov. 14 and had spent the weeks since dealing with positive virus tests and quarantines. That included having two games postponed. The trip to face the Blue Devils was a late replacement for a rescheduled visit to Wake Forest, as the Demon Deacons had coronavirus issues.

“The sacrifices the team has had to make has brought them closer together,” Diaz said. “This team has a strong connection, and they really like playing for each other. And then we were taken away from each other for two weeks. … They wanted to finish.

“I give all the credit to the personalities in that locker room.”

The Hurricanes had 15 players unavailable but had no trouble with the Blue Devils.

King hit Brevin Jordan for a 24-yard touchdown midway through the first quarter, followed by Harris blowing through a gaping hole on the left side, untouched, for a 34-yard score. King followed with an 11-yard keeper, punctuated by a collision with Duke’s Jeremiah Lewis at the right pylon, that gave Miami a 21-0 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, King hit Harley with a perfect pass deep down the middle for Miami’s longest offensive play of the year.

Chase Brice completed 20 of 25 passes for 94 yards for Duke, which had just 81 yards by halftime and finished with 56 yards rushing.

The Hurricanes were trying to keep alive slim hopes of reaching the ACC championship game, but fourth-ranked Clemson’s win at Virginia Tech on Saturday night closed the door on that.

Roughly a week ago, the Blue Devils were expecting to host Florida State on Saturday. Instead, they ended up with a matchup against the Hurricanes with a chance for a third straight series win. But they merely added to a national-worst 30 turnovers going into Saturday while struggling defensively again after giving up 56 points in each of their last two games. It resulted in their first shutout loss since dropping a 27-0 decision at Georgia Tech in October 2008.

The Blue Devils now visit Florida State next Saturday in a matchup bumped to make room for the Miami game.

— By Aaron Beard