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Sports | Football

Halfback Mataeo Durant might have been the lone bright spot for the Blue Devils in the opening half.

Five observations from Duke football's first half against North Carolina

Duke traveled eight miles down the road looking for a statement win against a talented-but-underachieving North Carolina. And through the opening 15 minutes, the Blue Devils looked like they could compete with their Tar Heel counterparts. Nevertheless, North Carolina quickly took control near the end of the first quarter and leads 24-0 entering the break. Here are five of our observations from the first half.

Senior running back Mataeo Durant will be a key deciding factor in Saturday's game against North Carolina.

Beats' picks: Is Duke or North Carolina going to bring home the Victory Bell?

Every football game, our beat writers Cam Polo, Jake Piazza, Max Rego, Alex Jackson, Micah Hurewitz and Jonathan Levitan will be here to  give you their picks for Duke's upcoming matchup, and we'll keep track of their prediction records every week. Duke goes down the road to Kenan Memorial stadium where it will be 20-point underdogs against North Carolina.