Duke lost the Victory Bell for the first time in three years, dropping an emotional game to UNC, 20-17, Saturday in Chapel Hill.
The Blue Devils struggled to move the ball early, getting off to what has become a characteristic slow start.
Duke was able to get the running game on track in the second half, as Deon Jackson had 38 of his 91 rushing yards on the day, along with 19 receiving yards, on a third-quarter touchdown drive.
Duke took a lead in the third quarter after Jalen Alexander intercepted a tipped Sam Howell pass and returned to the UNC 6. Quentin Harris ran the ball in to give Duke a 17-14 lead.
Carolina responded with a pair of field goals and appeared to be wrapping up a win, driving inside the five yard line late in the game. Duke's defense came up big again, however, recovering a fumble.
The offense drove the length of the field and faced first and goal on the two with one or two shots at the end zone before kicking the game tying field goal.
Jackson took the handoff and attempted a jump pass into the end zone, which was picked off by UNC's Chazz Surratt, salting away the win.
There was a confrontation between UNC's Jordan Tucker and the Duke staff after Tucker ran to the Duke tunnel to taunt the Blue Devils. Cutcliffe appeared to hold Tucker back, explaining afterward that he was "just trying to get people to go where they belonged.