Duke is coming off a huge win over Wake Forest. The Blue Devils face Virginia this week, and with a win, would push their season record to 5-1. It's a huge game, and BDN talked with Duke QB Anthony Boone and Duke DL Nick Sink this morning to get their thoughts on the big matchup versus the Wahoos.
Blue Devil Nation welcomes back its loyal readers to another edition of Friday Night Lights. With the last Friday night of September in the books, gridiron action has kicked into high gear across the United States. This week, in addition to checking in on many of Duke's 2013 verbal commits, BDN expands its coverage to include reports on several prospects in the high school class of 2014.
Starting with the 2013 commits:
Over in Charlotte, NC, Statesville routed Carson 56-13 as the Greyhounds improved to 6-1 on the season. Cornerback Breon Borders commented afterwards, "It went okay! We crushed them by 40. I always can play better though. Overall, it was an easy win." Borders was credited with six solo tackles in the win.
Ft. Myers (FL) quarterback T.J. Douglas summed up his performance in his team's victory over Charlotte High, "I had 218 yards rushing, two TDs rushing, two TDs passing, and 270 all purpose yards." Fort Myers defeated Charlotte 36-31 to stay undefeated at 5-0.
Staying in Ft. Myers, FL, Johnell Barnes caught a 5 yard touchdown pass in the 1st quarter as Dunbar defeated LaBelle 39-6. After the game, Barnes commented, "It went well. I had seven catches for about 100 yards and two touchdowns." Dunbar improves to 4-2 for the season.
Parker Boehme and Jacksonville (FL) Sandalwood defeated Parker 7-6. Boehme passed for 128 yards including a 36 yard touchdown, while rushing 14 times for 70 yards in the victory. Sandalwood's record is now 3-2.
In Texas, Mansfield faced crosstown rival Timberview and ended up on the short end of a 36-20 score. Offensive lineman Austin Davis commented, "It was a tough game. I did really good and shoved my guy around."
Jake Kite and Hidden Valley High School of Roanoke, VA ran to a 35-12 victory over Bassett to run their record to 2-3.
Going into this week's game, Kite's statistics included 12 receptions for 198 yards and four touchdowns, but Hidden Valley only attempted two passes in this game. On defense, coming into the Bassett game, Kite had recorded 36.5 tackles, including 28 solo takedowns.
Also in Virginia, Evrett Edwards and Woodbridge defeated Osbourne 27-7 to improve to 4-1.
Last week we led off the week talking of the great opportunity that was at hand for Duke Football. Well, the Blue Devils took care of business by snapping a long Wake Forest win streak in the series, and in the process pushed their season record to 4-1.
It's easy to get caught up in your accomplishments after a big win, and the Blue Devils were feeling good about themselves after Saturday's victory -- that's as it should be. But this is no time for resting on laurels. Being 4-1 only means something if Duke can seize the next opportunity.
The Blue Devils take on Virginia this week in a game where Duke is a slight favorite, and a win pushes their record to 2-0 in the ACC and 5-1 overall -- which would be just a single win shy of bowl eligibility. So while Duke took advantage of its chance against Wake Forest to show people that this program is headed in the right direction, they have an even bigger opportunity versus Virginia at home this week.
The Blue Devils are talking bowl game, but you will not hear that being spoken loudly just yet. Everybody around the program is in a feel-good mode right now, but they know that their accomplishments will seem tarnished if overconfidence causes them so stumble against the Cavaliers.
My thinking is that Coach David Cutcliffe is more than a little aware of this and that he'll have his team focused, but it will take just that. Duke will need to block out what they've done to date in order to give Virginia their best effort, as this is a team that may be better than their 2-3 record would suggest. The Cavaliers have played a pretty strong schedule to date, so underestimating them would be a recipe for disaster. And when you are in the midst of a rebuilding job like Duke is, you simply cannot afford to look past the opponent right in front of you each week.
Hopefully, the Duke fan base will see how big of a game this is for the program, and will turn out in droves to Wallace Wade to cheer the Blue Devils on. This team has earned that support and that respect. And if the fans do come out, as I anticipate they will, Duke will have another golden opportunity to show folks that they deserve their support as they fight their way towards a possible bowl berth, something that will be more than a whisper if the Blue Devils can find a way to win this one.
Once again, opportunity is at hand, and once again it'll be interesting to watch and see what happens.
DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke men's basketball team officially opens the 2012-13 season on Friday, Oct. 19 with the fourth annual Countdown to Craziness. Tickets, ranging from $20-$65, go on sale at www.GoDuke.com/tickets beginning at 8:30 am on Tuesday, Oct. 2.
In addition, single game tickets for contests against Winston-Salem State (Nov. 1), Cornell (Dec. 19), Elon (Dec. 20) and Santa Clara (Dec. 29) will also go on sale on Tuesday.
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski, the winningest coach in NCAA history, returns to the sidelines for his 33rd season guiding the Blue Devil program. He has amassed 927 wins, including 854 victories at Duke, with four NCAA Championships and 13 Atlantic Coast Conference titles during his legendary coaching career.
The 2012-13 Blue Devils return 10 letterwinners from a year ago and will be led by the senior trio of Seth Curry, Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee. Curry and Plumlee were third team All-ACC selections last season, while Kelly was named MVP of the Maui Invitational.
Curry, one of the top long-range shooters in the country, has 38 double-figure scoring games at Duke. He is Duke’s top returning scorer after averaging 13.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game last season.
Kelly is coming off a breakout season in which he registered 11.8 points (18 double figures scoring games) and 5.4 rebounds per game. He also shot a team-high 40.8 percent (40-of-98) from three-point range.
Plumlee is one of the top returning post players in the country after averaging 11.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game as a junior. He recorded 12 double-doubles and set a school record with 60 dunks a year ago. Plumlee was also named a first team CoSIDA Academic All-America in 2012.
Each member of the trio is closing in on 1,000 career points at Duke. Curry (782), Plumlee (769) and Kelly (653) could each reach the 1,000-point plateau in 2012-13. Duke is tied for third in NCAA history with 60 career 1,000-point scorers.