DURHAM, N.C. - Duke Head Football Coach David Cutcliffe has been named Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year. Cutcliffe led Duke to a 6-6 regular season record, a three win jump from a season ago. The Blue Devils were picked last in their division in the pre-season and surpassed almost all expectations, becoming bowl-eligible for the first time since the 1994 season.
Cutcliffes' Blue Devils lost several starters in the pre-season and his team weathered further injuries during the year, yet still overcame the adversity to post the best season at Duke in 18 years. Cutcliffe recently signed a well-deserved contract extension at Duke, but he is not resting on his laurels. He's out on the recruiting trail this week as his team awaits a sure bowl invitation, expected to be issued as early as this coming Sunday.
“This honor is both humbling and rewarding because of the quality of the coaches in our conference,” said Cutcliffe. “Like all awards, the credit reaches far beyond one person and this is truly one for our entire program. Ultimately, the acclaim goes to both our staff and the group of young men that came to practice every day with a desire to improve and prepare, gave their best effort on Saturdays, succeeded academically and served our community with pure selflessness. While this was a season of progress for our program, many of the goals we laid out five years ago have not been reached and we’ll continue our pursuit of excellence.
2012 ACC Coach of the Year Voting Results
David Cutcliffe, Duke (25)
Dabo Swinney, Clemson (7)
Jimbo Fisher, Florida State (5)
Larry Fedora, North Carolina (4)
Al Golden, Miami (4)
Tom O’Brien, NC State (1)
Blue Devil Nation congratulates Coach Cut on a successful season and a well-deserved award.
DURHAM, N.C. – Led by first team selections Ross Cockrell and Will Monday, nine Duke players earned All-ACC recognition as the conference released its all-league football teams on Monday afternoon.
Joining Cockrell and Monday were second unit choices Walt Canty and Conner Vernon along with honorable mention picks Kenny Anunike, Jamison Crowder, Dave Harding, Ross Martin and Perry Simmons.
Voting on the All-ACC teams was conducted by 46 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
Anunike, a redshirt senior defensive end from Galena, Ohio, who will return for a sixth season of eligibility in 2013, has totaled 42 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, 5.0 quarterback sacks and one caused fumble this season.
Canty, a senior safety and co-captain from Roebuck, S.C., paces the Blue Devils in tackles with 102 while ranking ninth in the conference in tackles per game (8.50). He has added 5.5 tackles for loss, three pass breakups and one interception on the year.
Cockrell, a redshirt junior cornerback and co-captain from Waxhaw, N.C., leads the ACC in interceptions with five while ranking third in total passes defended with 17. In 12 games, he has compiled 63 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss and 12 pass breakups.
Crowder, a sophomore wide receiver from Monroe, N.C., has 70 receptions for 1,025 yards and eight touchdowns on the year. In the regular season finale against Miami, he caught eight passes for a career-high 203 yards including an ACC record and NCAA record-tying 99-yard touchdown pass from Sean Renfree.
Harding, a redshirt junior offensive guard from Orlando, Fla., has started all 12 games along the Duke line this year, helping the Blue Devils rank second in the ACC in sacks allowed per pass attempt (26.37).
Martin, a freshman kicker from Solon, Ohio, has tallied 98 total points in 2012 by making 18-of-20 field goal attempts and all 44 of his PAT conversions. In the ACC, he ranks first in PAT percentage (1.000), third in field goals per game (1.50) and seventh in points per game (8.17).
Monday, a redshirt freshman punter from Flowery Branch, Ga., leads the conference and ranks 14th nationally in punting average at 44.12.
Simmons, a redshirt junior offensive tackle from Raleigh, N.C., has started all 12 games while helping the Duke offense average 31.33 points per game, marking the third-highest single-season total in school history.
Vernon, a senior wide receiver and co-captain from Miami, Fla., earns second team All-ACC accolades for the third consecutive season. Through 12 games, he has caught a team-best and school single-season record 75 passes for 955 yards and seven touchdowns. Earlier this season, Vernon became the ACC’s all-time leader in both pass receptions and receiving yardage and his 47-game career totals stand at 273 catches for 3,630 yards and 20 touchdowns.
2012 ALL-ACC TEAMS (Points)
QB-Tajh Boyd, Clemson (86)
RB-Giovani Bernard, North Carolina (91)
RB-Andre Ellington, Clemson (77)
WR-DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson (80)
WR-Alex Amidon, Boston College (53)
OT-Oday Aboushi, Virginia (53)
OT-Brandon Thomas, Clemson (51)
OG-Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina (79)
OG-Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech (64)
C-Dalton Freeman, Clemson (78)
TE-Brandon Ford, Clemson (54)
K-Dustin Hopkins, Florida State (79)
Spec.- Giovani Bernard, North Carolina (48)
DE-Bjoern Werner, Florida State (89)
DE-Cornellius Carradine, Florida State (77)
DT-Joe Vellano, Maryland (80)
DT-Sylvester Williams, North Carolina (63)
LB-Nick Clancy, Boston College (66)
LB-Kevin Reddick, North Carolina (65)
LB-Steve Greer, Virginia (58)
CB-Xavier Rhodes, Florida State (66)
CB-Ross Cockrell, Duke (50)
S-Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State (59)
S-Earl Wolff, NC State (46)
P-Will Monday, Duke (73)
QB-E.J. Manuel, Florida State (25)
RB-Duke Johnson, Miami (47)
RB-Chris Thompson, Florida State (31)
WR-Conner Vernon, Duke (51)
WR-Michael Campanaro, Wake Forest (32)
OT-James Hurst, North Carolina (50)
OT-Cameron Erving, Florida State (21)
OT-Emmett Cleary, Boston College (21)
OG-Tre’ Jackson, Florida State (26)
OG-R.J. Matttes, NC State (24)
C- Bryan Stork, Florida State (19)
TE-Eric Ebron, North Carolina (51)
K-Chandler Catanzaro, Clemson (22)
K-Casey Barth, North Carolina (22)
Spec.-Duke Johnson, Miami (44)
DE-James Gayle, Virginia Tech (30)
DE-Kareem Martin, North Carolina (22)
DT-Everett Dawkins, Florida State (34)
DT-Nikita Whitlock, Wake Forest (24)
LB-Demetrius Hartsfield, Maryland (34)
LB-Christian Jones, Florida State (31)
LB-Jack Tyler Virginia Tech (28)
CB-David Amerson, NC State (46)
CB-Antone Exum, Virginia Tech (44)
S-Rashard Hall, Clemson (43)
S- Walt Canty, Duke (31)
P-Tommy Hibbard, North Carolina (40)
Honorable Mention [Name, School, Position, Points]: Kenny Anunike (Duke), de (13); Jeremiah Attaochu (GT), lb (26); Brandan Bishop (NCS), safety (20); Travis Bond (UNC), og (14); Tre Boston (UNC), safety (29); Darryl Cato-Bishop (NCS), de (12); Emmett Cleary (BC), ot (21); Jamison Crowder (Duke), wr (15); Stefon Diggs (MD), spec. (33); Jay Finch (GT), c (16); Jon Feliciano (MIA), og (16); A.J. Francis (MD), de (12); Kyle Fuller (VT), cb (16); Mike Glennon (NCS), qb (10); Malliciah Goodman (CLEM), de (16); Dave Harding (Duke), og (14); Seantrel Henderson (MIA), ot (13); Antoine Hopkins (VT), dt (10); Derrick Hopkins (VT), dt (15); Will Jackson (GT), ot (14); Timmy Jernigan (FS), dt (15); Alex Kinal (WF), p (12); Gerald Levano (BC), p (13); Brandon Linder (MIA), og (21); Ross Martin (Duke), pk (11); Anthony McCloud (FS), dt (10); Jake McGee (VA), te (12); Demetrious Nicholson (VA), cb (12); Denzel Perryman (MIA), lb (12); Kevin Pierre-Louis (BC), lb (14); Bryn Renner (UNC), qb (15); LaRoy Reynolds (VA), lb (10); Tim Scott (UNC), cb (10); Perry Simmons (Duke), ot (11); Orwin Smith (GT), rb (13); Kenny Tate (MD), lb (12); Bruce Taylor (VT), lb (19); Sammy Watkins (CLEM), wr (19); Menelik Watson (FS), ot (13); Camden Wentz (NCS), c (12); Brennan Williams (UNC), ot (13); Vince Williams (FS), lb (11)
When the new college basketball Top 25 comes out later today, you'll see the Duke Blue Devils take a significant jump to either the number two or three position. That's because Duke Basketball is winning and doing so against a schedule that has featured some of the nation's top teams. Already this season, Duke has registered victories over the then-#2 Kentucky, #2 Louisville, not to mention a Minnesota team picked fifth in the very difficult Big Ten and a pesky Virginia Commonwealth team nobody purposefully schedules.
We're not even out of the month of November and Duke is probably the most battle tested team in the country, and if not, they're close to it. Coach Krzyzewski is at his best when faced with stiff challenge, and he'll face another this week when Ohio State comes to town for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and they, too, will be ranked second or third in the country, setting up yet another prime time matchup of Top 5 teams.
There have been many factors contributing to Duke's success thus far. Senior leadership quickly comes to mind, as Mason Plumlee,Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly are providing years of experience. Playing in their final season at Duke, the trio seems committed to not permitting another early out, and their memories from the loss to Lehigh have obviously made them work to make sure it doesn't happen on their watch.
Already, Mason Plumlee is showing that his off-season work is paying off; there is no place better to start than his improved free throw shooting. That shooting has made him a 20-10 point and rebound guy to date, but he has also been very efficient. But the most important thing is that he is avoiding untimely and unnecessary fouls much better than in the past, and he has seemingly learned how to play while in foul trouble.
Seth Curry came into the season battling pain from a recurring injury, and it was thought that his time could be limited. But he toughed it out in the Blue Devils three games in three days in the Battle for Atlantis. Curry has been steady and confident and like Plumlee, a solid free throw shooter. He is playing like a leader and he is playing in what seems like a happy place.
A happy place, you say? Another key for these Blue Devils has been team chemistry. Krzyzewski most recently said this team seems to like each other and the melding of personalities is always a plus. And here is where we talk of Ryan Kelly, who has also showed an improved game, mainly on the defensive end where he's gotten some key blocks. Kelly has not had one of his better offensive games yet, but he's been solid and twice led the team in assists.
Another major factor in the quick start for Duke has been the emergence of point guard Quinn Cook. All he's done to date is win the MVP of the Battle for Atlantis in what might be remembered as his coming out party. Cook is aggressively taking on the role of the team's quarterback and while still a work in progress, it's clear that he's here to stay. The next step for Cook is handling expectations and staying humble and steady, and if he's up to that challenge, Duke will win a lot more games.
You know that Krzyzewski is also pleased with the play of freshman Rasheed Sulaimon, who has started as a true freshman and put up nice numbers in a most unselfish way. Sulaimon gives Duke a great on-ball defender, a penetrator and a scorer and you can just see how much potential he has. Sulaimon just fits and makes his teammates better, and that's the kind of guy that is always welcomed.
The Blue Devils have also gotten good minutes from a much improved Josh Hairston and the always steady influence of tough nose Tyler Thornton. And while some want to point to a lack playing time and try to spread various rumors, I see it as a positive that Duke has two other freshmen in Amile Jefferson and Alex Muprhy that can develop, and they'll have that chance in a stretch of home games coming up. And we didn't even mention Marshall Plumlee, who I expect will be ready to see game action shortly after sitting out with a foot injury.
So, there are plenty of early season positives for Duke, but the one which is most evident is an improved defense. That is an area the Duke staff has obviously worked on the hardest, and that work has paid off.
DURHAM, N.C. - Duke Coach David Cutcliffe entered the media room and immediately looked at the stat sheet with a most sour expressio. His Duke Blue Devils had just lost to the Miami Hurricanes on Senior Day by a 52-45 score, yet there was a feeling amongst all who watched the game, that a stop or two by the defense or one less big play could have led to a winning record heading into a guaranteed bowl invite.
Instead, Miami rolled up some impressive offensive numbers and just when you thought the resilient Blue Devils might make a comeback, they'd score on one big play before the taste of a good effort to get into the end zone for Duke had faded. It was that kind of day in Wallace Wade Stadium, a game which the home team fought their way back into after taking a 28-10 deficit into the locker room at half time.
Cutcliffe glared at the stat sheet and said there is no way we can win giving up 11 yards per carry and that's what Miamis' Duke Johnson averaged on his way to 181 rushing yards and three touchdowns. In fact, Miami rolled up 646 total yards in the game and did what the Duke defense struggled with, making an occasional stop,
That was the difference on a day when Duke set all kinds of passing and reception records. Sean Renfree had a stellar game going 36 of 59 for a season high 432 yards and four scores. Duke was 4 of 4 in the red zone as well, which is quite effective. And then there was the longest play from scrimmage in the history of Duke Football, a 99 yard pass from Renfree to Jamison Crowder and a career day as well for the wideout who pulled in eight passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns.
Even Conner Vernon closed his home career out as good as one might have hoped for, with 11 catches for 109 yards and another two scores in his Wallace Wade finale. And then there was running back, Jelea Duncan a true freshman who average 10.7 yards per carry. All that is impressive.
But as impressive as that might be, there was frustration on the faces of the seniors as they addressed the media. There was a feeling as if they had fallen short of something they could have accomplished. Many of the players stated and Cutcliffe confirmed that he was not a bowl of cherries in the half time locker room and Duke made good adjustments winning the second half 35-24, but there was just too big of a deficit to overcome and that was another lesson learned for a program still learning what it takes to break through to another level.
Despite all the pain from losing on Senior Day, Duke fans can rest better knowing not a player or coach was accepting of what happened. Nobody especially wanted to talk bowl. Instead, it was as if they were all itching to get back to work as soon as possible.
And that folks, is the difference in this season and those many unfortunate past. This Blue Devils team is hurting and reeling in many ways on the defensive side of the ball, but they've got one more game to play and a lot of practice earned which bodes well for the future.
There may have been an opportunity lost today in a cool and windy Wallace Wade Stadium for Cutcliffes' team, but one teams season will continue because they are doing things right, while the others ended with a win, but a trip back home is their prize for pending violations.
Nobody likes a loss and everybody wanted that coveted seventh win which guarantees a winning season but at least the Blue Devils still have opportunity ahead. Duke now has just under a month to shore up the defensive side of the ball and they can right the ship in the most important game of the season going in to next year, that being the last game in a place they've been invited.
For the second week in a row, the #1 team in the country lost, and none of our pickers got it right. With the upsets to Kansas State, Oregon, and UCLA, it was a tough week for our picks. BDN's Andrew Slater maintains the overall lead and was the only one to correctly pick Georgia Tech to beat the Blue Devils. Here are this week's overall standings:
It's rivalry week for many schools, meaning that anything can happen. Can Lane Kiffin rally his Trojans, without Matt Barkley, to a win over new #1 Notre Dame? Can Auburn rally around their beleaguered head coach and upset the rival Crimson Tide in the Iron Bowl? The ACC will look to earn some national respect as they take on three of the best in the SEC in annual in-state rivalry games. Florida State hosts Florida, Clemson hosts South Carolina, and Georgia Tech travels to Athens to take on the Bulldogs. The Blue Devils host the Hurricanes as they look to ensure a winning season and generate momentum heading into their bowl game.
Here are this week's picks:
Mark Watson: Seniors Conner Vernon and Sean Renfree connect on a late game pass to give the Blue Devils a thrilling win. Duke 30 Miami 28
Patrick Cacchio: This senior class has transformed the Duke program from an ACC bottom dweller into a bowl eligible team. The #BowlBoundDevils finish their season with a win to guarantee a winning season. Duke 38, Miami 34
Bob Green: It is Senior Day for a lot of players who deserve credit for significantly contributing to the success Duke has achieved this season. It has been a long, hard path and I really desire to see all
the seniors go out winners in their last game at Wallace Wade Stadium.
The defense must step up and stop Miami's offense. The offense can score points and keep the pressure on but the outcome will be determined by turnovers and performance on 3rd down. Duke 31, Miami 28
Andrew Slater: While Miami is playing for nothing more than pride, their collective team speed and explosiveness on offense should more than offset their repeatedly demonstrated defensive weaknesses. Despite Miami's recent downturn, it would be a marquee victory for the Blue Devils if they could pull off the upset and give some momentum to the squad for bowl season. Miami 34 Duke 27
Bob Harris: : ‘Canes players are upset with powers that be over self-imposted post-season ban. They leave their will to win in Coral Gables, and Connor Vernon says goodbye to Wallace Wade Stadium with a winning smile on his face. Duke 48 – Miami 14
Matt Daniels: With the Devils falling one game short of going to the ACC championship game, look for the Devils to come out strong on their Senior Day, as Sean Renfree and Conner Vernon go out with a bang. Miami will be playing with 0 motivation, Devils pull it off at home, 31-27.
Thad Lewis: For the final game and senior day I'm going to take Duke with seniors like Conner Vernon and Sean Renfree who have seen the good bad and ugly will have their best game and lead the team to a victory. Duke 42, Miami 35
Vinny Rey: Duke will win their seventh game in front of the home crowd. In this one, Vernon and Crowder will make the plays to win the game. Duke 23 Miami 21
A couple of college basketball heavyweights will meet in the Championship Game of the Battle for Atlantis tomorrow evening. The Duke Blue Devils led by Coach Mike Kryzewski will take on the #3 rated Louisville Cardinals, led by Rick Pitino in as good an early season match up that one could want.
The last time Duke met Louisville was a gut wrenching loss in the 1986 National Championship Game where Purvis Ellison put an end to an amazing season and the first great Mike Krzyewski coached team.
The last time Mike Krzyzeski and Rick Pitino met, Duke won with the shot. Yes, that shot, the now famous Grant Hill to Christian Laettner pass where Duke would later advance to become the first team to win back to back National Titles since UCLA.
Don't be surprised if the pending heavyweight battle of elite programs is not an instant classic as well.
While there were certainly different teams taking the court in 1986 and 2012, you can bet that Duke fans would love for a little revenge. Of course, the stage will not be nearly as important, but yet still large enough for Blue Devil faithful to feel some retribution.
And with a win, Duke would be able to lay claim to winning a mythical state of Kentucky championship with their earlier victory over the Kentucky Wildcats in the Tournament of Champions.
In order for this to happen, Duke will have to find a way to shake free from a lengthy Louisville zone and some serious pressure from their guards.
Louisville comes into the game with a solid and convicting win over #13 Missouri and are led in scoring by Russ Smith. Past, Smith, the Cards get a lot of balanced scoring from a deep roster.
That contingent includes Smiths' backcourt mate and one of the nations best point guards in Peyton Slva and these two were big in the lop sided win over Missouri, as was Luke Hancock.
Hancock led the Cards in scoring including a couple of dagger buckets in the second half which squelched any hope for a Tigers comeback.
The Cardinals also feature Chase Behanen and Gorgui Dieng, two solid front court players who average 19 rebound per game between them. In short, I have seen their kids play on the AAU trail and in college and they're a very solid and talented group that will certainly present a major challenge for Duke.
But with the challenge also comes an opportunity for the Blue Devils to prove they're one of the nations top two or three teams with a win and even with a loss, by either program, both these teams are clearly final eight material.
Duke will need Ryan Kelly and others to make sure Luke Hancock does not get the same open looks he did against Missouri where his three pointers were vital in the easy Louisville win.
The Blue Devils will also need for Seth Curry who is battling a serious nagging injury to give it a go. Krzyzweski has said there could be times where this might not happen and Curry has been very consistent for Duke this season despite very little practice with the team.
This game will also be the biggest test to date for the Blue Devils backcourt where Quinn Cook must continue to distribute in the face of serious pressure defense. Cooks' nine assists against Virginia Commonwealth was quite possibly his best game to date. And then there is freshman Rasheed Sulaimon who will once again play on the big stage as a true freshman and his ability to do so will prove telling.
Duke has gotten a lot of good play from their seniors this season and there is no reason to think Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly will not continue that trend. Plumlees ability to hit free throws on a consistent basis has been a game changer when in close contests and Kelly has shown the ability to block some shots while waiting for his shot to start going down on a consistent basis.
One thing to look for will be fatigue or if Duke hits a wall for they played just seven players against VCU and mainly five. I feel certain they'll go to their bench more in this game but you never know.
Anyhow, strap yourself in for a good basketball game where we'll certainly learn more about Duke this early season.
At the end of the night, one of these teams will take sole possession of the #2 ranking, so there is a lot at stake for an early season slugfest.
So far this season, Duke has met every challenge and if they meet this one against Louisville, there will most certainly be a lot to talk about.
Some say Duke has not passed the eye test this season while others can only talk of the latest anti Duke rhetoric, flopping.
At some point they may recognize that Duke is still Duke and they continue to win consistently and low and behold position defense against team which drive aggressively is not always flopping.
Okay, maybe not, but a Duke win over another strong and talented opponent in Louisville would at least keep them at bay and force them to recognize this team is pretty good and ducking nobody.