When the betting line opened this week with Duke labeled a 2.5 point favorite at Syracuse it raised a few eyebrows. The line has dropped to about even, but even that seems suspect considering the Orange took the Blue Devils to the woodshed a season ago.
Duke has started the season 0-4 where new quarterback, Chase Brice has far more interceptions than touchdowns. The longer it takes to get in the win column, the harder it becomes to end the skid and that has the fanbase only wanting to talk about basketball.
Duke head coach, David Cutcliffe took over the offensive play calling this season and he has to be down seeing the results to date. The inconsistency and inability for the offense and defense being on the same page in any game has become alarming.
A win would cure many ills, but Syracuse and others have plenty of fil to study the Blue Devils and that film is not pretty. Duke played much better football a week ago in the loss to Virginia Tech where they committed less turnovers.
When you are mired in an 0-4 start and the way the season ended a season ago, there will be a dose of concern. Many are asking if this team has mailed it in or will they do so soon. And the only way to stop that chatter is to win on the football field.
One thing is certain, Duke needs to somehow put together four quarters of football and the offense has to wake up and keep the defense on the sideline in the late stages of games.
The only bright spots for Duke to date has been their punt game to go with some good individual defensive player efforts. While the Blue Devils have some spotty talent, the offensive side of the ball has been messy and messes carry over to other aspects on and off the field.
While Duke can hope to break through with a win and earn their confidence back, it will not be easy to do at Syracuse. While the Orange is depleted a bit with COVID holdouts, it is still hard for me to see them as the underdog via the Vegas lines.
For Duke to win, they need a turnover-free game and to maybe get a score on the defensive side of the ball. Duke fans can hope last year's embarrassing loss to Syracuse on Brooks Field in Wallace Wade Stadium motivates the team to play inspired football.