Category Archives: Duke Football

2018 Duke Football Schedule Released

 DURHAM, N.C. -- Six total home dates and four contests against 10-win teams from a season ago highlight the 2018 Duke football schedule released on Tuesday by the ACC office.

Duke opens the 2018 campaign by hosting Army West Point on Saturday, September 1.  The Blue Devils will continue non-conference action in each of the next three weeks with road games at Northwestern (Sept. 8) and Baylor (Sept. 15) before entertaining N.C. Central for the Bull City Gridiron Classic on September 22.

The Blue Devils begin ACC play at home versus Virginia Tech on September 29.  Following an open date, Duke sandwiches road games to Georgia Tech (Oct. 13) and Pittsburgh (Oct. 27) around a home affair against Virginia on October 20.

November features road trips to the two schools that played for the ACC Championship a season ago as Duke travels to meet reigning Coastal Division champion Miami on November 3 and to reigning league champion Clemson on November 17.  In between, the Blue Devils will host rival North Carolina in the 105th meeting between the two schools on the gridiron.

Duke closes out the regular season at home against Wake Forest on November 24.

Duke’s 12 opponents combined for a 2017 overall record of 86-64 (.573) while seven of the 11 FBS opponents played in a bowl game a season ago.

\The 14th annual Dr Pepper Atlantic Coast Conference Football Championship Game will be played on Saturday, December 1, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

Season tickets will be available in early February at GoDuke.com/Footballtix.

2018 Duke Football Schedule (2017 Record; Bowl game result)

SEPTEMBER

1 – ARMY WEST POINT (10-3; defeated San Diego State, 42-35, in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl)

8 – at Northwestern (10-3; defeated Kentucky, 24-23, in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl)

15 – at Baylor (1-11)

22 – N.C. CENTRAL (7-4)

29 – VIRGINIA TECH (9-4; lost to Oklahoma State, 30-21, in the Camping World Bowl)

OCTOBER

6 – Open date

13 – at Georgia Tech (5-6)

20 – VIRGINIA (6-7; lost to Navy, 49-7, in the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman)

27 – at Pittsburgh (5-7)

NOVEMBER

3 – at Miami (10-3; lost to Wisconsin, 34-24, in the Capital One Orange Bowl)

10 – NORTH CAROLINA (3-9)

17 – at Clemson (12-2; lost to Alabama, 24-6, in the Allstate Sugar Bowl/CFP Semifinal)

24 – WAKE FOREST (8-5; defeated Texas A&M, 55-52, in the Belk Bowl)

Five Join Duke Football for Spring Semester

 DURHAM, N.C. – Five student-athletes – Zamari EllisCasey HolmanGunnar HolmbergJeremiah Lewis and Jack Wohlabaugh – have joined the Blue Devil football program, head coach David Cutcliffe announced on Wednesday in conjunction with the beginning of Duke’s spring semester.

Ellis, a 6-4, 240-pound tight end from Henderson, N.C., is a consensus three-star prospect and rated as the No. 27 tight end in the nation by Rivals.com.  The No. 27 tight end in the country by Rivals.com, was named to the 2016 USA Today N.C. all-state first team before missing his senior campaign at Southern Vance due to a foot injury.

Holman, a 6-4, 285-pound offensive lineman from Snellville, Ga., was a first team all-region pick by the 7-AAAAAA coaches as both a junior and senior. During his final campaign, Holman, from Brookwood High School, was named the Touchdown Club of Gwinnett Co-Offensive Lineman of the Year and led Brookwood to an 11-3 record, including a 6-0 region mark to win the Region 7-AAAAAAA title.

Holmberg, a 6-3, 180-pound quarterback from Wake Forest, N.C., is a four-star prospect and ranked as the No. 26 pocket passing quarterback in the nation by ESPN.com.  He set the Heritage High School single-season records with 2,730 passing yards and 26 touchdowns as a senior while leading the Huskies to a 12-2 record and a berth in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4A state quarterfinals.

Lewis, a 6-0, 180-pound cornerback from Plano, Texas, helped Prestonwood Christian High School to the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) Division I state championship game three times, claiming the title twice including the 2017 crown. In his final high school game, Lewis and the Lions rallied from 18 points down in the third quarter to defeat St. Pius X, 42-41, to claim the program’s fifth TAPPS state title.

Wohlabaugh, a 6-4, 295-pound offensive lineman from Akron, Ohio, spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons with the Ohio State University before transferring to Duke. An Academic All-Big Ten selection following the 2017 campaign, Wohlabaugh will sit out the 2018 season due to NCAA transfer regulations and have two seasons of eligibility beginning in 2019. He did not see game action in his two seasons with the Buckeyes.

Duke finished the 2017 campaign with a 7-6 overall record including a 36-14 victory over Northern Illinois in the Quick Lane Bowl. The bowl game appearance marked the Blue Devils’ fifth in the last six seasons. Duke will open the 2018 season on September 1 at home against Army West Point.

David Cutcliffe is a Soothsayer

David Cutcliffe is a soothsayer.

Duke Coach David Cutcliffe showed off his X's and O's acumen on ESPN last night where he shared his wisdom during the National Championship game.  Cutcliffe was part of a team of coaches who talked up the strategy as the game unfolded.

Those who cover the Duke program know Cut is a big film guy and has an elaborate set up in his office.  Social media was abuzz with compliments on his in-game comments.

Cutcliffe was all over the final play of the game and that did not go unnoticed.  Tua Tagovailoa threw a 41-yard touchdown to DeVonta Smith to give Alabama a 26-23 walk-off overtime victory against Georgia.  The Duke coach recognized the coverage and said this may end the national championship right here as the play was just starting to develop.

I think it's fair to say that ESPN will invite Cutcliffe back in the future.  The coach was also able to sit with a former assistant Matt Luke who ironically took over Ole Miss.  Cutcliffe was shockingly let go from the school some years back.  But their shame, is Duke's gain.

Here is a small sampling of some tweets I put together.

David Cutcliffe Shuffles Staff Duties

DURHAM, N.C. – Headlined by promotions for Kirk Benedict and Gerad Parker to assistant coaching positions, Duke head coach David Cutcliffe announced multiple alterations to the Blue Devil football staff on Friday.

A member of the Duke staff since 2014, Benedict elevates from graduate assistant coach to Assistant Coach/Special Teams & Defense.  Parker, who joined the Blue Devils this past summer as a Football Operations Assistant, transitions into an assistant coaching role and will mentor Duke’s wide receivers.

Jim Knowles, Duke’s defensive coordinator since 2010, adds the title of Assistant Head Coach while Derek Jones, a member of the Blue Devil staff since 2008, will continue to coach the cornerbacks and assumes additional duties as Assistant Head Coach [Defense].

Jim Bridge, who has served the past two seasons as Duke’s Special Teams Coordinator while coaching the tight ends, shifts to handling the responsibilities of the offensive line.  Bridge managed Duke’s offensive front in preparation for the Quick Lane Bowl victory over Northern Illinois following Marcus Johnson’s departure to join the staff at Mississippi State.

Jeffrey Faris, who coached Duke’s wide receivers for the past four seasons, moves to leading the Blue Devil tight ends and adds Recruiting Coordinator [Offense] to his responsibilities.  Matt Guerrieri, a member of Duke’s fulltime coaching staff since 2015 who directs the Blue Devil safeties, adds Recruiting Coordinator [Defense] to his duties.

Duke finished the 2017 campaign with a 7-6 overall record including a 36-14 victory over Northern Illinois in the Quick Lane Bowl.  The bowl game appearance marked the Blue Devils’ fifth in the last six seasons.  Duke will open the 2018 season on September 1 at home against Army West Point.

Duke Football Coaching Staff

David Cutcliffe – Head Coach (Alabama, 1976)

Zac Roper – Baxter Family Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/QB (Ole Miss, 2001)

Jim Knowles – Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/LB (Cornell, 1987)

Ben Albert – Associate Defensive Coordinator/DL (Massachusetts, 1995)

Derek Jones – Assistant Head Coach [Defense]/CB (Ole Miss, 1996)

Jim Bridge – Assistant Coach/OL (Wittenberg, 1992)

Jeffrey Faris – Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator [Offense]/TE (Duke, 2011)

Matt Guerrieri – Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator [Defense]/S (Davidson, 2011)

Re’quan Boyette – Assistant Coach/RB (Duke, 2009)

Gerad Parker – Assistant Coach/WR (Kentucky, 2003)

Kirk Benedict – Assistant Coach/Special Teams & Defense (Davidson, 2010)

Duke OL Gets Another Ohio State Transfer

Duke head football coach David Cutcliffe announced on Thursday that Jack Wohlabaugh will transfer to the institution from Ohio State University.

Wohlabaugh, a 6-4, 295-pound offensive lineman from Akron, Ohio, spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons with the Buckeyes and will enroll at Duke on Wednesday, January 10, for the beginning of the spring semester.

An Academic All-Big Ten selection following the 2017 campaign, Wohlabaugh will sit out the 2018 season due to NCAA transfer regulations and have two seasons of eligibility beginning in 2019.  He did not see game action in his two seasons at Ohio State as the Buckeyes went a combined 23-4, earned a berth in the College Football Playoff in 2016 and won both the Big Ten Championship (27-21 over Wisconsin) and Goodyear Cotton Bowl (24-7 over Southern California) in 2017.

Coming out of Walsh Jesuit High School, Wohlabaugh was charted as a four-star prospect by Rivals.com and rated as the No. 4 center in the nation by Scout.com.

Duke Rights The Ship With Bowl Win

The Duke Blue Devils dominated Northern Illinois in the Quick Lane Bowl to come away with a 36-14 victory and a winning season.    Duke quarterback Daniel Jones was named MVP of the game accounting for 338 yards of total offense,

But it was the defense which set the tone for a victory and finishing the year with three consecutive wins.  Duke had jumped out to a 14-0 lead and it looked as if the team had the game in the bag.  But Northern Illinois would get two quick scores which tied the game up at 14-14.

You could not help but wonder at that time if Duke would regain momentum.  After all, they had experienced a six game losing streak before gaining two ACC conference wins to close the season and propel them to a bowl.

The losing streak was as much mental as it was getting the job done on the field.  But on this day, Duke showed that lessons were indeed learned.  The team would shut out Northern Illinois the rest of the way.

Duke went up at the half on a wide open Jones to TJ Rahming touchdown pass and catch that went for 33 yards.  After a botched extra point, Duke would toughen on defense and score again on a Jones to Shaun Wilson pass but a two point attempt failed.It w

Still, Duke took a solid lead of  26-14 into the locker room and the defense showed the ability to stop big plays.  While not a clean first half, it was a substantial lead to work with.

The Huskies would never challenge again.  Duke went into ball control mode in the second half and would shut out their opponent  When the dust cleared, Duke had outscored Northern Illinois 22-0 since the game was tied including a 10-0 advantage in the final two quarters.

The Duke players celebrated by dousing head coach David Cutcliffe with Gatorade and then accepted the trophy which save the season.  Duke had against all odds righted the ship late in the season and came away with a bowl win.

The program can now say that it has been to bowl games in five of the last six seasons.  And there is suddenly momentum to work with in the off-season.  While Duke will lose some key senior players who went out in style, they return a strong contingent of personnel.

The seniors were able to go out on a winning note, while the returning players will likely learn from the taste of defeat that was sandwiched in the middle of the year,  Lessons will be learned and the players departing left getting Duke back on track with a bowl win.

Duke will begin spring practice at the end of March this coming year.  That time has been pushed back from seasons past.  Duke will return 7 starters on offense and 8 on the defensive side of the ball but will have to replace the punter and the kicker as well.  Duke will open the season at home with Army.