DURHAM, N.C. Duke redshirt sophomore specialist Austin Parker has been dismissed from the Blue Devil football program following his suspension from the institution for violation of university academic policy.
Playing in 12 games this season, Parker made 17-of-21 field goal attempts and 33-of-35 point after touchdown tries to lead the Blue Devils in scoring with 84 total points. In addition, he punted 61 times for 2,565 yards and a 42.05 average with 10 boots downed inside the opponent 20 yard line against nine touchbacks. In the ACC, Parker currently ranks fourth in field goals per game (1.42), tied for ninth in scoring (7.00 points per game) and 10th in punting average.
Duke (6-6) will meet Northern Illinois (8-4) in the Quick Lane Bowl on December 26 at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. Kickoff is set for 5:15 p.m., and the game will be televised live by ESPN.
The Blue Devils have been invited to play in the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, Michigan against Northern Illinois on December 26th, 5:30 on Ford Field. Duke is quite happy to get an invite for a few weeks ago they were mired in a losing streak that was nothing short of depressing.
But in the what have you done for me lately department; Duke has won two ACC games in a row in grand fashion. They can now gain some much-needed experience via extra practices for young players. Those reps will bode well for the future and a game plan for Duke is at its best when they have time to devise a scheme.
Duke got an unexpected tough opponent in Northern Illinois. The Quick Lane Bowl is happy the Huskies fell here in that they now have what should be a competitive game. Had Duke been paired with Akron, they would have been heavy favorites.
What we get in the Huskies is a physical team that looks very similar to Duke on paper. Each team has a running back with similar numbers and a solid defense. The Huskies led the MAC in defensive points allowed by a wide margin over most teams.
The Huskies also bring recent success and tradition. In short, Duke must prepare well and for a physical game. They may have an edge in the speed department but Norther Illinois went into Nebraska and won this season -- something any team would have a difficult task in doing.
But Duke did beat what is considered to be the best team in Illinois in Northwestern. In fact, they throttled the nationally ranked Wildcats before suddenly losing their team identity.
As for the Huskies, they were one of three 6-2 (8-4 overall) teams in the MAC's best division. Their losses came on the road to Central Michigan and conference champ Toledo. They played Boston College to a 3 point game in their opener before tripping up in that game. The other loss came on the road at ranked San Diego State, meaning no bad losses.
Duke left points on the field against Army, Virginia and Pitt and squandered their best chance in years to beat Florida State. But they discovered something in recent weeks and salvaged their season. It is called good old-fashioned offense and being aggressive on that side of the ball.
While Detroit gets a bad rap in the press, the fan hotel is said to be nice which is linked in our previous article -
The game will also be played near a very popular district in Detroit which features many restaurants close by. And did I mention the Hotel has their own casino? Meanwhile Ford Field is a nice venue and the sponsors seem more than welcoming to fans,
It will bode well for Duke to play on artificial turf which better suits team speed. The last time Duke Football played in Michigan was 1978 by my recollection under then coach Mike McGee against the Michigan Wolverines.
Per my memory, Duke has only played MAC teams twice in their long history. That was two wins over Ohio in 1985 and 86. This will obviously be the first meeting between Northern Illinois and Duke.
There is a Dave Doeren connection at play. The N.C. State head man was at the school and led them to an 11-3 record and conference title in his first season. His 2012 team vaulted to No. 15 in the BCS Standings, which led to a first-ever appearance in a BCS bowl game, the 2013 Orange Bowl against Florida State, which they lost 31-10. Doeren was hired by the Wolfpack the very next day, but it was current coach Rod Carey who coached in that game.
Northern Illinois has won 10 conference and three division titles, appeared in 13 Division I-A and College Division bowl games in their MAC history, Rod Carey took over for Doeren and led the Huskies to four west division titles from 2012-15. He was also a part of an NCAA high at the time 26 game home winning streak.
Some good news for Duke is that the Huskies are on a four game bowl losing streak. The bad, is that they will not be distracted by the bowl surroundings staying in a Midwest bowl and playing in a venue they are familiar with,
The Blue Devils now return to a bowl game after a one year hiatus. Duke is 1-3 under head coach David Cutcliffe in bowl games. They broke through in their last win -- an overtime victory over Indiana in the Pinstripe Bowl. Previously, they lost three games that were all within reach.
Duke has been labeled an early 2.5 favorite with an over/under of 48.
The Duke Blue Devils have accepted an invitation to play in the Quick Lane Bowl. The game will kick off on December the 26th at 5:30 and will be televised on ESPN.
Duke will take on Northern Illinois, a notoriously tough MAC team that finished 8-4. They had their leagues best defense allowing just 250 points and defeated Nebraska while losing their opener to Boston College by 3. More on the Huskies here.
“We are honored and delighted to be chosen to participate in the Quick Lane Bowl,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said. “I could not be happier for a group of young men who had their backs against the wall heading into the final two weeks of the season, fought through that adversity, and now will reap the benefits of their hard work and commitment to this program.
“Obviously we are at the end of the semester, so we’ll handle our academic business with exams, and then we’ll get back to the practice field to prepare for a very well-coached Northern Illinois team,” Cutcliffe continued. “Congratulations to Coach Carey and the entire Huskie team on a terrific season; we have great respect for what the Northern Illinois program stands for. At Duke, we take great pride in representing the Atlantic Coast Conference, and we’ll embrace the challenge of competing against an excellent Mid-American Conference squad.
“And lastly, special thanks to Brad Michaels, Danny Jaroshewich and the entire Quick Lane Bowl staff for this event. We know the experience our student-athletes will have will be incredible.”
The Quick Lane Bowl is located in Detroit, MI. He is a link to one of the ACC Greektown Casino Hotel. But be sure to check in with GoDuke.com for tickets and other possible hotel rooms.
The game is played on the Detroit Lions Ford Field which feature artificial turf. The stadium had some nice upgrades recently and is where the most recent Mid American Conference Championship Game was played.
The main sponsor for the game is Quick Lane Tire and Auto, but more can be found here. This will be the fourth year of the bowls existence.
The Duke Blue Devils finished he season with two impressive ACC wins over Georgia Tech and Wake Forest to become bowl eligible. Duke will now have three added weeks of practice which helps the team build up their younger players for next season.
Unless you have been in hibernation or are not a sports fan, you know that Tennessee recently fumbled the handing of hiring or firing Greg Schiano. Okay, maybe he was neither hired nor fired but let me add for emphasis that it was a hot mess.
Now, sources say they reached out to David Cutcliffe who has already balked at the opportunity in the past. Make no mistake about it, part of Cutcliffes heart is in Tennessee where he met his wife.
But the Vol Nation has had horrible timing in hires of late and their track record of success has been abysmal with choices. Had they offered Cutcliffe at the right time, meaning years ago -- perhaps he would be there today,
Anyhow the story is making the rounds on ESPN. But Cutcliffe seems likely to end his coaching career at Duke. He has invested a lot of time in building a program that will soon get its fifth bowl invitation in six years. And the university has invested in him with facilities in a mutual plan for improvement.
The Duke Blue Devils defeated Wake Forest 31-23 to become bowl eligible today. I checked in with my best sources and have the most likely destinations and the opponent which they may play.
Here is a breakdown of the three possibilities and the likely opponent. My best guesses are -
Walk On's Independence Bowl on December 27th Shreveport, Louisiana - Duke (6-6) vs Kentucky (7-5) Payout $1,200,000 each
A match up of basketball giants who have turned their football programs around in recent years. Missouri is a possibility here. With the lack of eligible SEC teams, this matchup could be a long shot. Middle Tennessee or a Conference USA team is in play.
Military Bowlby Northrup Grumman at Navy Marine Corp Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland - Duke (6-6) vs Navy (6-5) Payout $1 million each
Navy will be playing Army before this game. Duke fans would attend this game in the D.C. area. UVA could be attractive with concern to attendance,
Quick Lane Bowlon December 28th in Detroit Michigan - Duke (6-6) vs Purdue (6-6) or MAC Team Payout $1,200,000 each
An ACC vs Big 10 matchup at Ford Field. An upstart Purdue team would face the Blue Devils. Another possibility would be a MAC team such as Central Michigan or Akron. The current feel is that this will be the Blue Devils destination but some politics are in play so we will wait and see.