Category Archives: Duke Football

Spring Football Starts at Duke

DURHAM, N.C. – Under the direction of head coach David Cutcliffe, the Duke football team will open spring practice on Wednesday at the Brooks Practice Facility. Under NCAA regulations, the Blue Devils will have 15 practice sessions including the program’s annual Spring Showcase scheduled for Saturday, April 14.

Duke returns 16 starters and 48 lettermen from last year’s squad that went 7-6 and capped the campaign with a 36-14 victory over Northern Illinois in the Quick Lane Bowl.

Cutcliffe has guided the Blue Devils to five bowl game appearances in the last six years while this past season, Duke earned its fourth winning campaign in the last five years to mark the program’s most successful stretch since four winning seasons in five years between 1960-64.

Rising redshirt junior quarterback Daniel Jones headlines a group of seven returning offensive starters. In 2017, his second season as a starter, the Charlotte, N.C., native completed 257-of-453 (.567) passes for 2,691 yards with 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while rushing 161 times for 518 yards and seven scores. Other returning starters include guard Zach Harmon, tight end Daniel Helm (22 receptions, 261 yards & 2 TDs), wide receiver Johnathan Lloyd (39 receptions, 367 yards & 1 TD), honorable mention All-ACC wide receiver T.J. Rahming (65 receptions, 795 yards & 2 TDs) guard Julian Santos and wide receiver Chris Taylor (25 receptions, 332 yards & 1 TD).

Defensively, eight starters return including All-America linebacker Joe Giles-Harris, who led Duke with 125 tackles and 16.0 tackles for loss in 2017. He is joined by tackle Edgar Cerenord (34 tackles & 3.0 TFL), ESPN Freshman All-America end Victor Dimukeje (40 tackles & 7.5 TFL), first team All-ACC cornerback Mark Gilbert (35 tackles, 6 INTs & 15 PBUs), safety Jordan Hayes (50 tackles & 3.0 TFL), end Tre Hornbuckle (50 tackles, 9.5 TFL), linebacker Ben Humphreys (70 tackles & 9.0 TFL) and third team All-ACC safety Jeremy McDuffie (58 tackles, 3 INTs & 9 PBUs).

Four members of Duke’s 2018 Signing Class – tight end Zamari Ellis, offensive lineman Casey Holman, quarterback Gunnar Holmberg and cornerback Jeremiah Lewis – enrolled in January and will participate in spring drills.

Duke opens the 2018 season on September 1 at home against Army West Point. In addition to the Black Knights, Blue Devils will host N.C. Central, Virginia Tech, Virginia, North Carolina and Wake Forest this fall. Season tickets can be purchased by visiting or by calling the Duke Athletics Ticket Office at 919-681-BLUE (2583).

Huge In State Recruiting Weekend for Duke

The Duke Football team added three new players to the class of 2019 over the weekend.  All of those players hailed from the state of North Carolina giving Duke five of their six commitments from local programs.  Duke added running back Zanovan Knight, WR Donavon Greene and CB Isiah Kemp in the last few days giving them a great start to next seasons class.  Read more about these signings on the Blue Devil Nation message board as a member where we are currently running double your time specials.

Staff Adjustments Made For Duke Football

DURHAM, N.C. – Headlined by promotions of Ben Albert and Matt Guerrieri to co-defensive coordinator roles and the addition of Lanier Goethie as an assistant coach, Duke head coach David Cutcliffe announced multiple alterations to the Blue Devil football staff on Friday.

A member of the Duke staff since 2016, Albert elevates from Associate Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line to Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line.  Guerrieri, who has served on the Duke staff in a variety of capacities since 2012, moves from Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator [Defense]/Safeties to Co-Defensive Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator [Defense]/Defensive Secondary.  Goethie will coach Duke’s linebackers.

Additionally, Zac Roper elevates to the Baxter Family Deputy Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks from Baxter Family Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks while Derek Jones earns a promotion to Associate Head Coach/Defensive Backs from Assistant Head Coach [Defense]/Cornerbacks.

“First off, I’m really proud of how our defensive staff has handled this situation,” Cutcliffe said.  “We’ve had not good, but great conversations regarding staff organization and responsibilities, and I’m proud of how unselfish Ben, Matt and Derek all have been throughout the process.  All three coaches are deserving of their new roles and I’m looking forward to watching them lead our defensive unit starting with spring practice next month.  And as for Zac, his impact on our program goes well beyond coordinating our offense and coaching the quarterbacks.  His efforts have been and will continue to be instrumental to our overall success, both on and off the field.”

Goethie, who lettered four seasons as a linebacker at Ole Miss under Cutcliffe, joins the Blue Devil staff after spending the last two seasons at Louisiana Tech.  With the Bulldogs, he coached the linebackers and helped Louisiana Tech to a two-year ledger of 16-11, an appearance in the 2016 Conference USA championship game and consecutive bowl victories over Navy (48-45 in the 2016 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl) and SMU (51-10 in the 2017 DXL Frisco Bowl).

“We are thrilled to add Lanier to our staff,” Cutcliffe said.  “Obviously, we have a great deal of history with each other.  As a player at Ole Miss, Lanier had a ‘coach on the field’ type impact on our football team, and I’ve really been impressed with his growth within the coaching profession.  He is a young man of the highest integrity with a keen sense of accountability and I’m certain he’ll make a smooth transition into our program.”

From 2012-15, Goethie worked on the staff at Delta State (Miss.) University, coaching the linebackers while serving as the program’s recruiting coordinator.  In 2014, the Statesmen posted a NCAA Division II-high 119 tackles for loss as three of Goethie’s pupils ranked among the Gulf Coast League’s top five for tackles behind the line of scrimmage.  Delta State had two linebackers – Wilson Curtis and Rory Island – earn All-Gulf Coast League honors during Goethie’s tenure.

Prior to his stint at Delta State, Goethie spent the 2011 season coaching the outside linebackers while serving as the recruiting coordinator at North Greenville (S.C.) University, where he helped the Crusaders to 11 victories and the first NCAA Division II playoff berth in program history.

Goethie got his start in the coaching ranks as a graduate assistant coach at Ole Miss, working primarily with the defense during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.  In 2009, Ole Miss posted a 9-4 overall record including a 21-7 victory over Oklahoma State in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.  Prior to shifting into a coaching capacity, Goethie worked as an academic counselor in Office of Student-Athlete Academic Support at Ole Miss from 2007-08.

A native of Baxley, Ga., Goethie played four seasons (1999-00-01-02) at Ole Miss, totaling 178 tackles while serving as a team captain his senior season.  He helped Ole Miss to 29 wins over four years with three bowl game appearance including two victories in the Independence Bowl over Oklahoma (1999) and Nebraska (2002) and, in 2002, received the prestigious Chucky Mullins Courage Award, an honor presented annually to the defensive player who exudes excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community.

Goethie, who graduated from Ole Miss in 2003 with a degree in marketing and later earned a master’s degree from the institution in higher education administration, is married to the former Keonna Starks.

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 Coaching Staff

David Cutcliffe – Head Coach (Alabama, 1976)

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

Derek Jones – Associate Head Coach/DB (Ole Miss, 1996)

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

Matt Guerrieri – Co-Defensive Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator [Defense]/DS (Davidson, 2011)

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

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

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

Lanier Goethie – Assistant Coach/LB (Ole Miss, 2003)

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

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

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

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


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)


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)


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


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  The No. 27 tight end in the country by, 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  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.