Category Archives: Duke Football


Sirk to Miss 2016 Season

downloadDURHAM, N.C. – Duke head football coach David Cutcliffe announced that redshirt senior quarterback Thomas Sirk will miss the 2016 campaign after suffering a partial tear of his left Achilles tendon during Thursday evening’s practice.  Sirk will undergo surgery at a date to be determined.

The surgical procedure will be performed by Dr. Annunziato Amendola of the Duke Sports Science Institute.

Sirk ruptured his left Achilles tendon on February 9 of this year.  He missed the 2013 campaign after suffering a ruptured right Achilles tendon in April of that year.

A 6-4, 220-pound native of Glen St. Mary, Fla., Sirk started 12 games in 2015 and completed 251-of-427 (.588) passes for 2,625 yards with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions while rushing for a team-best 803 yards and eight scores on 163 attempts.  Sirk’s 3,428 total offensive yards rank as the second highest single-season total in school history, trailing only Anthony Dilweg’s 3,713 yards in 1988.

In the ACC, Sirk finished the season ranking third in total offensive yards per game (285.7), fifth in passing yards per game (218.8) and 10th in rushing yards per game (66.9).  In addition, he guided an offense that was one of just three units in the league to rank among the conference’s top five in scoring offense, total offense, rushing offense and passing offense, joining Clemson and North Carolina.

Sirk guided Duke to a 44-41 overtime win over Indiana in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl by compiling 318 yards of total offense while rushing for two touchdowns and throwing for a third score and was named the game’s co-MVP along with running back Shaun Wilson.

Duke opens the 2016 season at home against N.C. Central on September 3.  Season tickets may be purchased by calling the Duke Athletic Ticket Office at 919-681-BLUE or online at

Jones has to touchdown passes in scrimmage.

Jones Highlights Duke Scrimmage

Jones has to touchdown passes in scrimmage.
Jones has to touchdown passes in scrimmage.

DURHAM, N.C. – Redshirt freshman quarterback Daniel Jones threw two touchdown passes while classmate Quentin Harris added one scoring strike to highlight Duke’s 65-snap scrimmage on Friday night at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium.

Jones finished six-of-10 through the air for 55 yards with scoring tosses of 31 yards to Anthony Nash and 14 yards to T.J. Rahming. Harris hit on four-of-eight throws for 89 yards including a 73-yard touchdown pass to Sayvon Sampson while redshirt junior Parker Boehme also saw time under center and completed four-of-seven passes for 26 yards. Redshirt senior Thomas Sirk, who started 12 games a season ago and accounted for 24 total touchdowns, did not see action as he continues to recover from a ruptured left Achilles tendon suffered in February.

Duke’s rushing attack was paced by redshirt senior Jela Duncan, who rushed six times for 41 yards, while freshman Brittain Brown had 11 carries for 38 yards.

On Saturday from 2:30-4:30 p.m., Duke will host the annual Meet the Blue Devils event in Pascal Field House. Admission and parking are free for the event. The annual gathering allows fans their first opportunity to interact with #OurProgram, including meeting players and coaches with opportunities for photos, autographs and kid-friendly activities. The 2016 team poster also will be unveiled with each visitor receiving a free edition, while supplies last.

Season tickets, mini plans and Good/Better/Best packages are available online at or by calling the Duke Athletic Ticket Office at 919-681-2583.

Coach Cutcliffe takes in Duke's first 2016 practice

Duke, Sirk opened 2016 practice Monday

DURHAM - Coming off a thrilling 2015 Pinstripe Bowl victory, Head Coach David Cutcliffe and the Duke Blue Devils kicked off the 2016 preseason on Monday evening.

QB Thomas Sirk was able to participate in the opening practice session despite suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon earlier this year. Sirk headlines just 10 returning starters for the Blue Devils, who will open their 2016 campaign in the newly-renovated Wallace Wade Stadium on September 3.

Monday's practice was the first official work for a number of new Blue Devils, including highly touted recruits WR Scott Bracey and S Dylan Singleton.

Preseason Photo Gallery

Coach Cutcliffe remarked on his quarterback's remarkable recovery, his team's maturity, and other highlights after practice. Duke will practice in pads for the first time on Saturday.


Duke Implements New Security for FB

Cn52fKnXgAAlz8FDURHAM, N.C. – In an effort to increase safety and security of campus visitors, fans attending Duke football games this season will take part in new security measures that include metal detectors, a no-bag policy and no stadium re-entry once a fan has exited the gates of Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium.

The new measures will be in place for all of Duke football’s home games starting with theSept. 3 contest against N.C. Central University.

The security enhancements are being made as other universities and professional sports teams around the country institute similar policies and steps to create safer environments at sporting events. Duke Athletics originally rolled out use of metal detectors at the end of 2015 for basketball games at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

“These extra precautions are quickly becoming a necessary trend at large sporting events,” said Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for administration and Duke’s emergency coordinator. “We appreciate the patience and participation of all those who come out to the games to help us provide the safest possible environment.”

Due to the new security efforts, Duke Athletics encourages all fans to come to Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium as early as possible. Administrators estimate that it will take approximately 60 minutes to screen a maximum capacity crowd of about 40,000 using all available metal detectors at four gate locations.

“These enhanced security measures are essential as Duke constantly strives to provide the safest possible environment for all event attendees,” said vice president and director of athletics Kevin White. “Our rollout of similar policies and procedures at Cameron Indoor Stadium last season was extremely well-received and we expect the same at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium this fall. It is our commitment to provide everyone with a first-class, safe experience.”

All persons – game day staff, ticketed guests and Duke undergraduate and graduate students – will be screened before entering the stadium. For guests who can’t use a walk-through metal detector, hand-held metal detectors will be used with physical pat-downs as a final alternative option. Any person who does not consent to screening will be denied stadium entry.

The following includes more details on Duke’s new measures:

Metal Detector Screening

Before passing through metal detectors, guests will be asked to remove cell phones, large key rings, cameras, wristlets/clutches and any large metal objects from their pockets and place them in a provided container for inspection. Guests do not need to remove jackets, belts, coins, wallets, watches, jewelry or shoes. A full list of permitted and prohibited items can be found here.

If a walk-through metal detector finds the presence of items that require further inspection, visitors will be asked to step aside and undergo secondary screening with a hand-held metal detector or physical pat-down.

Accommodations will be made in certain situations for children, items of religious and cultural significance and guests with disabilities or medical devices.

For full details, see the see the "Football Game Day Entry Screening Policy" section on

Bag Policy

To increase security in a large crowd setting and provide a better entry and game experience for all guests, no bags or purses of any kind will be allowed to enter the stadium on game days with the following exceptions:

 -- Wristlets/clutches (with or without a strap) that fit in the palm of the hand (no larger 5 inches x 8 inches x 1 inch).

 -- Duke Stores merchandise bags with receipt for purchase, with restrictions on stadium prohibited items.

 -- Bags for medical and/or childcare needs.

 -- Bags for credentialed game day staff.Guests with wristlets/clutches may use any lane in the screening area and place the item in a provided bin for inspection.

Ticketed guests entering with Duke Stores merchandise bags and bags for medical and/or childcare needs must use designated a medical/family lane located at each gate screening area. The lanes will be located to far right of the Bostock Gate (north entry) and Powers Gate (west entry) and the far left of the Wilson Gate (east entry) and Finch-Yeager Bridge (Blue Devil Tower entry). Bags will be searched and tagged for entry into the stadium.



David Cutcliffe is a Fit at Duke

cutIt doesn't seem like David Cutcliffe has been at Duke for nine years, but in one of his opening statements during ACC Kickoff, he reminds us of that.  He mentioned that along with Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, that the two were the elder coaches in the league.

When Cutcliffe inherited the reigns at Duke, the Blue Devil program was nothing more than a doormat.  He immediately gave fans something they haven't had in a long time.  In his first season Duke went 4-8 against the second toughest schedule in the country. While four wins might seem paltry in hindsight, one must note that it had been a decade since Duke had won near that many.

There were to be a few more years of rebuilding the program to where it is today.  Having covered Duke throughout the journey has been interesting for me.  There was a time when many in the fan base coveted things like wins and bowl games.  Many wondered if they would see either before their life was to end.  I was one of those people.

Make no mistake, the steps it took to get to where the program is coming off four consecutive bowl games was at times methodical.  It was easier for Duke fans to grant the rebuilding process patience in that winning would be something new.

What Cutcliffe has done is devise his own system.   It's not always perfect but he is known for being one of the best coaches in the nation for good reason.  His system promotes character and his staff teaches what it preaches.

When prospects come to visit Duke and their ever improving facilities most will point to one thing.  The word family is always mentioned to those who find a fit.  That fit is also important to the staff in that they know what it takes for players to mesh with what they're doing.

In a sense, Cutcliffe took out a page from Mike Krzyzewski's notebook.  He did so with developing a family atmosphere and going after kids with high character.  Even as I type, Duke has already zeroed in on and gained 20 football commitments for the future and are ranked 18th in the country per ESPN.

The bottom line is that prospects want to play for Duke,  They have seen that you can compete on the field and in the classroom.  They have seen that the staff is honest and genuine and that they will develop them as a players, student athletes and men.

Everything is coming full circle for the program.  While there is sure to be more growing pains, the foundation has been set.  With much improved facilities and playing in a conference that is improving every year -- the future is bright.

Duke scored big with the hiring of David Cutcliffe.  And in Durham on Brooks Field and in Wallace Wade Stadium, he has found his final home.   It is quite simply the perfect paring.

As for the aforementioned long time fans of the program who suffered along with teams past.  Well, the wait for a winning program seems worth it,  As for me mentioning that it doesn't seem like Cutcliffe has been at Duke that long ... time flies when things are going well.

Next up - Cutcliffe talks Duke Football for the 2016-17 season.


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Duke Tabbed 5th in Coastal Division

16-672x372 (1)Clemson Leads ACC Football Kickoff Preseason Poll

North Carolina selected to repeat as Coastal Division winner;

Tigers’ Deshaun Watson tabbed to repeat as Player of the Year


GREENSBORO, N.C. ( – Clemson is the preseason favorite to repeat as  Atlantic Coast Conference football champion, according to a poll of  191 media members in attendance at last week’s 2016 ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte.


The Tigers, who posted a 14-1 overall record last season and reached the College Football Playoff national title game, are also picked to again capture the Atlantic Division, while North Carolina is favored to repeat as the Coastal Division winner.


Clemson junior quarterback Deshaun Watson was the overwhelming choice to repeat as ACC Player of the Year after his record-setting 2015 campaign. Watson was also the media’s preseason selection as conference player of the year last season.


The Tigers were picked the likely 2016 ACC champions on 144 ballots, followed by Florida State with 39 votes and North Carolina with seven. One voter chose Louisville.


In the Atlantic Division preseason voting, Clemson received 148 first-place votes and finished with 1,293 total points. Florida State received 42 first-place votes and placed second with 1,176 points, while Louisville had one first-place vote and was third in the voting with 961 points.


NC State (704 total points) was tabbed for a fourth-place Atlantic Division finish, followed by Boston College (441), Syracuse (426) and Wake Forest (347).


North Carolina was selected the likely Coastal winner by 121 voters and finished with 1,238 total points, followed by Miami with 50 first-place votes and 1,108 points. Pitt received 14 first-place votes and was third in the balloting with 859 points.


Virginia Tech (three first-place votes) placed fourth with 697 points, followed by Duke (597), Georgia Tech (588) and Virginia (261). Two voters chose Duke to claim the Coastal Division, while one gave Georgia Tech the nod.


If the overall prediction of the voters proves correct, the 2016 ACC Dr Pepper Football Championship on December 3 at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium will be a rematch of last year’s event. Clemson defeated North Carolina 45-37 for the 2015 ACC title after both teams posted 8-0 records in conference play during the regular season.


Watson will lead a Clemson offense that also returns talented running back Wayne Gallman, leading receiver Artavis Scott, and steady offensive linemen Jay Guillermo, Mitch Hyatt and Tyrone Crowder. Linebacker Ben Boulware leads a group of five returning defensive starters. The Tigers, who have won at least 10 games each of the past five seasons, will seek their 16th ACC championship in 2016.


Watson led the preseason ACC Player of the Year balloting with 164 votes, followed by Florida State running back Dalvin Cook with 18. North Carolina running back Elijah Hood received four votes, while Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya and Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson picked up two votes apiece. Duke cornerback/return specialist DeVon Edwards received one vote.


Watson captured both the Davey O’Brien and Manning Awards as the nation’s top quarterback in 2015 after throwing for 4,104 yards and 35 touchdowns while rushing for 1,105 yards and 12 more TDs. The Gainesville, Georgia, native became the first player in FBS history to amass 4,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a single season.


The ACC Male Athlete of the Year and the MVP of both the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game and the Capital One Orange Bowl, Watson ranked fifth nationally in pass completion percentage (67.8) and was voted the ACC Offensive Back of the Week four times in 2015. Watson is bidding to become the first student-athlete to be named ACC Football Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons since Florida State’s Charlie Ward in 1992-93.


ACC Championship Votes

  1. Clemson - 144
  2. Florida State - 39
  3. North Carolina - 7
  4. Louisville - 1


Atlantic Division

(First place votes in parenthesis)                       

  1. Clemson (148) – 1,293
  2. Florida State (42) – 1,176
  3. Louisville (1) - 961
  4. NC State - 704
  5. Boston College - 441
  6. Syracuse  - 426
  7. Wake Forest - 347


Coastal Division

(First place votes in parenthesis)                       

  1. North Carolina (121) – 1,238
  2. Miami (50) – 1,108
  3. Pitt (14) - 859
  4. Virginia Tech (3) - 697
  5. Duke (2) - 597
  6. Georgia Tech (1) -588
  7. Virginia -261


ACC Player of the Year

  1. Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson - 164
  2. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State - 18
  3. Elijah Hood, RB, North Carolina - 4

t-4. Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami - 2

t-4. Lamar Jackson, QB Louisville - 2

  1. DeVon Edwards, CB/KR, Duke - 1