Category Archives: Duke Football

More Honors for Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones
Daniel Jones

NEW ORLEANS – Redshirt freshman quarterback Daniel Jones continued to collect honors Monday as he was named a Manning Award Star of the Week. This is Jones’ second selection from the Manning Award group as he was honored following the Notre Dame victory in September.

Earlier Monday, Jones was tabbed as the ACC Rookie of the Week for the third time this season.

Jones completed 22-of-24 passes (.647) for 240 yards and one touchdown in leading the Blue Devils to a 28-27 victory against No. 15 North Carolina last Thursday. His one scoring throw was a two-yard toss to redshirt sophomore tight end Davis Koppenhaver that provided the game-winning points with 2:10 remaining in the third quarter. Jones finished the contest with a 133.71 efficiency rating, good for the fourth-best rating by a Duke starting quarterback against a ranked opponent during the David Cutcliffe era.

Jones added 16 rushes for 94 yards and scored two touchdowns on the ground. He excelled on third down, completing eight-of-10 passes (.800) for 91 yards and eight first downs. Overall, he directed a Duke offense that amassed 27 first downs and 467 total yards, held possession for 37:39 and converted 10-of-17 (.588) third downs, all without a turnover.

The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, named eight quarterbacks as its “Stars of the Week.” College football fans can now go to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Facebook page to vote for what they think was the best performance from this past weekend. When voting closes on Thursday at 12 noon, the top vote-getter will be announced as the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week.

The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.

Manning Award Stars of the Week

Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee

Quinton Flowers, USF

Jalen Hurts, Alabama

Daniel Jones, Duke

Kurt Palandech, UNLV

Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh

Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State

Will Worth, Navy

Duke 28 UNC 27 Victory Bell Claimed

The Duke Blue Devils upset 15th ranked North Carolina Tar Heels 28-27 in Wallace Wade Stadium,  With the victory Duke claims the coveted Victory Bell and bragging rights for a year.

Duke came into the game as battered a football team as any team in the country.  Six starters were missing from the line up tonight and at the end of the game seven were missing.

Despite that, Duke played with  heart and that propelled them to their first ACC win of the season.  Not only that, they are still in contention for a bowl game but must win out for that to happen.

The Duke offense would outgain the powerful Tar Heels offense 467 yards to 403 in the contest.  Daniel Jones ended the game with one passing touchdown which went to tight end Davis Koppenhaver and he ran for another score gaining 94 yards on the ground.Shaun Wilson added 107 yards rushing and another score, whole T.J. Rahming pulled in 8 passes for 100 yards.

The Blue Devils defense intercepted Mitch Trubisky twice and that doubled his interception total for the entire season.  The Tar Heels pulled within 28-27 on a Nick Weiler field goal.  They were mounting a late drive as well, but a timely interception from Alonzo Saxton sealed the deal as the Blue Devils ran out the clock.

''After the game I was hit with the Gatorade which is always fun.  I told somebody my legs were shaking but it had nothing to do with the cold.  It was from watching our playrs, the joy, the deserved joy,'' stated David Cutcliffe who has now won three of the last five outings versus the Tar Heels.

The game ball went to Bob Harris, the long time voice of the Duke Blue Devils who was calling his last home game.  But that ball could have gone to multiple players on a team that came to play and made Duke fans proud.

''We've known all year that we're  a good team and we had to do what needed to be done and better than how Carolina did,'' said senior A.J. Wolf.

The Blue Devils would go down 14-0 in the game only to allow the Tar Heels one more touchdown and two field goals after the 1st quarter.

Duke defeats UNC for Victory Bell
Duke defeats UNC for Victory Bell

With his 240 passing yards, redshirt freshman Daniel Jones is now owns the Blue Devils all time passing yards record surpassing Thaddeus Lewis.

''He is an outstanding player, a fierce competitor,'' said Cutcliffe of his prodigy.

With the win Duke goes to 4-6 on the season where they travel to Pitt next week.  North Carolina drops to 7-3 and 5-2 in the ACC in a loss that could have knocked them out of a shot at the title game in Charlotte.

It was a good night for Duke and they gained a much needed win. And when you defeat your arch rival on national TV it is always a good recruiting tool.  The bottom line is a lot of young players showed that there is talent in Durham.  And that talent is getting better.

Duke still has plenty to play for this season, but regarless of the outcome, the program is in solid shape for years to come.

Hokies Face Duke on Saturday

helmetThe injury plagued Duke football team takes on the nationally ranked Virginia Tech Hokies in Wallace Wade Stadium on Saturday. No less than six or seven starters will be out for the Blue Devils who seek their first ACC win.

After going to four consecutive bowl games, that streak will soon end if the losses continue.  Duke is the underdog in all their remaining games but there will be no quit with this team.  They most recently played Louisville to the wire on the road and a comeback at Georgia Tech fell just short.

Despite losing key players at every position imaginable, the Blue Devils have played competitive football.  In most of their ACC losses this season, they were one less mistake away from a win.

Meanwhile, the Hokies are fighting for the Coastal Division crown and that will make for a hungry bunch.  In fact, Duke can play a major role in determining the division winner taking on the Hokies this week and North Carolina this Thursday.

While Duke is playing for wins now, they are also building for the future.  It's important to remember that programs sometimes take a step back in the process of continued winning.

Every time the Blue Devils tak to the field, their true freshman quarterback, Daniel Jones gains experience, as do his teammates. Not to look too far ahead, but the Blue Devils will return a lot of key player next season.

The Blue Devils still have some key seniors playing, but many are on the injury list.  On the other side of the ball this weekend, the Hokies are healthy and on a roll.

First year coach,, Justin Fuente has his team believing and ranked among the nation's top teams.The Hokies come into Wade riding wins over Miami and Pitt as they battle North Carolina for the division crown and a chance to play in the title game.

Duke won a barn burner a year ago in overtime and this years Hokie offense is even more explosive.  They've been running a wide open passing attack with success.  The visitors feature a lights out kicker in Joey Slye as well, but much of his success has come when the offense stalls in the red zone.

There should be a good crowd for the game in that Duke has advertised tickets in the Blacksburg market.  In fact, it is likely to be a pro Tech crowd.  Despite that, Duke seems to play better in larger crowds despite being outnumbered.

With three of four captains watching from the sidelines, it may be too much to ask for a Duke win.  On the other hand, if the 6-2 Hokies look past Duke, they are more than capable of pulling off an upset for their first ACC win.

Duke will wear new commemorative Battleship Grey matte helmets to celebrate hosting the Rose Bowl against Oregon State 75 seasons ago during World War II.  The game will be televised on ESPNU and kicks off at 3:30 PM ET.

Duke Defense Stymies Army

The Duke Blue Devils scored an early touchdown where backup quarterback, Parker Boehme hit Erich Schneider on a 3 yard pass. Duke never trailed after that score and go on to  13-6 win over Army on a rainy day in Durham.

It wasn't always easy for Duke in that once again they were hurt by turnovers.  And then there was a defensive lapse where Andy Davison ran it right up the middle to score on a 45 yard jaunt.

Up until that point, the Duke defense played very well in the first half and held Army out of the end zone after a botched punt attempt. Duke also had a first half score on a Daniel Jones to Aaron Young pass which went for 22 yards.  That made for a 13-6 halftime lead.  The catch from Young, a redshirt freshman was his first career touchdown at Duke.

In the second half, the teams both remained scoreless s the defense took over on a rain soaked day.  Time and time again, the Blue Devils defense made big plays that helped Duke even their record on the season to 3-3.

There are times when a team just needs a win and the Blue Devils won an ugly game due to the weather.  Duke would gain only nine first downs for 189 yards on offense.  But the defense held Army to one less first down and just 214 yards.

The weather made it very hard to pass the ball and Duke freshman quarterback Daniel Jones went 7 of 15 for 41 yards, but was sacked five times on the day.

Duke also lost starting center Austin Davis in the 1st half and he never returned.  Ben Humphreys led the way for Duke on defense with 10 total tackles, 2.5 of those for a loss.  Deondre Singleton had an interception and fumble recovery.

The Blue Devils will face the best offense they have seen all season when they take on Louisville this coming Friday.  Duke will be on a short week, while the Cards led by Lamar Jackson the Heisman favorite are coming off a bye week.


Previewing Army at Duke

Duke vs Army preview
Duke vs Army preview

The Duke Blue Devils hope to even out their record for the season against a much improved Army team on Saturday.  To do so, there is one major aspect of the game they must improve upon

The Blue Devils protected the football in their win over Notre Dame, but is all three of their losses, that was not the case.  In fact, Duke was a turnover waiting to happen in those games.  Any coach will tell you that turnovers are one of the most critical aspects of the game and Duke has to protect the ball better moving forward.

A year ago, the Blue Devils played perhaps their best game against Army in West Point.  This season the Cadets have a 3-1 record with pretty much all of their key personnel back.  The Army offense is rolling up 450.5 yards per game.

The Duke offense is right there with the Cadets at 445 yards per contest, but the Cadets are averaging ten more points per contest. That points not only to the aforementioned turnovers, but the Blue Devils struggle to find the end zone.

Army has had two weeks to prepare for Duke in that they had an off week.  It is not hard to figure out that a victory over the Blue Devils which have had their number of late would vault them into almost sure bowl contention.  In short, they'll be motivated as a team.

It wasn't that long ago when Army came into Wallace Wade Stadium and shocked the Blue Devils.  Fair or not, the Cadets are more often than nor viewed as a winnable game on the schedule.  That's no knock on their improved program, but a fact of how solid and competitive the ACC schedule is today.

In the game where Duke never was really in it, former quarterback Sean Renfree threw and early interception near his on goal line. Army scored and never looked back.

The reason I mention that contest is that momentum will play a key role in this game.  Duke has squandered several fist half opportunities in similar fashion in losses.  In this game, Duke needs to capitalize on opportunities.

You may have noticed that I have not mentioned one current Duke players name in this preview. That's because this team needs to come together as a group.  The talent is there for this team to show a turnaround as the season progresses.  And at this point, the Blue Devils need to band together and simply get a victory to get back on the right track.

The future for Duke Football is on solid footing.  But this season could take a serious hit with a loss to Army, which some consider the last game Duke will be favored to win this season due to a tough schedule.

Nothing gets easier for the Blue Devils who take on Louisville on the road next Friday.  Even they have an extra week to prepare which seems unfair.  There is no time like the present to garner the forces and gain a much-needed win for the program.

It's really simple, Duke needs to start winning the games they are favored in again.  And that won't be easy against an Army team that is hungry and riding momentum.  That leaves us with the question being how hungry is this Duke team.

Duke 27 Army 21

Virginia Punts Duke

16-672x372 (1)Duke stumbled out of the gate flat as a pancake and returned to their turnover plagued ways in a 34-20 loss to Virginia.  It's as if Duke returned to the way they played before the Notre Dame win.

It was a forgettable day for freshman quarterback Daniel Jones whose  interceptions killed drives.  He ended the game with five passes picked and fumbld in the end zone where the Cavaliers recovered the ball for their final score.

Duke rolled up 25 first downs to the Cavaliers 16, but they just could not find the end zone often enough.  It was simply that kind of day for Duke which falls to 0-2 in the ACC 2-3 overall.  The loss all but assures the Blue Devils of having to turn things around quickly or finish in the divisions cellar.

Much like the earlier game against Wake Forest, Duke had their chances to take a solid lead but failed to do so early on.  The score was 20-10 at the half, but Duke should have been in the game or no less than tied.

It didn't help that the Duke secondary was scorched for 336 yards and three touchdowns by Kurt Benkert.  The Cavaliers also were successful all too often on third down where they went 11 of 21.

After gaining momentum and confidence back against Notre Dame a week ago, Duke finds itself back in the doldrums.  The team should be in desperation mode for a win next weekend against Army.  But to win, some how, some way, they have to protect the football and find the end zone.

Lastly, the MVP of this game was a punter.  Virginia kicker Nicholas Conte kept the Blue Devils pinned back all day long.  That just goes to show you how important special teams can be.

The only bright spots for Duke were A.J. Reed going 2 for 2 in the field goal department as he continues to come around.  It is also worth noting, that Duke was in the game until the end despite seven turnovers.  I suppose the game was closer than the final score, but that is nothing to hang your hat on.

The Duke vs Army game kicks off at 3;30 next Saturday.