Category Archives: Duke Football

Jela-Duncan-NCCU

Stellar First Half Helps Duke to Win

Jela-Duncan-NCCUThe Duke Blue Devils rolled past the North Carolina Central Eagles 49-6 in their opening game of the season.

Duke opened their scoring on a 50 yard Jela Duncan touchdown run where the redshirt senior broke two tackles before going to the end zone untouched.

Duncan would end the game with a career high tying 115 rushing yards where he scored again on  a 3 yard run which gave the Blue Devils a commanding 14-0 lead.

The Blue Devils also saw two career firsts, when starting quarterback Daniel Jones had his first touchdown pass at Duke. That pass went to Johnathan Loyd for his first career touchdown catch.

Jones also scored on a 7 yard scamper to the end zone and ended the night with three scores on 10 of 15 passing for 189 yards.  Jones played just one set of downs in the second half before giving way to Parker Boehme and Quentin Harris.

Boehme looked efficient as the back up where he went  6 of 8 passing for 37 yards.  .  He also had the second longest run of the evening with a nice romp on 3rd and 18 which set up a score.  He ended the night with 68 yards rushing and one touchdown.

Duke called the dogs off in the second half where they played sloppily when they went deep into their bench.  NCCU would outscore Duke 6-0 on two field goals.

The Blue Devils showed signs of a strong running game moving forward and they got good reps for quarterbacks who have seen little action.

They were sparked on defense by senior defensive line leader A.J. Wolf who had three sacks on the evening.  Duke had four sacks as a team.

Duke rolled up 535 yards of offense, most of that coming in a stellar first half.  The Blue Devils allowed just 112 yards of offense for the Eagles where their two field goals were aided by turnovers.

The Blue Devils ended the game with 308 rushing yards and 227 yards in the air.  The Duke defense also held the Eagles to just 1 of 16 on third down conversions which helped boost their season record to 1-0.

Duke will take on Wake Forest on Brooks Field in Wallace Wade Stadium next Saturday at 3;30 in a game televised in ESPNU.  It will be the first ACC contest for both schools where the winner comes out 2-0 on the young season.

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Last Minute Thoughts NCCU-Duke

1208513_10201394548179723_1595714055_nThe Duke Blue Devils are set to open their season later today against cross town rival North Carolina Central.  Here are some random thoughts before kickoff -

- Duke will unveil a new press box, although it is not yet complete on the inside.  There will be many signs of changes for fans attending the game, but expect some unfinished areas to be talked about as well.  It's important for fans to exude patience as finishing touches are still a year away.

- Enter Daniel Jones as the new quarterback.  With Thomas Sirk having surgery and a season ending injury, Jones gets his first start at quarterback.  The first thing I noticed when talking with Jones in the pre season was how young he was.  The redshirt freshman just turned 19 years old in May of this year.  He's long and lanky and has the tools to succeed.  Still, how will he fare with all the cameras on him in the endzone when the ball is on the goal line or when pressured with defensive looks.  It will be more than a little interesting to see how he develops and more importantly leads his team.

- There are lots of new faces for Duke this season on the sidelines and the field.  The Blue Devils have their least seasoned staff since David Cutcliffe took over, so chemistry will be something to watch.  Duke will also play up to eight true freshman.  Having been around Cutcliffe since he arrived in Durham, I can read him pretty well.  It was clear to me that he was excited about this years class and their ability to help the team right away.

- The team cannot and will not look past the NCCU game, but as fans or media, we can.  Two Duke future opponents showed they have good defenses.  While next week's opponent Wake won a rather boring 7-3 game over Tulane, their defense was stout.  And then there is Army, a 14 point underdog who handled Temple on the road by dominating the second half with defense and garnering three interceptions.

- It's hard to prognosticate today's game, but Duke should win easily.  Cutcliffe will likely use all three quarterbacks by days end, but I in no way expect the offense to show their hand in this contest.  They will save some of their plays for an important conference game with Wake Forest next week.  I do think we'll see a strong dose of the running game today and a lot of young defensive lineman being developed.  With that said,  see you in Wally World this evening.

 

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Fearless College Football Predictions

imagesThe College Football season begins tonight with a decent slate of games on television.  And then there is the first football Saturday where fans have awaited the annual day of celebration.  That said, here are one mans thoughts and predictions going into kickoff.----

-- There will be two teams from one conference in the College Football Playoff.  Those two teams will come from either the ACC or the SEC.  Clemson and Florida State would be the two representatives from the ACC if they can get past opening day games against SEC foes Auburn and Ole Miss.  Or they do not stumble in the league against fellow division mate, Louisville which has spoiler potential.  In the SEC, I like Western Division teams Alabama and LSU.  Bama, like Clemson seems most likely due to scheduling and LSU has to get past their opener in Wisconsin and then avoid SEC upset which will not be easy.

-- The Pac 12 will be shut out of the playoff picture again.  The reason being is that there are actually a lot of good teams in this league but no great ones.  Everybody in their brother is picking Washington but they are in my opinion one of the most overrated teams in the nation this pre season.  By years end, Stanford, USC, UCLA, Utah, Oregon, Washington and Washington State will all have made some noise and be solid bowl teams.  Picking a conference champ in this league is a difficult task and whomever it ends up being will have at least two losses.

-- So, Michigan is the popular pick in the Big Ten and Ohio State was gutted a year ago.  Beware those who thinks this points to the Wolverines for this year they are not sneaking up on anybody.  There are some other good teams in this league but few great ones and for that reason the Big Ten will miss out on the CFB Playoff this season.  However, if there is a team that breaks through it will likely be Michigan with their paltry non conference schedule.

-- I like Oklahoma as a playoff team but in no way is that a sure thought.  They play Ohio State at home in a key early game not to mention Houston on the road in the opener.  Wait... maybe this is a silly pick.  I do think Texas improves in the Big 12 that is really ten teams.  I also think Oklahoma State will make some noise and that Baylor and TCU will still be pretty good.

Here are my picks for the top 7 teams with playoff hopes by seasons end.

1-  Alabama

2-  Oklahoma

3-  Clemson

4-  Florida State

5-  LSU

6- Tennessee

7- Michigan

Heisman Trophy Winner - Deshaun Watson, Clemson

Most overrated teams in the preseason - Washington, Ole Miss, Houston

Most underrated teams preseason - Oklahoma State, North Carolina

Opening week picks -

Louisville over UNCC by 44

Wake Forest over Tulane by 20

South Carolina over Vanderbilt by 1

Minnesota over Oregon State by 11

Tennessee over App. State by 19

Temple over Army by 16

Colorado over Colorado State by 11

Stanford over Kansas State by 17

Georgia Tech over Boston College by 6

Michigan over Hawaii by 45

Penn State over Kent State by 24

Iowa over Miami, Ohio by 27

West Virginia over Missouri by 7

Arkansas over La, Tech by 31

Northwestern over Western Michigan by 13

Clemson over Auburn by 8

TAM over UCLA by 1

Washington over Rutgers by 22

LSU over Wisconsin by 14

Georgia over North Carolina by 1

Oklahoma over Houston by 17

Alabama over USC by 14

BYU over Arizona by 1

Notre Dame over Texas by 4

Florida State over Ole Miss by 10

Duke over NCCU by 42

 

 

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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 GoDuke.com/FootballTix.

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 www.GoDuke.com/FootballTix 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.