Category Archives: Duke Football

Jeremy Cash

Preview: Duke at Miami

Duke at Miami
7:30 PM ET
Saturday, September 27
Miami Gardens, FL
Radio: Blue Devil IMG Sports Network, Sirius Ch 108 and XM Ch 193
Duke in 2014: 3-0
Miami in 2014: 2-2


OUT – Dan Beilinson (TE), Johnathan Lloyd (CB), Dezmond Johnson (DL), Trip McNiell (OL)
OUT FOR SEASON – Kelby Brown (LB), Braxton Deaver (TE), Taariq Shabazz (DE)


OUT – Rashawn Scott (WR), Alex Gall (OG), Matt Goudis (K)
OUT FOR SEASON – Rayshawn Jenkins (DB)

Duke opens ACC play with a trip to ACC Coastal Division rival Miami on Saturday night. The Blue Devils defeated the Hurricanes 48-30 in Durham last season, behind a rushing attack that ran for 358 yards. Miami still hold a convincing lead on the all-time series, having won 9 out of 11 games and 4 out of 5 in Miami.


It will take a complete effort of solid fundamental football for the Blue Devils to upset the Hurricanes for a second year in a row: a positive turnover margin, strong specials teams play, and physicality in the trenches. Miami’s freshman QB Brad Kaaya is an undisputable talent, but will be playing in just his second ACC game. While he has already set the school record for passing yards in a game (and has a good chance to break it against the Blue Devils this week), Kaaya has thrown an interception in each of his 4 starts, a total of 7 picks on the season. Duke’s “opportunistic” secondary must continue that streak and take advantage of poor reads, tipped passes, and overthrows. Of course, to win the turnover battle, the Blue Devils must take care of the football better than they did against Tulane in week 4. The Hurricanes have proven adept at stripping the football in the early season, coming up with 6 fumble recoveries, including two forced by senior LB Thurston Armbrister and junior DB Deon Bush.

A quick look at the injury report for the week shows that Miami will be without their veteran kicker Matt Goudis for the 3rd straight week. Freshman walk-on Michael Badgley will take over the kicking duties, and is thus far mostly untested, converting his one and only FG attempt in his career. With an explosive Miami offense, Duke must win the field position battle, forcing the Hurricanes to face a long field. Special teams miscues or turnovers that lead to a short field will result in easy points for this offense. The Blue Devils will expect another big day out of their veteran special teams units led by Will Monday and Ross Martin.

For those who saw the Blue Devils defeat the Hurricanes a year ago, the victory was the direct result of Duke dominating in the trenches. To win again, Duke must contain the Hurricanes’ senior-laden pass rush, led by DL Anthony Chickillo, LB Denzel Perryman, DL Ufomba Kamalu, and LB Thurston Armbrister. The Blue Devils’ offensive line will be bolstered by the expected return of Lucas Patrick, and will need to impose its will to protect Anthony Boone and open holes for their explosive running back stable. When facing a dangerous offense like the Hurricanes, the best defense can be a good offense – one that is able to consistently move the chains and find the end zone. Third down conversions will be critical.

Defensively, there is one apparent key to beating the Hurricanes this year – holding them to under 4.0 yards per carry. Of course, when the ball is in the hands of Duke Johnson, that’s easier said than done, but both Louisville and Nebraska were able to accomplish just that in defeating Miami. Slowing the Hurricanes through the air is just as challenging, with Kaaya able to spread the ball around amongst TE Clive Walford (3.75 catches per game), WR Phillip Dorsett (33 yards per catch!), and Raleigh native WR Braxton Berrios (3.5 catches per game). With Miami’s athletes, explosive plays are almost inevitable; Duke must find ways to make the stops necessary to force punts and field goals instead of touchdowns – bend but don’t break.


For Miami to win this game, they must match the Blue Devils’ intensity for a full 60 minutes. They do not have to play mistake-free football, but they certainly must shore-up a defense that allowed 334 yards and 6.2 yards per carry a week ago at Nebraska. A strong effort from Chickillo and Kamalu will be needed to contain a Duke running game that ranks 21st in the country and features freshman sensation Shaun Wilson, averaging 14.4 yards per carry. Success against the run will force Anthony Boone into obvious passing situations, where he has been prone to errant and forced throws.

Offensively, this is all about putting the ball in the Hurricanes’ playmakers’ hands. Duke’s young secondary will have its hands full with Dorsett, Berrios, and Walford, leaving plenty of running room for the explosive Johnson. If Miami is able to turn explosive plays into touchdowns, it will be a long night for the Blue Devils.


The Hurricanes, coming off a loss and with last year’s thumping fresh in their minds, will be hungry for a victory Saturday night. Expect a much improved effort from Miami defensively, disrupting the Duke offense and stalling drives. Miami will find ways to utilize their playmakers in space, creating mismatches against the young Blue Devil secondary. Dorsett and Johnson will each find the end zone, and the Hurricanes will win the turnover battle. Miami will look to get out to an early lead, forcing the Blue Devils to play from behind for much of the game. Duke will not go down without a fight, but the Hurricanes’ athletes will prove too much for the untested Blue Devils.


The weakness of the Blue Devils’ nonconference schedule will catch up to them as they face a tough ACC opener at Miami. Coach Cutcliffe will have his team ready to play, but the Blue Devils will struggle to execute consistently against an athletic and motivated Hurricane squad. Duke opens with an ACC loss, but remains very much alive in the wide-open Coastal Division.

Miami 42, Duke 31


Jamison Crowder talks Duke-Miami

Jamison-Crowder-8-31-13Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder has played in some big games to date and he know this weekends visit to Miami will be a tough one.  Crowder and the rest of the Duke team realize the challenge ahead as they take on the Hurricanes who enter the game as favorites.  Crowder addressed the media today and here is what he had to say –

Duke special teamsswarms

Helton & Crowder Spark Duke Win

DSC_0065DURHAM – Duke got a big performance from linebacker David Helton on Saturday, as Duke forced 4 turnovers and held Tulane to just 13 points.  See his post game comments below and then check out what Jamison Crowder had to say as well .

His senior teammate, All-ACC WR Jamison Crowder, led the Blue Devils with 119 yards receiving  as the team finished their nonconference season at 4-0.


Boone and Martin talk Duke win over Tulane

DURHAM – Duke moved to 4-0 on the season with a 47-13 win over Tulane on Saturday. QB Anthony Boone finished the day with 181 yards through the air and 42 yards and a TD on the ground. In just his third year in Durham, K Ross Martin became the Blue Devils’ all-time leading scorer with a 31-yard FG and 6 extra points. Blue Devil Nation spoke with both offensive stars after the game.


Duke vs Tulane Preview

DSC_0108Duke vs Tulane
12:30 PM ET
Saturday, September 20
Durham, NC
Radio: Blue Devil IMG Sports Network, Sirius Ch 112 and XM Ch 201
Duke in 2014: 3-0
Tulane in 2014: 1-2


QUESTIONABLE – Dezmond Johnson (DE), Lucas Patrick (OG)
OUT – Dan Beilinson (TE), Johnathan Lloyd (CB), Trip McNeill (OL), Jake Sanders (OL)
OUT FOR SEASON – Kelby Brown (LB), Braxton Deaver (TE), Taariq Shabazz (DE)

TULANE INJURIES – not available

Duke and Tulane last faced each other on September 24, 2011 in a game Duke won 48-27 at Wallace Wade Stadium. Tulane leads the overall series 2-1 with wins over Duke in 1964 and 1973. Duke defeated Kansas 41-3 last week, while Tulane defeated Southeastern Louisiana 35-20.


Executing on special teams, achieving balance on offense and ball hawking on defense will be the paths to success for Duke this Saturday.

In Tuesday press conference, Head Coach David Cutcliffe emphasized his desire to pin teams inside the 15 yard line on kick-offs. Look for Duke to use Jack Willoughby to hang the ball up just in front of the goal line in an effort to force Tulane to start their offensive possessions inside the 20 yard line. Moreover, Tulane is averaging 30.6 yards per punt on the season so Duke has an opportunity to exploit this weakness to win the field position battle.

When talking Duke and offense, balance is the key. Duke is averaging 510 yards offense per game through three games with 262.7 of those yards coming via the run game and 247.3 yards via the passing game. Not surprisingly, everyone is buzzing about the emergence of freshman running back Shaun Wilson and his record setting performance against Kansas; however, Duke starts three talented receivers who have the skills to burn the opponent’s defense. Taking a look at the season statistics to date: Max McCaffrey has 16 receptions for 178 yards and two touchdowns; Jamison Crowder has 16 receptions for 177 yards and two touchdowns; Issac Blakeney has 13 receptions for 173 yards and three touchdowns. Add in proven upperclassmen running backs Josh Snead and Shaq Powell, and Duke has a laundry list of options the opponent must account for when designing a defensive game plan. Involving all the offensive options to keep Tulane guessing is how Duke will achieve success.

On defense, Duke must pressure Tulane quarterback Tanner Lee and force him to make mistakes. Lee has thrown six interceptions in three games so it is imperative Duke mixes up coverage looks to confuse Lee while simultaneously bringing the heat to hurry him up. If Duke can force Lee out of his comfort zone, odds are he will make mistakes. It is up to Duke’s defensive playmakers to capitalize on Lee’s mistakes.


Turnovers and Tulane’s speed are the two things Duke needs to be concerned with on Saturday. Duke has not turned the ball over in their first three games and that needs to continue for Duke to achieve success against the Green Wave. If Duke gets sloppy with the ball, the results could be disastrous. Tulane will be the fastest team Duke has faced in 2014 so Duke must be prepared to counter speed with speed and solid fundamentals. Players must execute their assignments and tackle and block with precision. Tulane has the speed to convert a small mistake into a big advantage.


The Blue Devils are looking to wrap up the out-of-conference schedule with a victory to improve to 4-0 on the season and equal last season’s non-conference record. After being held to 14 yards on two receptions last week, Jamison Crowder will crank up his star power and combine with quarterback Anthony Boone to lead the stacked Blue Devils offense to victory.

On defense, Duke will emphasize keeping the plays in front of them to limit explosive opportunities to Tulane’s offense, while mixing in blitz packages in an effort to create turnover opportunities.

Finally, Duke will utilize superior athleticism to dominate on special teams to win the vital field position battle. With Tulane facing a long field and Duke playing on a short field it will be a long afternoon for the Green Wave.


Duke has too many offensive weapons for Tulane to handle. Add to the mix a Blue Devils defense that has allowed opponents to score only 10 points in the 2nd half through three games, against a turnover prone Tulane offense and this event ends up as a game where Duke opens it up in the 4th quarter to win by four touchdowns.

Duke 38, Tulane 10