Category Archives: Duke Football


Duke Accepts Pinstripe Bowl Invite

16-672x372The Duke Blue Devils officially accepted a bid to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl which is held is prestigious Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York.  The Blue Devils will be going bowling for the fourth consecutive season under head coach David Cutcliffe.

The Blue Devils will take on Indiana from the Big Ten in an attractive matchup of what should be a high scoring affair.  The clash of red and blue will take place on December 26th  with kickoff set for 3:30 on  ABC.

The Hoosiers come into the game having won must win contests against Maryland and Purdue.  They lost games to Iowa, Michigan and Ohio State by a single score.

Duke finished the season 7-5 after defeating Wake Forest and they've set a goal to be the first Cut Era team to win a bowl game.

“To be chosen to take part in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl brings an incredible level of excitement to our program,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said.  “Playing in our fourth consecutive bowl game means a great deal to our past, present and future Blue Devils.  This senior class is obviously a special one, and I could not be happier for a group of young men that has accomplished what no other class has done in the history of Duke Football with the four straight bowl game appearances.  We are thrilled to keep building our program while playing in front of so many Duke University alums and supporters in New York.

 “Next on our schedule are exams, and then we’ll get back to the practice field to prepare for a very well-coached Indiana squad,” Cutcliffe continued.  “We have tremendous respect for Coach Wilson and the entire Hoosier program.  At Duke, we take great pride in representing the Atlantic Coast Conference, and doing so against a program of Indiana’s caliber will be a challenge which we will embrace."

 “And we certainly look forward to working alongside Randy Levine, Mark Holtzman, John Mosley and the entire New Era Pinstripe Bowl staff for this event.  We know their group will do everything in their power to make this experience for our student-athletes the best it can possibly be.”

We encourage Duke fans to buy their tickets through so that they may be among the fan base.  Duke has also pre purchased tickets for the game, so hurry over and get yours now.

Jeremy Cash

Jeremy Cash is ACC Defensive POY

DURHAM, N.C. – Redshirt senior safety Jeremy Cash has been named the 2015 ACC Defensive Player of the Year as voted on by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.


Cash received 19 votes to outdistance Clemson’s Shaq Lawson (13), Pittsburgh’s Ejuan Price (7), Florida State’s Jalen Ramsey (7), Louisville’s Sheldon Rankins (2), Virginia Tech’s Luther Maddy (1) and Virginia’s Quin Blanding (1).  Cash is the first Duke player to receive the honor since its inception in 1993. 


Cash also received one vote to finish tied for third in the conference’s Player of the Year balloting.  Clemson’s Deshaun Watson earned the honor, along with the Offensive Player of the Year accolade, by securing 39 of the 50 votes cast.


A 6-2, 210-pound native of Miami, Fla., Cash has amassed 101 tackles, 18.0 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, eight quarterback pressures, four pass breakups, three caused fumbles and one fumble recovery on the season.  He registered 10-plus tackles in games against Northwestern (11), Georgia Tech (12), Virginia Tech (11), Miami (12) and North Carolina (10) to push his career total of double digit tackle games to 15.


A finalist for both the Bronco Nagurski Award (National Defensive Player of the Year) and Jim Thorpe Award (top defensive back in the nation), Cash has now reached the 100-tackle plateau in three consecutive seasons and is Duke’s career leader in caused fumbles with nine.  In 39 career games at Duke, Cash has compiled 333 tackles, 38.0 tackles for loss, 8.0 sacks, six interceptions, nine caused fumbles, four fumble recoveries, 15 pass breakups and 15 quarterback pressures.


One of seven players in Duke history to post three seasons with 100-plus tackles, Cash is a three-time All-ACC pick and earned All-America honors in each of the past two campaigns.  He currently ranks 12th on the school’s all-time tackle chart.


Over the past two-plus seasons, Cash has helped the Blue Devils to an overall record of 26-12, the 2013 ACC Coastal Division championship and three bowl appearances pending Sunday’s announcement for postseason games.  The 26 victories in a three-season stretch stand as a Duke program record.

Jeremy Cash


Cash, Skura, Edwards 1st Team All ACC

DSC_0001-001GREENSBORO, N.C. ( – Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and Florida State running back Dalvin Cook are unanimous first-team selections to the 2015 All-Atlantic Coast Conference football team, as voted upon by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA).


Both sophomores were named to the first team on all 50 ballots cast by ACSMA members.


Watson, who led the Tigers to an unbeaten regular season and a No. 1 national ranking, leads the ACC in total offense with 331.6 yards per game and has accounted for 36 touchdowns (27 passing, nine rushing).


Florida State’s Cook leads the ACC and ranks fifth nationally with 1,658 rushing yards in 11 games, and he leads the conference in scoring with 19 touchdowns.


Clemson and eighth-ranked North Carolina, which will meet in the 2015 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship game on Saturday night in Charlotte, North Carolina, fill a combined 31 spots on the All-ACC first, second and third teams.


The Atlantic Division champion Tigers lead with 17 selections, including six on the first team.  The Coastal Division champion Tar Heels saw 13 players claim 14 spots, with junior Ryan Switzer chosen as both a second-team specialist and a third-team wide receiver.


Florida State had 12 total selections, and was second to Clemson in first-team selections with four.


The All-ACC first-team offensive unit includes the conference’s top two rushers in Cook and North Carolina’s Elijah Hood (1,280 yards and 16 touchdowns), as well as the top two leaders in receptions in Pitt’s Tyler Boyd (85 catches for 873 yards) and Clemson’s Artavis Scott (77 catches for 709 yards).


Also included among the first-team receiving corps are Virginia Tech’s Isaiah Ford, who leads all ACC wideouts with 10 touchdown catches and 937 receiving yards, and NC State tight end Jaylen Samuels (64 receptions, 599 yards and seven touchdowns).


The offensive line includes the 2015 ACC Jacobs Blocking Trophy recipient in Florida State’s Roderick Johnson, as well as four-time ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week Landon Turner of North Carolina. They are joined by NC State tackle Joe Thuney, Clemson guard Eric Mac Lain and Duke center Matt Skura.


The special teams’ first unit features three-time All-ACC placekicker Roberto Aguayo of Florida State (106 points, including 20-of-24 field goal attempts) and Duke’s DeVon Edwards, who has returned three kickoffs for touchdowns this season.


The All-ACC first-team defensive unit is highlighted by several student-athletes that are current contenders for national awards, including a pair of Bronco Nagurski Award finalists in Duke safety Jeremy Cash and Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson. Cash is also one of three finalists for the the Jim Thorpe Award, and Lawson – who leads the nation with 20.5 tackles for loss – is a finalist for the Lombardi Trophy.


Also included is Pitt defensive end Ejuan Price, whose resume includes five quarterback sacks in a single game. Defensive tackles Carlos Watkins (Clemson), Luther Maddy (Virginia Tech) and Connor Wujciak (Boston College) complete the All-ACC first-team front five.


The first-team defensive unit also includes the ACC’s two leading tacklers in Virginia linebacker Micah Kiser (117) and safety Quin Blanding (115).


Kiser is joined on the first-team linebacker corps by Wake Forest’s Brandon Chubb and Louisville’s Keith Kelsey. Cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey of Florida State and Mackensie Alexander of Clemson join Cash and Blanding in the secondary. Syracuse’s Riley Dixon received the nod as first-team punter.


Nineteen student-athletes chosen to the 2015 All-ACC Football team by ACSMA are repeat selections from last season.


The 2015 ACSMA All-ACC Football Team:


First Team Offense
WR Tyler Boyd Jr. Pitt 147
WR Artavis Scott So. Clemson 130
WR Isaiah Ford So. Virginia Tech 124
TE Jaylen Samuels So. NC State 93
T Roderick Johnson So. Florida State 102
T Joe Thuney Sr.-R NC State 82
G Landon Turner Sr.-R North Carolina 132
G Eric Mac Lain Sr.-R Clemson 113
C Matt Skura Sr.-R Duke 94
QB Deshaun Watson So. Clemson 150
RB Dalvin Cook So. Florida State 150
RB Elijah Hood So. North Carolina 123
PK Roberto Aguayo Jr.-R Florida State 86
Sp. DeVon Edwards Jr.-R Duke 103

First Team Defense

DE Shaq Lawson Jr. Clemson 132
DE Ejuan Price Sr.-R Pitt 111
DT Carlos Watkins Jr.-R Clemson 101
DT Luther Maddy Sr.-R Virginia Tech 60
DT Connor Wujciak Sr.-R Boston College 60
LB Micah Kiser So.-R Virginia 93
LB Brandon Chubb Sr.-R Wake Forest 87
LB Keith Kelsey Jr. Louisville 78
CB Jalen Ramsey Jr. Florida State 122
CB Mackensie Alexander So.-R Clemson 81
S Jeremy Cash Sr.-R Duke 122
S Quin Blanding So. Virginia 88
P Riley Dixon Sr. Syracuse 77
Second Team Offense
WR Travis Rudolph So. Florida State 96
WR Canaan Severin Sr. Virginia 88
WR Mack Hollins Jr.-R North Carolina 63
WR Kermit Whitfield Jr. Florida State 63
TE Jordan Leggett Jr. Clemson 77
T Jon Heck Jr.-R North Carolina 79
T Adam Bisnowaty Jr.-R Pitt 77
G Dorian Johnson Jr. Pitt 49
G Caleb Peterson Jr.-R North Carolina 45
C Jay Guillermo Jr.-R Clemson 88
QB Marquise Williams Sr.-R North Carolina 95
RB Wayne Gallman So.-R Clemson 115
RB Qadree Ollison Fr.-R Pitt 69
PK Greg Huegel Fr.-R Clemson 77
Sp. Ryan Switzer Jr. North Carolina 83

Second Team Defense

DE Mike Rose Sr.-R NC State 96
DE DeMarcus Walker Jr. Florida State 81
DT Nile Lawrence-Stample Sr.-R Florida State 58
DT DeAngelo Brown Jr.-R Louisville 46
LB Steven Daniels Sr. Boston College 65
LB Ben Boulware Jr. Clemson 60
LB B.J. Goodson Sr.-R Clemson 60
LB Reggie Northrup Sr. Florida State 60
CB M.J. Stewart So. North Carolina 65
CB Artie Burns Jr. Miami 51
S Jayron Kearse Jr. Clemson 69




Duke Secures a Winning Season

16-672x372It was only appropriate that Senior Tight End Braxton Deaver recovered and on side kick to help Duke hang on to defeat Wake Forest.  It must have been a sweet play for the player whose recruiting battle came down to the Blue Devils and Deacons years ago.

The win  moved Duke to 7-5 on the season and clinched 4th place in the ACC' Coastal Division.  More importantly the win guaranteed another winning season under David Cutcliffe while helping halt a four game late season skid. That winning season means the Blue Devils will play in their fourth consecutive bowl game

While the bowl bids have yet to go out, speculation has already begun and we'll share our take.  Look for Duke to be selected to play in the Military, Independence or Pin Stripe Bowl.  What Duke will now seek to do is end their season with a bowl trophy in hand.

Duke won by ironing out their passing game where Thomas Sirk was 26 of 39 for 275 yards.  Two of his touchdown passes went to senior Max McCaffrey on plays of 18 and 28 yards,

The Blue Devils were also aided by two Ross Martin field goals and 151 rushing yards, mot of which came in the second half.  Also big for Duke on offense were seven catches each from Anthony Nash and T.J, Rahming for a combined  121 yards.

Duke did have to hang on as they had trouble stopping a rally from Wake Forest where they scored 14 points in the 4th quarter.  In the end Duke got what it needed most and that was simply a win.

The Blue Devils will now wait for their bowl bid to come in as their seniors can still attain the goal of hoisting a bowl trophy.  Meanwhile, Duke will gain extra practice time that will also help for next year.


Game Preview: Duke at Virginia

Saturday, November 21
Scott Stadium
Charlottesville, VA
Radio: Blue Devil IMG Sports Network

Duke in 2015: 6-4 (3-3 ACC)
Virginia in 2015: 3-7 (2-4 ACC)


PROBABLE - Thomas Sirk (QB)
QUESTIONABLE - Shaun Wilson (RB)
OUT FOR SEASON – Kelby Brown (LB), Bryon Fields (CB), Zach Morris (DT), Taariq Shabazz (DE), Cody Robinson (OG)


QUESTIONABLE - Richard Burney (TE), Ben Hogg (WR), LaChaston Smith (TB)
OUT - Zach Bradshaw (OLB), Mark Hall (OLB), Cory Jones (OLB), Divante Walker (CB), Connor Wingo-Reeves (FB)

One of the oldest rivalries in college football is continued Saturday, as Duke travels to Charlottesville to take on Virginia. The two teams first faced off in 1890, and have faced each other in every season since 1963; remarkably, the all-time series is tied at 33-33.


The Blue Devils will have to make some significant improvements to end their current three game losing skid.

It all starts on the defensive side of the ball, where Jeremy Cash and company have lost their mojo after an impressive start to the season. Duke has yielded 170 points in their past four games, with opponents converting nearly 54% on third down. Fortunately, the Cavaliers find themselves near the bottom of the ACC offensively, averaging less than 25 points and 366 yards of total offense per game. For a Duke defense that has struggled to force turnovers, they will need to find a way to add to Matt Johns' 14 interceptions on the season.

Offensively, there are yards to be had against a typically physical Virginia defense. The Cavaliers have been prone to giving up yards in bunches, and have struggled equally against the run (171 yards per game) and pass (243 yards per game). With even more question marks at wide receiver, expect to see the Blue Devils establish their running game early and often, hoping to open up plays for Max McCaffrey, Anthony Nash, and T.J. Rahming downfield.

While Ross Martin and Will Monday have been steady for much of this season, Coach Cutcliffe continues to challenge the special teams units to put together a more complete effort. Winning the field position battle would be a big boost Duke's struggling offense and defense.


One could easily argue that these two teams would have quite similar records if they swapped schedules. Few teams have been challenged such as the Cavaliers this season, and when looking at results against common opponents, it's not surprising to see why Virginia is a slight favorite on Saturday. Both of these teams have found various ways to lose close games this season, and a hard-fought contest should be expected again this week. A critical penalty, turnover, or explosive play in the fourth quarter could easily be the difference between two Coastal Division rivals.

Virginia has quietly played some of their best football in recent weeks, losing some close contests within the ACC. TB Smoke Mizzell is the critical player for Virginia, as he averages over 100 yards of total offense per game, and is just as explosive in the passing game as on the ground. If Duke fails to contain Mizzell, the Wahoos will be rolling. QB Matt Johns is coming off one of his strongest games as a Cavalier, throwing for 4 touchdowns without an interception at Louisville.

Both teams find themselves near the bottom of the ACC in turnover margin - a trend they would both like to reverse. If the Blue Devils manage to lose both the turnover battle and third down, it will be another long Saturday for the Duke faithful.


Thomas Sirk is expected to play, and should have a favorable matchup against this Virginia defense. While the loss of Johnell Barnes and Terrence Alls will hurt, the Blue Devils will be more focused than ever to put together a balanced attack featuring their veteran playmakers - namely Sirk, Shaquille Powell, Jela Duncan, and Max McCaffrey. A strong effort from the Duke offensive line will pave the way for a number of second half scoring drives. Defensively, Jeremy Cash will again be the critical factor, finding ways to disrupt Johns and Mizzell, while bringing some swagger back to a wounded secondary.


When it comes down to it, Coach Cutcliffe just seems to have Virginia's number, and he'll improve to 7-1 against the Wahoos.

Duke 35, Virginia 23

Game Preview: Duke at Virginia


Duke Can’t Stop Their Slide vs Pitt

DSC_0200-001The Duke Blue Devils continued their free fall after the controversial loss to Miami by losing to Pitt 31-13 on Senior Day.  The third consecutive loss for the Blue Devils drops their season record to 3-3 in the ACC and 6-4 overall.

Duke was without the services of quarterback Thomas Sirk and he was replaced by Parker Boehme.  While Boehme had a spectacular run, he failed lead his team into the end zone during critical situations.

Multiple errors hampered the  Blue Devils who continue to struggle to put any kind of passing game together in a consistent manner.  On defense, big plays once again hurt Duke as did multiple turnovers on the offensive side of the ball.

While Pitt quarterback Nathan Peterman threw for just 180 yards, three of his passes went for touchdowns.  The Blue Devils have now let up seven scores through the air in their past two games.

Quite frankly, the Blue Devils look tired and flat at times.  Perhaps it was the four overtime game with Virginia Tech or the gut wrenching loss to Miami on a controversial call.

"It's not time to run, it's time to step forward.  There is no sugar coating it.  In the second half we got out blocked, out tackled and out hit." said a frustrated David Cutcliffe after the game.

The Blue Devils have been flat coming out of the locker room in the last two games.  Cutcliffe mentioned this as well  by saying his team played well enough to compete  in the first half but not the second.

After getting dismantled by their arch rival North Carolina last week, Duke needed to rebound against Pitt at home.  But that just wasn't to be.

"Are we fragile?  Quite possibly," stated Cutcliffe who wondered aloud whether his team gets knocked back on big plays.

The Blue Devils close out their season with two road games with Virginia and Wake Forest.  Duke probably needs to win one of those games to secure a place in a lower tier bowl game.  On a positive note, that would make four consecutive bowls the program has been to in successive years.