Category Archives: Duke Football

Anthony Boone 11-15-14

Mistakes cost Blue Devils in loss to Virginia Tech

DURHAM - All season long, the Blue Devils have prided themselves on taking care of the football and protecting their quarterback. With an extra week to prepare, Bud Foster and the Virginia Tech defense were able to turn the tables on Anthony Boone and the Duke offense. The Hokies forced three Blue Devil turnovers and sacked Boone three times on Saturday en route to a 17-16 win. Boone finished the day just 18/40 for 181 yards with 2 interceptions.

Anthony Boone post-game

Turnovers weren't the only miscues for the Blue Devils on Saturday, as Ross Martin missed on two field goals, from 51 and 40 yards. The second miss, with 2:26 left to play, essentially sealed the win for the Hokies. Duke's junior kicker had been perfect on the season entering the game.

Ross Martin post-game

The Blue Devils (8-2, 4-2 ACC) face a quick turnaround as they host rival North Carolina in a Thursday night matchup on ESPN. As has been the case in recent meetings, more than just the Victory Bell will be at stake for both teams. The Tar Heels are fighting for bowl eligibility and the Blue Devils will need a win to stay in the ACC Coastal Division race. Tickets are still available at GoDuke.com.

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Preview: Duke vs. Virginia Tech

DSC_0098Preview: Duke vs. Virginia Tech
12:00 PM ET
Saturday, November 15
Durham, NC
TV: ESPNU
Radio: Blue Devil IMG Sports Network, Sirius Ch 92 and XM Ch 194

Duke in 2014: 8-1
Virginia Tech in 2014: 4-5

DUKE INJURIES

OUT – Alonzo Saxton II (CB)
OUT FOR SEASON – Kelby Brown (LB), Braxton Deaver (TE), Taariq Shabazz (DE)

VIRGINIA TECH INJURIES

DOUBTFUL - Brandon Facyson (CB), Trey Edmunds (RB), Chase Williams (LB)
OUT FOR SEASON - Luther Maddy (DT), Shai McKenzie (RB), Jonathan McLaughlin (OT)

Duke and Virginia Tech last faced each other on October 26, 2013 in a game Duke won 13-10 at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg. In their last game out, Duke beat Syracuse 27-10, while Virginia Tech lost to Boston College 33-31 on November 1. Virginia Tech is coming off a bye week.

HOW DUKE CAN WIN

On offense, look for Duke to pass to set-up the run. Achieving balance remains vital to success, but this week Duke must first achieve success in the passing game, then run the ball. Why? Virginia Tech has talented cornerbacks who can lock up wide receivers one-on-one. Kendall Fuller's 47 yard Pick Six against North Carolina and Donovan Riley's 63 yard Pick Six against Ohio State are examples. This strategy allows them to stack the box with eight men to stop the run and pressure the quarterback. Duke must force Virginia Tech to reduce the number of defenders in the box. With Jamison Crowder and Issac Blakeney lining up wide for the Blue Devils, it is imperative Duke wins the one-on-one wide receiver/cornerback match-ups. Blakeney and Crowder had great games against Syracuse and this weekend would be a great time to see encore performances.

On defense, Duke must force the Hokies to be one dimensional on offense by stopping the run. Virginia Tech has struggled to run the ball so the Blue Devils must ensure those struggles continue on Saturday afternoon in Wallace Wade Stadium. Once Virginia Tech is forced to rely on the pass, they are playing to Duke's defensive strength a ball hawking secondary.

The Blue Devil special teams have been special this season so against the Hokies the special teams must perform to win the field position battle and force Virginia Tech to face a long field all afternoon. It sounds simple and at times this season Duke has made it look simple, but a lot of hard work and effort go into executing those exciting returns and great coverage. Historically, the Hokies have excelled on special teams earning the moniker Beamer Ball. This Saturday afternoon Duke special teams need to flip the script and outperform Virginia Tech.

HOW DUKE CAN LOSE

If Duke fails to protect quarterback Anthony Boone, they will lose. Virginia Tech defensive ends have combined for 10.5 sacks this season with the defense combining for 31 sacks total, which is third best in the conference. As stated above, this is a game where the Blue Devils need to successfully pass the ball in order to set-up the run so Anthony Boone must have time to go through his progressions, locate open receivers and accurately deliver the ball. Duke's offensive line has been superb so far this season and it will need to be superb again against the Hokies who will certainly blitz, blitz and then blitz some more.

If Duke fails to value the ball, they will lose. Duke is ranked first in the ACC in Turnover Margin at +9, while Virginia Tech is number 13 at -4. Duke cannot afford empty possessions so they must not turnover the ball to the Hokies. Moreover, turning the ball over forces the Blue Devils defense back on the field. In what by all acounts should be a closely contested game, the team that is freshest in the pivotal 4th quarter will have an advantage. Turnovers lead to fatigue.

WHY DUKE WILL WIN

Duke and Virginia Tech are programs on opposite trajectories. Duke is on the rise while the once vaunted Virginia Tech Hokies are falling as evidenced by their position in the ACC Coastal Division basement. Duke will beat Virginia Tech because the Blue Devils will be the better coached team, the more disciplined team and the more talented team.

BOTTOM LINE

This game will be won by the team which can dictate their will upon the opponent. Can Duke force Virginia Tech out of their man-on-man pass coverage on the outside? Will Virginia Tech successfully stack eight men in the box for all four quarters? The answer to those two questions will dictate the game outcome.

Duke 23, Virginia Tech 19

Anthony Boone 8-30-14

Duke QB Anthony Boone talks Hokies

Anthony-Boone-10-6-12The one thing Anthony Boone does consistently is win.  The Duke quarterback faces another stiff challenge this weekend from a notoriously tough Hokie defense.  Make no mistake that the Duke versus Virginia Tech match up is the key game left on the schedule.  With a win, Duke can split their remaining two regular season games and earn no less than a tie for the Coastal Division crown.  If Duke can get past the Hokies and Florida State takes out Miami this weekend, a split moving forward would clinch the division title.

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Recap: Duke 27, Syracuse 10

The Blue Devils moved to 8-1 on the season with another hard-fought ACC road victory on Saturday at Syracuse. The game marked Duke's 13th 4th-quarter victory in the David Cutcliffe era, and the 18th win for QB Anthony Boone as a starter, a Duke record.

Flushed from the pocket and facing 3rd and 4 early in the 4th quarter, Duke senior QB Anthony Boone threw the ball to the 1-yard line for his All-ACC WR Jamison Crowder, but it was Syracuse CB Brandon Reddish who came down with it. Surprisingly, it was that interception that sparked the Blue Devils on to victory. With the Orange pinned against their own end zone, the Duke defense held, forcing a punt back to Crowder with a short field in front of him. This time, Crowder secured the catch and took the return straight up the field for a 50-yard return touchdown, the 3rd of his stellar career. The score gave the Blue Devils a 17-10 lead, and they didn't look back.

It was a sloppy game for both teams, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Neither offense could find a rhythm, resulting in a busy day for the two punters, with Duke's Will Monday punting 7 times for an average of 45.3 yards, and Syracuse's Riley Dixon punting 9 times for an average of 46.1 yards. The two teams combined for 14 penalties, with the Blue Devils committing an uncharacteristic 6 penalties for 55 yards of their own.

Jim Knowles' defense, after giving up 48 points a week ago at Pittsburgh, returned to their bend-but-don't-break ways, giving up 224 total yards but just 10 points to Syracuse. They were particularly stingy on 3rd down, holding the Orange to just 4 of 16. CB Breon Borders hauled in 2 interceptions, DE Dezmond Johnson brought down two tackles for loss in the first half alone, and both DeVon Edwards and David Helton added a sack.

The Syracuse defense put together a solid effort of their own, containing Duke's stable of running backs and batting down several Anthony Boone passes at the line of scrimmage. The Blue Devil offense was held to 3.0 yards per carry on the day, and finished just 8 of 19 on 3rd down.

The Blue Devils appeared in control of the game early, taking a 3-0 lead on their first drive. After the Orange answered with a field goal of their own, DeVon Edwards brought back the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown that was ultimately negated by a Shaquille Powell holding penalty.  Duke went 3-and-out on the next two drives before Boone led a 13 play, 91 yard drive capped off by a 22-yard Issac Blakeney touchdown to give the Blue Devils a 10-3 lead. The score held as the two teams headed into the locker room.

In the third quarter, the Orange quickly tied up the game on a 9 play, 67 yard drive that ended with a Mitch Kimble 8-yard scoring run. The two defenses settled back in, keeping the game tied at 10 as the 4th quarter began. From there on out, it was all Blue Devils, who scored 17 unanswered points to seal the victory.

Boone finished the day just 15 of 33 for 161 yards with 2 touchdowns. Issac Blakeney and Jamison Crowder led the Duke receivers with 94 yards and 58 yards, respectively. Shaquille Powell paced the Blue Devils on the ground, totaling 68 yards on 17 carries. Ross Martin remained perfect on the year, connecting on 3 extra points and field goals of 27 and 34 yards.

The win moves the Blue Devils to 4-1 in the ACC and in control of the Coastal Division race. Duke returns home to finish out the regular season with three straight crucial home games, starting next Saturday at 12:00PM against Virginia Tech. Tickets are still available at GoDuke.com.