The Duke Blue Devils football team head into the off season a winner thanks to their 27-17 victory over Miami. After running into various troubling games which led to a five-game losing streak the Blue Devils reached deep to defeat the Hurricanes for the second season in a row.
A closer look shows Duke was close to going to another bowl game. Close losses to Pitt and rival North Carolina will be seen as games that slipped away. But the truth of the matter is that very few people projected this team to go bowling in the pre season.
Many knew this would be a rebuilding year due to having to almost start from scratch with the wideouts. But one of the main things which hinted at a longer year was an injury to quarterback Gunnar Holmgren.
Holmberg, a redshirt freshman, was slated to see a lot of snaps this season and we likely would have seen a two-quarterback system. His injury means Duke will have a green quarterback to start 2020. Look for Holmberg to compete with true freshman Luka Diamont and returnee Chris Katrenick for the Duke starting job.
While there is a lot to unpack before we get a clear picture of 2020 projections, it is worth noting that on paper, Duke returns several key starters and contributors.
The schedule will be plenty challenging next year but there is no Alabama to open the season. The Blue Devils will travel to South Bend to take on Notre Dame on Halloween. The opener is on September 5th when Middle Tennessee State visits Wallace Wade Stadium. Duke will also host in-state foes Elon and UNCC. In fact, the first three games of the season will all be played on Brooks Field.
Duke will travel to Georgia Tech, Miami and Pitt while taking on N.C. State for the first time in years in Raleigh. The Blue Devils will face ACC foes, North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest at home.
In the next several months we will see how Duke closes on recruiting and there is always the transfer portal to keep an eye on. We may see some staff or philosophy changes or things could remain familiar.
I will chime in at a later time on what to expect as changes take place and we get a clearer picture of the depth chart and more.
Sept. 5 -- Middle Tennessee
Sept. 12 -Elon
Sept. 19 -Charlotte
Oct. 31 - Notre Dame
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ACC Road Games
(Complete dates will be announced at a later date)