Tag Archives: Duke Football

Duke Coach David Cutcliffe Will Call Plays in 2020

Duke Football coach will be calling the offensive plays this season for Duke Football. The news came during today's signing day chat with the media.

Cutcliffe has long been involved as an adviser to the offensive coordinators at Duje, but he will be all in on his new role with the team. This means he will need support from other staff members to run some of the daily practice operations.

All of the classes players committed sent their LOI's in. Duke had a start to the process and only needed to add offensive lineman Addison Penn, Cutcliffe also talked about the addition of transfers Chase Brice, a former Clemson quarterback and a player who will likely start at tackle in Devery Hamilton from Stanford

Cutcliffe shared that technology would play a role in getting Brice's feet wet. In short, Duke can allow him to view spring practice as it happens while sending him a playbook to master until he arrives on campus in July.

While Cutcliffe did not go into specifics, a comment from Brice earlier said that Duke may throw downfield a bit more this season. The Blue Devils also hope to display and improved running game.

Cutcliffe said he has confidence in his staff to make the right changes to bring things together before next season. He said he had confidence in every position on the team and with their support staff. He mentioned that he felt now was the time for a change and that he may not be as accessible to media as he has in the past to concentrate on his duties.

Duke Football Adds Greg Frey to Staff

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke head football coach David Cutcliffe announced Tuesday the addition of Greg Frey, who joins the Blue Devil program as an assistant coach and will mentor the offensive line.

Frey, who brings over two decades of coaching experience to Durham, including 12 seasons as an offensive line coach at Power 5 institutions, will take the reins of the Blue Devils' offensive line immediately. Throughout his coaching tenure, he has helped more than 20 student-athletes to NFL careers and mentored 21 all-conference honorees.

"We're thrilled to have Coach Frey join our staff," Cutcliffe said. "It isn't often you have the opportunity to add an individual who, within the landscape of college football, played at the highest level, has coached at the highest level and comes with 20-plus years of experience on the sideline. Coach Frey's coaching and mentoring abilities are inspiring, and he will have an immediate and positive impact on the young men in our program. We look forward to welcoming Greg, his wife Andrea and children into our football family."

Frey comes to Duke after a one-season stint (2019) at Florida as a quality control analyst.

"As you go through life and build your family and your career, who you surround yourself with becomes very important," Frey said. "What attracted me so much to Duke University was the faith, the family and the football, as well as the way Coach Cutcliffe runs his program. As we move forward, we want to be at the forefront of building the culture and championship level play that Duke expects. I'm excited to get started and can't wait to go."

Prior to his time with the Gators, Frey served one season (2018) as the run game coordinator and offensive line coach at his alma mater, Florida State, where he was a member of the Seminoles' 1993 national championship team. Under Frey's direction, the Florida State line blocked for an offense that compiled 4,334 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2018.

Prior to returning to Tallahassee, Fla., Frey spent the 2017 season as Michigan's run game coordinator, while also coaching the tackles and tight ends. That season, Frey's group helped the Wolverines rank fourth in the Big Ten in rushing by averaging 177.7 yards per game on the ground with 26 rushing touchdowns. In addition, Michigan ranked third in the conference and 20th in the NCAA in time of possession. Offensive tackle Mason Cole earned second team All-Big Ten honors and established the school record for career starts by an offensive lineman with 51.

Also in 2017, the Michigan tight ends combined to catch 54 passes for 697 yards and five touchdowns. Sean McKeon led the Wolverines in receiving with 31 receptions for 301 yards and hauled in a team-high three touchdowns, while Zach Gentry was second on the team with 303 receiving yards on 17 receptions with two scores. McKeon and Gentry both earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors, and six Wolverine tight ends earned spots on the Academic All-Big Ten Team.

From 2011-16, Frey spent six years coaching the offensive line at Indiana. With the Hoosiers, he also served as the run game coordinator for the 2012 and 2013, co-offensive coordinator in 2014 and 2015 and assistant head coach in 2016. In 2015, Frey was nominated for the prestigious Broyles Award, an honor presented annually to college football's top assistant coach.

While with the Hoosiers, Frey mentored some of the best offensive lines in Indiana gridiron history. Guard Dan Feeney was a two-time All-America selection, earning first team accolades in 2015 and second team honors in 2016 despite missing significant action due to injury. Tackle Jason Spriggs earned first team All-America status as well and became the program's first Outland Trophy semifinalist in 2015. That season, the duo became just the sixth pair of teammates, and first in school history, to be first team All-America picks in the same campaign. Spriggs was chosen in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers, and Feeney was a third round selection of the Los Angeles Chargers one season later.

In 2015, Frey's offensive line blocked for one of the most prolific and balanced offenses in NCAA history as Indiana became just the fourth FBS team with one 3,500-yard passer, two 1,000-yard rushers and one 1,000-yard receiver. In addition, the Hoosiers became the first Big Ten team since Ohio State in 1995 to lead the conference in total offense, scoring offense and passing offense.

Frey spent three (2008-09-10) seasons as the offensive line coach at Michigan and helped the Wolverines amass a school-record and Big Ten-leading 6,353 total offensive yards in 2010. Spearheaded by quarterback Denard Robinson's Big Ten single-season record 4,272 yards of total offense, the Wolverines boasted a balanced attack by averaging 250.2 passing yards and 238.5 rushing yards per game.

Also during his first Michigan stretch, Frey mentored All-Big Ten honorees Taylor Lewan, David Molk, Patrick Omameh, Stephen Schilling and Michael Schofield. Lewan was a two-time Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year choice and was selected 11th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans while Molk won the Rimington Trophy before being drafted by the San Diego Chargers.

In 2007, Frey served as the offensive line coach at West Virginia and helped the Mountaineers to an 11-2 overall record, the Big East championship and a Fiesta Bowl victory. The offensive line, anchored by All-America pick Ryan Stancheck and first team All-Big East choice Greg Isdaner, blocked for an explosive offense led by Big East Offensive Player of the Year Pat White. The Mountaineers rushed for 297.2 yards per game, the third-highest average in the nation, ranked ninth in the country in scoring (39.6 points per game) and averaged 456.2 yards of total offense per game to rank 15th nationally.

Frey spent the first 11 years (1996-06) of his collegiate coaching career as part of the first staff at USF, which began its program in 1997. After spending three seasons as a graduate assistant and serving as the Bulls' defensive line coach in 1999, Frey shifted to the offensive line for his final seven seasons in Tampa. In his time with South Florida, the Bulls were 70-43 and participated in the first two bowl games in program history.

USF's 2005 squad established single-season school records with 2,436 rushing yards and an average of 203.0 yards per game on the ground. In 2001, the Bulls set school single-season records for pass completions (273) and passing yards per game (273.2). 

Under Frey's direction, USF linemen earned six all-conference accolades despite the Bulls only being in a conference for his last four seasons. The group included offensive tackle Kenyatta Jones, who became the first USF player to be drafted when the New England Patriots selected him with first pick in the fourth round of the 2001 NFL Draft.

Frey lettered three seasons (1993-94-95) as an offensive lineman at Florida State, helping the Seminoles to a three-year ledger of 32-4-1 with the 1993 national crown, three ACC championships, three bowl wins (18-16 over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl on January 1, 1994; 23-17 over Florida in the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 1995; 31-26 over Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl on January 1, 1996) and three top-5 finishes in the Associated Press national poll.

A native of Clearwater, Fla., Frey graduated from Florida State in 1996 with degrees in interdisciplinary social science and political science. He and his wife, Andrea, have two sons, Cameron and Drew.

Will Duke Get Back to Winning Ways vs Syracuse?

The Duke Blue Devils take on the Syracuse Orange in Wallace Wade Stadium this Saturday afternoon where they seek to end a three-game losing streak.

After starting the season 3-1, Duke has stumbled against ACC competition where they currently own a 2-3 mark which is good for sixth place in the topsy-turvey Coastal Division.

In their last three league losses, the Blue Devils have been within a play of winning two of the games. Now the team is coming off a lopsided loss to Notre Dame and they're facing the injury bug which most recently sidelined one of its offensive line leaders in the center, Jack Willoughby.

On the other side of the ball, the Syracuse Orange has struggled even more. So far this season, the team is winless in the league while owning a 3-6 mark in all games.

You can make a case that Syracuse is the most disappointing team in the league. They were considered a lock for a bowl game by many in the preseason, but they have had trouble stopping opposing teams offenses.

One has to think the Orange sees the Blue Devils as a chance to get their first ACC victory. A closer look at the teams on paper shows some pretty even stats and quarterback Tommy DeVito and their offense can put up some points.

Duke needs to get back to the basics in many ways. The team needs to come out on fire and not allow their opponent early game success in order to halt the losing streak.

The Blue Devils have struggled at times with their run game and to beat Syracuse they will need some success on the ground to keep the defense off the field. It is worth noting that Syracuse is also coming off a bye week where they have had extra time to prepare.

My gut tells me that this game could be closer than some people think. Duke has been labeled a 10 point favorite by the oddsmakers. The feeling here is that Duke will need a solid defensive effort to win this game.

As for predictions, I stand at 8-1 straight up for the season and 6-1-1 against the spread. The pick here is Duke 28 Syracuse 20.

Duke Gets Win over Georgia Tech

The Duke Blue Devils moved to 2-1 in the ACC and 4-2 overall with a 41-23 victory over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

The game was far from pretty but the Blue Devils did what it takes to hold off the Yellow Jackets.

Duke reeled off 38 straight points in the 1st half after Georgia Tech took the opening drive for a score.

The scoring started off with a 33 yards AJ Reed field goal which was the first of two for the game.

True freshman wideout Eli Pancol would later score on a 3 yard run for his third score of the season.

Duke running back Deon Jackson would add two short running scores of 1 and 7 yards. Duke QB Quentin Harris added a one-yard plunge after a career-high rush from Manteo Durant.

Georgia Tech would rebound for a quick score before the half on a James Graham 8 yard run to make the half time score 38-14.

Duke came out flat as a pancake in the 2nd half. Georgia Tech quickly added a field goal to cut the lead to 38-17. Duke added an AJ Reed FG, he has yet to miss for the season.

The Yellow Jackets then scored 8 play 41 yard drive a blocked punt to make it Duke 41-23.

The Blue Devils have struggled of late to put forth a consistent effort and they now must travel to Virginia. The Cavaliers have had the Blue Devils number and Duke will be the underdog in Charlottesville.

Duke, UNC, and Virginia all 2-1 in the league are currently all tied atop the contention crowded Coastal Division.

Can Duke Finally Defeat Pitt? Preview

The Duke Blue Devils host the Pitt Panthers on Durham Day this Saturday evening at 8:00 on Brooks Field in Wallace Wade Stadium.  Make no mistake, this is a critical game for both teams, so we can expect a physical and spirited match up.

About Pitt

The Pitt Panthers are the defending Coastal Division champions and they have plenty of weapons on both sides of the ball.  The Panthers have defeated Duke in four consecutive outings and even the last Duke win came in overtime.

The Panthers opened their season with a loss to Virginia and played highly ranked Penn State to a one-score game on the road.  They rebounded well to win three games, including a win over Central Florida, a team which has been a power the last few years..

Last week, they held out a bunch of starters in a win over Delaware.  Pitt was without starting quarterback Kenny Picket last week.  Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi confirmed on Thursday that he would play.  In short, Pitt took advantage of a lesser opponent to rest their key players for this week's game.

Pitt has big receivers which will test Duke more than any team since Alabama.  They also have some veterans on the defensive side of the ball.  They are a solid football team, right down to their special teams which really comes after opposing punters.

A Panther strength is their pass rush where they have a whopping 24 sacks this season.  That is the 2nd most in the entire nation and a reason they are 3-2 against a tough early-season schedule.

Narduzzi has a way of imparting his confidence in his team.  A defensive guy, he harped all week on how many yards they gave up against Delaware.  But make no mistake, he is confident.  While he talks respect of Duke there seem to be an underlying sarcasm in some of his statements

The Pitt head man all but gave Duke some bulletin board material yesterday during a media session.  He basically said his team played a bad game against Virginia and they wanted another shot after saying his team would be well prepared for Duke watching the film all week.  The kicker was when he said I wish we played Virginia at 8:00 and Duke at noon.  I guess he thinks they could survive Duke and still have enough left over for Virginia.

Anyhow, Pitt is cocky, talented, always physical and confident.

About Duke

The Blue Devils must put a big program win over Virginia Tech behind them.  The performance was stellar, but Pitt is an upgrade in competition.

Duke comes into the game 1-0 in league lay and 3-1 overall and they hope to protect their home field.   The hope is to have some local residents in the stand for Durham Day, but a negative intangible is that the students are on Fall break.

Quintin Harris has had a great season to date, but he will face a vicious rush.  It is encouraging that Duke has allowed a single sack on the season.

The Duke secondary came up with their first interception of the season against the Hokies.  They will be tested in this game, so perhaps the Blue Devils rush can get to the Pitt quarterback.  The lack of finishing plays when in position has bugged Duke head coach David Cutcliffe.

Duke lost Brittain Brown for the season this past week, but overall they are pretty healthy.  With a tough slate this season, each game is critical for Duke bowl aspirations.

What will happen

My prediction last week was not as close as previous games but I am 4-0 straight up on the season and 4-0 against the spread.  Duke is currently a slight 3.5 favorite in this game which seems to infuriate the Panthers who have quite simply had Duke's number.

We know we will get some football weather and both teams will have to deal with a late 8:00 kickoff.  Pitt does not want to drop to 0-2 in the league and Duke wants to make a run at the Coastal, so they need a win.

Which team can play four full quarters of football?  Duke has fallen short in the area against Pitt, but this is a new opportunity.  I expect a very competitive and physical game.  With these two, points can come in droves as witnessed by past scores, but on paper, both defenses look pretty good.

At some point, Duke has to get out from under the Pitt shadow, right?  Well, it will not be easy but I am counting on Duke rising to the occasion.  To do so, they need a quicker start than a week ago and remain aggressive without too many gambles.

The pick here is Duke 31 Pitt 24

A Program Win for Duke Football

The end of the first quarter came to a close in Blacksburg last evening and Duke trailed Virginia Tech 3-0.  The Blue Devils could not even manage ten yards of offense and there was not a single first down on the ledger.

What happened next has people talking about Duke Football and David Cutcliffe for the Blue Devils went on to outscore the favored Hokies by a score of 45-7.

When the dust cleared, Duke had dominated Virginia Tech in Blacksburg 45-10 in a game that served notice to the nation.  The Blue Devils won their ACC opener in grand style before a nationally televised audience on ESPN.

The Blue Devils were so dominant that they sent Virginia Tech fans to the exits with their first score in the third quarter. Duke also spoiled the Hokies white-out party where former head coach Frank Beamer and player Michael Vick were on the sidelines.

This was one of David Cutcliffe's finest moments, but it was also one for the program on the whole.  Duke not only won by their largest margin on the road ever under their long-time coach, but they handed a traditionally strong program their worst defeat since 1950.

It is hard to know where to start when talking about the positives from the win.  Quintin Harris was once again solid accounting for three touchdowns as the new leader of the team.  He gained a team-leading 100 yards in rushing including an explosive back-breaking 42-yard jaunt to go with two passing touchdowns.

Tight end, Noah Gray caught two touchdown passes.  The first came on a one-play drive after a turnover.  Turnover was a sweet word on the evening.  Duke recovered a fumble which led to a score and a momentum swing and the secondary got their first interception on the season from Leon Johnson.

True freshman wideout, Jalon Calhoun connected on a double-pass trick play to Deon Jackson for a score.  And this is where I mention Duke offensive coordinator Zac Roper called a near-perfect game for three-quarters.

And on defense, the Blue Devils held the Hokies offensive attack to 259 yards.  But a closer look shows that if you take away two plays, a 45-yard run and a 72-yard touchdown pass the Hokies gained a mere 142 yards.

Duke limited explosive plays while making some of their own.  And when their strategy failed them in the first quarter, they made adjustments that drove their opponent mad.  The change of pace on offense and the personnel packages was quite simply masterful coaching.

And then there was the special teams play.  Josh Blackwell almost broke a return save a slip.  AJ Reed stayed perfect on the season with a 31-yard field goal.  And punter Austin Parker rolled for 28 yards on a fake punt, which interestingly gives him bragging rights for the highest yards per carry of any player on the team this season.

Back to the defensive side of the ball, Duke senior linebacker Koby Quansah was stellar.  He recovered that key fumble and was a part of 13 tackles and a half of a sack.  On a night when Duke managed a single sack, their secondary played well shutting down Hokies quarterback Ryan Willis for all but a handful of plays.

Another highlight for Duke was getting backup quarterback Chris Katrenick some snaps.  And he wanted in on the fun as well as witnessed by his 9-yard run for a score to mark the final margin of victory.

While Duke got off to a miserable start, they showed off some maturity that has not always been there in the past.  The players were clearly tougher, more physical and quicker than their opponent and they let it show.

I cannot help but wonder if David Cutcliffe wanted to show the nation more about Duke football on a Friday night to remember.  Duke dressed in their black uniforms played the tough guy role on this occasion and did so with authority.

It is no secret Daniel Jones has had a great NFL debut, but some in the media felt the need to take shots at Duke Football when speaking of him.  Nevermind the team has been to 6 bowls in the last 7 seasons.  So, perhaps last nights performance will make some of them come around as they did with the aforementioned Jones.

Wins like the one over Virginia Tech cannot help but gain some attention and Duke likely helped itself with any possible recruits watching or seeing the result.

So, this was a program win.  Duke Gang should be proud as should the fans who ought to turn out in appreciation next Saturday when the team takes on Pitt.

While this is an ultimate feel-good moment for Duke alumni, family, friends and fans, the Blue Devils will soon need to go back to work to continue to build on their most recent accomplishment.  That is, of course,  after some well deserved weekend celebration.

Duke has a two-game homestand coming up in Wallace Wade Stadium on Brooks Field and fans will hopefully turn out to support the team.  The next step in the journey is to solve one of the most physical teams in football -- the Pitt Panthers.

As David Cutcliffe likes to say, "Are you ready for some football?"