Tag Archives: Duke-Virginia Tech

BDN’s Virginia Tech Q&A Preview with Gobbler Country

Sean Renfree hopes to get back on track against the Hokies - Lance Images/BDN

In preparation for this weekend’s matchup in Blacksburg, BDN exchanged a Q&A with the folks at Gobbler Country. Our responses can be viewed over at their website. Riding a 5-game winning streak, the Hokies’ are confident heading into Saturday. The Blue Devils will have a great challenge and opportunity in Lane Stadium.

BDN: Heading into the week 1 matchup with Boise State, expectations were obviously high for the Hokies, but they ended up starting the season 0-2. With the recent losses at the top of the BCS, how disappointed are Virginia Tech fans? With Taylor graduating, was this a missed opportunity?

GC: I’m not sure if disappointed is the right word. For a lot of fans, there was a meltdown of epic proportions after the loss to JMU. Me, I just drank (and drank, and drank, and drank …) but at the end of the day, there was still the chance to win the ACC if they got their act together.

And that was the expectation all along for me. I figured our best case scenario was winning the ACC and anything else would just be icing. I don’t know if I’d go as far as to say it was a missed opportunity because I didn’t think the defense would be good enough at the start of the season for us to actually go unbeaten and have a shot at the title.

I’m definitely not among the fans who feel like every year is National Title or Bust. But eventually, I’d like to see us at least be in the discussion in November. But with the way we tend to play in September that will never happen.

BDN: What, in your opinion, went wrong in weeks 1 and 2, and what has been the difference in the current 5-game winning streak?

GC: The defense was young and missed tackles and assignments and the offensive line was terrible. Both sides of the ball have gotten their act together, especially the offensive line. You look at how it played in those first four games compared to the last three and it’s completely night and day. On defense, we’ve had some younger guys start to make plays like Bruce Taylor at mike linebacker and Antone Exum in the secondary. They’re still young and giving up big plays, but more often than not they make the play they’re supposed to make.

BDN: It sounds like Ryan Williams will be back this week. How do you expect that to affect the offense, which seems to be hitting its stride?

GC: It looks like he’ll only be in for a couple of series, and I imagine he’ll get around five carries. I really don’t know what to expect. When he was in there, the offensive line wasn’t opening holes and he was getting bottled up in the backfield. I like to think that he’ll be able to fit right in and eventually get back to his 2009 form, but I fear that we’ll try to rely on him too much when he gets back to 100 percent.

BDN: Duke has played Virginia Tech tough the past two years. Why do you think that is, and do you expect that to continue this year with what you’ve seen of both teams in 2010?

GC: If Thad Lewis had played in 2008, there’s a good chance you guys would have beaten us. We were awful on offense that game and couldn’t stop turning the ball over. The last two years Duke has tried to take away Virginia Tech’s run game and was especially effective last season. However, Tyrod Taylor was able to burn them last year. What killed Duke a season ago was the inability to finish drives in the red zone. The Devils settled for field goals while the Hokies scored touchdowns.

This year, I really expect the Hokies to come out and dominate. Duke had some talent on defense last year, but it just isn’t there this season. Hopefully they’ll be able to put up big points like they did last week against Wake Forest and at the same time not give up the big plays that plagued them last week against Wake and last year against the Devils.

BDN: I don’t know that Virginia Tech needs anyone off the Duke roster to significantly improve their chance of winning this one game, so I’ll ask you a slightly different question. If you could draft a player or two from Duke’s roster to have for future games and seasons, who would you choose and why?

GC: I’m going to cheat and take David Cutcliffe to be our quarterbacks coach. No offense to Mike O’Cain, but he hasn’t exactly produced any Peyton Mannings in his time in Blacksburg. Tyrod Taylor has steadily improved his passing abilities, but I can only imagine what having a guy like Cutcliffe around could do for him. Heck, Cut could have probably made Sean Glennon All-ACC.

Devils play with a lot of heart but fall short to Hokies 34-26

thadDurham, N.C. – The Duke Blue Devils showed a lot of heart on a beautiful Saturday afternoon but came up short against the defending ACC Champions Virginia Tech.  The Hokie 34-26 win boosts their record to 3-1 while Duke falls to 2-3 on the season.  The Hokies made some big plays on the day which proved to be the difference.  Most of those plays were made in their passing game where Tyrod Taylor was deadly accurate going 17 of 22 for 327 yards and two touchdowns.  His main target was Jarrett Boykin who pulled in 6 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown.

But it was a controversial call that had many turning their heads when the ACC officials awarded Boykin a touchdown calling it a simultaneous catch.  But the real catch is that his feet were clearly out of bounds in post game pictures, yet the replay crew did not overturn the call.  Regardless, that one play wouldn’t have changed the outcome but it would have made the score closer.

Duke was impressive standing toe to toe with a team most feel will win the ACC.  Thaddeus Lewis has a huge game throwing for 359 yards and completing 22 of 40 passes, two for scores.  Like Tech, Duke had some big plays of their own.  True freshman Conner Vernon, Donovan Varner and Brandon King had catches of 74, 55 and 48 yards respectively.

The Devils struggled in their running game, but another true freshman Desmond Scott continued to give fans a glance of the future averaging 4.9 yards per carry on his way to 39 yards.  It was also the rushing game that came alive for the Hokies late which helped them put the icing on the cake.

After the game, Coach Cutcliffe was pleased with his teams effort and there were few people going into this game that could have envisioned the Devils playing a spirited and tough game.  In fact, Duke had a chance at recovering an onside kick with second left and a score and a two point conversion would have tied the game.

“We don’t believe in moral victories,” said Cutcliffe after the game, but Duke fans that showed up for the contest were entertained and there is reason to think that if Duke can be consistent then they can turn the corner in upcoming ACC contests.

Team Stat Comparison
1st Downs 21 17
Total Yards 477 397
Passing 327 359
Rushing 150 38
Penalties 12-105 7-44
3rd Down Conversions 8-12 7-19
4th Down Conversions 0-0 3-3
Turnovers 1 0
Possession 29:25 30:35

Check back in for Cutcliffe audio and a photo gallery from the game.

Duke – Virginia Tech game thoughts, future thoughts and pictures

2It was just over a week ago that many were writing the Blue Devils off after a road loss to Boston College.  Duke defeated a game Virginia Tech team 72-65 on Saturday to win their fourth consecutive game and in the process pushed their record to 24-5 overall and 10-4 in the tough Atlantic Coast Conference.  Here are some thoughts from the game and the future –

Coach K and his staff were emotional throughout the contest - Yes, Krzyzewski raised his chair before setting it down during one timeout.  While that may have seemed unusual, his intent was to get his teams attention.  Krzyzewski was at his best and his intensity has picked up of late, but he at no time lost his composure.  In fact the staff was intense, each one pushing the right buttons at the right time and each one knowing their role.  This years team is one that needs that extra push for intensity and they have adjusted to that need.  I can see tremendous growth in first year coach Nate James work as well.  James tutoring of freshman Elliot Williams is worth noting.

Duke was cool under pressure-Once again Duke committed just nine

BDN Photo
BDN Photo

turnovers and the team effectively took the Hokie Nation out of the game after they made a comeback to tie the contest late in the second half.  At no time did Duke look shaken.  In fact, they looked like a team that was all business even when the game took a turn.

BDN Photo
BDN Photo

Coach K’s move to get Singler involved -Coach Krzyzewski knew that it would be tough to win the game without getting his star Kyle Singler involved.  Singler had just two points at the half and Duke ran a clear out for him at the start of the second half.  Singler was fouled on the play and from that point on he was a go to guy in the game and finished with 21 points.  With Henderson held somewhat in check after the half, Singler was the glue as the game entered crunch time.

Gerald Henderson is on fire – Henderson has flat out been hard to stop down the stretch.  He’s throwing down authoritative dunks with ease and knocking down his outside shots making him an opposing coaches nightmare in how to stop him.  Henderson put the Devils on his back in the first half and no player in the ACC is playing better down the stretch towards the ACC Tournament.  Henderson’s most impressive stat, IMO, was his 6 assists.

Elliot Williams has become a mainstay -Williams scored just 7 points but hit a key three pointer to put Duke ahead ten.  The freshman logged 33 minutes and played solid defense.

Steady as she goes- Jon Scheyer has been a hit at the point guard spot.  He had just one assist and threw two turnovers, but that’s not bad for a game high 39 minutes of play for the Blue Devils.  What I mean is that he is protecting the ball.  Scheyer was 4 of 8 from the three point stripe and his free throws helped seal the win.

Dave McClure -This seniors contributions are heard to measure in the box score.  McClure is adding some toughness and it’s obvious he knows his role in the system.  He had 4 rebounds, many coming at very key moments in the contest.

Hokie Nation- Virginia Tech students filled Cassell Coliseum like a wall of fans which was impressive.  The crowd was loud and a bit more tame than I expected them to be.  With the exception of the usual flings towards Paulus, they behaved.  Still, hearing the reaction of some fans and watching Seth Greenberg melt down is proof they don’t foul in their minds.  It should be noted that Set seemed to apologize for fan reactions to Greg Paulus at games end.

Speaking of fouls – The Blue Devils played the driving lanes beautifully taking multiple charges.

Hats off to Vassalio - A.D. tried to put his team on his back and found many driving lanes for dunks in the Duke defense.  But it was his three point shooting which made the game close after Duke had gained a double digit lead.

It didn’t help that - The Blue Devils contained Malcolm Delaney holding him to 2 of 12 from the field.  Despite his cold shooting, Delaney had a game high 8 assists.  Many of those came in that he could not get a clean shot off.

Don’t look now but -I told some folks that Duke could win the ACC outright if they won their last three games.  Well, now that they won a tough game in Blacksburg, everyone is talking about that.  Still, do not look for Duke to look ahead to Carolina game with Florida State coming in on Tuesday.

At least it’s … -Senior Day on Tuesday and that should help with added emotion.  Duke fans should salute Greg Paulus and Dave McClure for their accomplishments.  A Florida State win would jumble the standings and this is pretty much a must win for Duke with concerns to momentum and ACC Tournament seeding.  I think we all know that winning in Chapel Hill on Senior Day will take and extra ordinary effort.  Still, you think Krzyzewski will have his team ready with a championship on the line?  Okay, first things first for Duke and that means taking out a Florida State team – a program which ruined JJ Redick and Shelden Williams Senior Day.

It’s hard to believe -that the season is winding down and there is but a single home game left.  It’s an exciting time and the lineup changes has made for an interesting finish.  At the moment, Duke is not stumbling down the stretch like last season.  Anyhow, the ACC Tournament is around the corner and it has the makings for the best one in years.  Then there is the NCAA seeding and the “real” season begins.  It’ll be fun!

I will have more photos up later –

Black lifts Duke Women past Virginia Tech 57-52

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Chante Black registered her third straight double-double in ACC action to lead fourth-ranked Duke to a 57-52 victory over Virginia Tech on Friday night in Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va.  Black notched 13 points and 14 rebounds in 34 minutes to lead Duke.

For a full recap, click on www.GoDuke.com <http://www.goduke.com/>

Blue Devil Postgame Notes
Duke at Virginia Tech *  January 16, 2009

With The Duke Victory:
*       Joanne P. McCallie continued her best start in her 17 years as a head coach at 15-1.  Her previous best start was in 2004-05 as she guided Michigan State to a 12-1 mark.
*       Extended its win streak to 13 games.
*       Won the 10th straight game against Virginia Tech.
*       Joanne P. McCallie improved to 3-1 all-time against the Hokies.
Senior Chante Black
*       Posted double-figure scoring for the 16th straight game to open the season.  Is the only player in the ACC to score 10+ points in all of her teams games this season.
*       Notched her third straight double-double in ACC action with 13 points and 14 rebounds.
*       The double-double was the seventh this season and 24th of her career.
Senior Abby Waner
*       Did not play due to a sinus infection and coughing.
*       Missed her first game of the season and only the fifth of her career.
Senior Carrem Gay
*       Came off the bench in the first half and then started the second half, after scoring five points, notching two steals and two rebounds in 10 minutes.
*       Finished the game with seven points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Junior Bridgette Mitchell
*       Hit her career-best third three-pointer of the season.
*       Finished with five points and two rebounds.
Sophomore Karima Christmas
*       Made her first career start.
*       Had nine points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals and one blocked shot in 23 minutes.
*       Hit 12 out of her last 18 field goals.
Sophomore Jasmine Thomas
*       Struggled shooting from the field as she went 0-of-10 field goals.
Junior Keturah Jackson
*       Led Duke with three steals.
Freshman Kathleen Scheer
*       Hit 2-of-3 three-pointers marking the second-most three-pointers in a single game this year and a career best in ACC action.
Other Duke Notes:
*       All four three-pointers were made by the Blue Devil bench.
*       Nine different Blue Devils scored.
*       Totaled only one player in double-figure scoring for the first time this season.
*       Hit 4-of-5 free throws in the final 22 seconds of the game.
*       Had 28 turnovers which was a season high against ACC opponents.
*       Held a 23-8 advantage in bench points.
*       Outrebounded its opponent, 39-35, and has outrebounded 14 of 16 opponents this season.
*       Coach P improved to 24-3 when holding opponents to under 40.0 percent from the field (30.9).
*       Hit 45.7 percent from the field, which is the highest against an ACC opponent this season.
*       Duke will next travel to N.C. State on Monday, Jan. 19 for a 5:00 p.m., contest in Raleigh, N.C.

Duke plays clamp down defense to defeat Virginia Tech 69-44

[private]The Blue Devils defense stymied the Hokies holding them to 7 points in the last fifteen minutes.   Four of five Duke starters scored in double figures led by  Kyle Singler who dropped 19 points to go with 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals.

The physical nature of the game promted Kyle Singler to state, “It’s definitely a man’s game and if we can play like men, it’s going to be a very good year for us.”

The Blue Devils benefited from 19 points off turnovers, but more so from a Krzyzewski timeout at the 17:23 mark where he challenged his team.  Whatever was said, it worked as Duke went on to outscore the Hokies 25-7 in the last fifteen minutes.  The Hokies scored a mere 9 points after the timeout.

“I think they got kind of tired and that allowed us to push the ball at both ends and do what we needed to,” said Singler.

Of course it didn’t hurt that Duke was nearly perfect from the free throw stripe as well, where they hit 19 of 20.

Gerald Henderson continued his outstanding play of late with a stat line of 15 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.  There were time when he guarded Tech’s big men inside and he will his way to make several plays.

Also scoring in double figures for Duke were Nolan Smith who tallied 13 points, 3 assists and 2 steals and Jon Scheyer with 11.  Scheyer was held in check offensively in the second half, but played a good floor game.

Zoubek added another points and only two Blue Devils scored off the bench.

Duke had several players slow down one of the leagues top scorers in A.O. Vassallo who managed just 7 points.

“This is the start of a three game five and a half day loop, so this tests you.  Any ACC win is a good one.” said Krzyzewski.  He continued, “In our league anybody can beat anybody.  It’s a whole different ball game once the ACC starts.”

The Blue Devils are now 1-0 in the ACC, 12-1 on the season and poised to move up a little in the rankings where they were fifth coming into this evenings game.  The win was number 273 for Duke since the year 2000 which is tops in the nation.[/private]

Kyle Singler interview – he talks of the ACC opener vs Virginia Tech

[private]Going into the ACC season what are the coaches saying?

Keep on playing hard.  It will be ACC caliber play or whatever you want to call it – we’ just have to keep playing hard and can’t take days off.

Singler and Duke are preparing for the always pesky Hokies
Singler and Duke are preparing for the always pesky Hokies

Do you feel any different going into ACC play with a year under your belt?

A little bit, but not much.  You just have to meet expectations and keep on doing what you are doing.

The inside play seems better this season -

I think it is just guys have been in this offensive system a little bit longer and we are more comfortable. I think Brian has given us a big lift.  He was injured last season or most of it.  He’s healthy this year and he brings a little bit of height to us and he just gives us a different look which is good.

Talk about the play of Nolan Smith and how he is doing since his injury on Wednesday.

I think Nolan has been playing really well.  Nolan had a good practice today.  He practiced the whole time.  You wouldn’t know he got injured aside from the knee pads he is wearing.  He went right back at it.

On a new offensive coaching philosophy -

I think we are just running a little more motion.  I think it just brings a different aspect to the way we play the game.  A lot of guys on our team know how to play basketball and with this motion offense it allows us to make reads.

You didn’t do that as a team last year?

We really didn’t.  We mostly ran set last year and set some picks and used more ball screens.  This year we are using more ball screens but it’s in the motion offense which making reads passing and cutting more is good.

Be sure to check out our sections or archives for articles fall off the front page fast during the regular season.[/private]