Tag Archives: Duke-UNC football

Monday Musings – Duke goes to Maui, football takes on UNC, Cheerleader of the Week

Cheerleader of the Week

Welcome to the Thanksgiving week Monday Musings where BDN of course, hopes all of you have a great holiday.  Duke takes on Tennessee in just a few hours to open the loaded Maui Classic and Terry Rains is in place to bring us coverage.  This is also the last game of the football season where the Blue Devils travel to North Carolina.

Aloha!  Maui begins with Tennessee

Duke gets it underway on the islands starting at 5:30 this afternoon when Duke takes on what will be their easiest opponent in Maui Invitational in Tennessee.  The Vols come into the game 2-0 riding the play of Trae Golden but they will be hard pressed to keep Duke from facing the winner of Memphis and Michigan.  Duke will either face the methodical style of the Wolverines or the crazy athleticism of Memphis.  You can bet I will be tuned in to see who wins this clash of two styles and for the record, I think Memphis would be a very difficult matchup for Duke.  The Tigers are loaded with quickness and are athletic and have just the kind of team that could trouble Duke this season.  Of course, Michigan took Duke to the wire last season and have all but one key player back, so either way, should Duke get past the Vols, they will have one heckuva match up awaiting them.

Fans and coaches will learn more about the team

By the time the dust clears on the tournament, we'll all know a lot more about this seasons team which is both young and a work in progress.  No matter who Duke faces past the Vols, they will be one of the nations best teams and this will present a great early season challenge.  And for those of you that haven't looked ahead, the Blue Devils will take on  #2 Ohio State in Columbus after the invitational.  It has been a long time since the Blue Devils faced such a challenging schedule and with a young team, a loss is certainly on the horizon.  If Duke comes out of Maui undefeated it will be a great feat and one that will have them firmly set in the top 5 teams in the country.  What I will be watching is how this team responds to adversity and close games.  Can they close with a lead or will they wilt under the pressure of a game time possession.  That's what makes watching the games so much fun.

Stepping up

Who will step up for Duke next?  Coach Mike Krzyzewski has made it clear on more than one occasion that different players will step up for the Blue Devils in certain games.  Andre Dawkins did so in New York and Mason Plumlee in the last outing, so will it be Austin Rivers this time?   Who knows, but in reality Duke is looking for consistency and a couple of players to blossom into bonafide stars.  And for the record, Austin Rivers despite being a true freshman has been very consistent on the offensive end as has his backcourt mate, Seth Curry.

Recruiting never sleeps

BDN Recruiting Analyst Andrew Slater has been checking out Duke prospects Noah Vonleh and Nerlens Noel among others in holiday recruiting events and we'll be hearing a lot more about that later in the week.

One game can redeem a season

Duke Football has been improving, just not at the speed many had hoped for.  When you look at the success of Virginia and Wake Forest, two teams the Blue Devils were supposed to be right there with this season, it cannot help but make one wish that there were more than 3 wins on the ledger.  The Richmond loss still haunts as do other close contests and until Duke gets a win, frustration is just that, frustration for both the staff and the fan base.  One may look at the Boston College game as a break through win on the road this season, but they could cure many ills finding a way to finally beat their arch rival UNC.  A win on the road in Chapel Hill would erase a lot of the frustration and be a great starting point for next year when Duke returns pretty much everybody save a couple of defensive studs.  Duke opens as a 13 point underdog and it will not be an easy task in that the Tar Heels are tough on the fronts.  But if they could find a way to win, it would be a huge one and bring about some major belief to what has been a disappointing season.  Here is to hoping the Duke team believes it can win and plays with heart and a reckless abandon in the finale.

Be safe out there Blue Devil Nation and eat mo' turkey!



BDN Salutes Duke Football Seniors

BDN Photo

Today is senior day at Wallace Wade Stadium, where the Blue Devils will recognize 19 players and their families. Blue Devil Nation joins with Duke University and Duke Athletics in thanking this year's senior class for their dedication and hard work to Duke football. These young men have left the Duke football program in a much better place than where they found it.

Flash back four years, to when these players joined the Duke program. This was prior to Coach Cutcliffe's hire, and in the middle of a period when Duke had lost 25 consecutive ACC games. In 2006, the team finished 0-12 overall. There was little reason for optimism around Duke football, but these players embraced the program, and with the hire of Coach Cutcliffe, have changed the culture of Duke football. Over the past four years, the program has won 13 football games, including 5 ACC victories.  

“It's a tribute to our seniors, who have continued to fight,” Coach Cutcliffe said last week. “They've changed the game. Our seniors have been a part of changing an expectation at Duke. We can compete with anybody, regardless of what anybody thinks. And we're ready for that next step, because of this group of young men that have committed themselves to being the best that they can be.” 

As these players run through the tunnel into Wallace Wade Stadium for the final time today, fans should take a moment to recognize the hard work and dedication that this group of players have put into Duke football. They have become great young men, and will be great representatives of Duke University and Duke football in all that they do. 

Thank you, seniors! 

#8 Abraham Kromah


Staten Island, NY 

#10 Matt Pridemore

Wide Receiver

Gainesville, GA 

#16 Chris Rwabukamba


Windsor, Ontario 

#22 Brandon King

Tight End

Doylestown, PA 

#39 Adam Banks


Asheville, NC 

#41 Eriks Reks


Wrentham, MA 

#47 Nick Maggio


Leawood, KS 

#49 Kevin Jones


Austin, TX 

#55 Brandon Harper

Offensive Guard

Alpharetta, GA 

#56 Damian Thornton


Lenoir, NC 

#62 Bryan Morgan


Hoover, AL 

#63 Chris Shannon

Offensive Tackle

Andover, MA 

#67 Mitchell Lederman

Offensive Guard

Brodhead, WI 

#83 Austin Kelly

Wide Receiver

Mableton, GA 

#87 Brett Huffman

Tight End

Massillon, OH 

#88 Danny Parker

Tight End

Rockville, MD 

#90 Patrick Egboh

Defensive End

Mesquite, TX 

#99 Wesley Oglesby

Defensive End

Arlington, TX 

Mike Cappetto

Undergraduate Assistant

Troy, MI 

Garrett Utt

Undergraduate Assistant

Atlanta, GA

Duke offense sputters as UNC claims a 19-6 win

Chapel Hill, N.C. -The Duke Blue Devils three game ACC winning streak came to an abrupt halt as North Carolina sent them home with a 19-6 whipping boosting their record  to 6-3 overall  in the process.

UNC stayed in Thaddeus Lewis face all day long in their 19-6 win
UNC stayed in Thaddeus Lewis face all day long in their 19-6 win

The game remained close for a long time despite the fact that Duke could not run the ball or pass it for that matter on the Tar Heel defense.  Duke was held to a season low 125 yards while UNC rolled up 311 yards with 166 of those coming on the legs of running back Ryan Houston.

"Offensively, what can you say about Ryan Houston and what he did tonight, 37 carries and 164 yards?  He was an absolute workhorse.  He pounded them and pounded them," said UNC Coach Butch Davis.

It was a day when everything the Devils tried pretty much backfired and Thaddeus Lewis had very little time to try and find his receivers.  Duke just got their tales whipped on both sides of the ball and in doing so fell to 5-4 overall and 3-2 in the ACC.

Coach David Cutcliffe had mentioned earlier in the week that Duke didn't match up well with North Carolina and that became obvious as the game went on.

Houston proved too much for Duke rushing for 166 yards
Houston proved too much for Duke rushing for 166 yards

One big sequence happened when Leon Wright intercepted a pass that seem to give the Blue Devils a huge lift, but Lewis returned the favor shortly thereafter misfiring to Charles Brown who returned the ball 54 yards to the Duke 20 yard line.  Duke held North Carolina to a field goal making it 9-6, but they never really recovered and continued to sputter on offense.

In short, North Carolina effectively exposed a Duke weakness in pass protection and run blocking with their defensive front.  The Blue Devils managed just 12 yards rushing in the contest.

Duke will next turn their attention to a home game with Georgia Tech next week and Cutcliffe stated that his goal was for Duke to play their best football game of the year when they take the field.

Only time will tell if that is to happen, but you can pretty much bet that Duke will be hard pressed to play this inefficiently on offense two consecutive weeks.

Notes - This was the first time this season that the Duke offense failed to score a touchdown.  Conner Vernon broke a freshman record for receiving yards with 583 and counting.  Jordan Byas blocked punt was the second for Duke this season.  Lewis also climbed the career passing charts.

Quote of the day - "We didn't play very well; North Carolina played extremely well.  We were fortunate to have a chance there in the fourth quarter to win the game because the bottom line is we got whipped.