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2014 DUKE BLUE DEVILS FOOTBALL PREVIEW

July 16, 2014
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



2014 DUKE BLUE DEVILS FOOTBALL PREVIEW

Duke Blue Devils (1978 - Pres)

HEAD COACH DAVID CUTCLIFFE, 31 – 44 at DUKE, 75 – 73 OVERALL

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: SCOTTIE MONTGOMERY

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: JIM KNOWLES

LAST LEAGUE TITLE: 1989

RETURNING STARTERS: 16, 8 OFFENSE, 6 DEFENSE, KICKER, PUTTER

Duke Blue Devils (1978 - Pres)

 

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Josh Snead, RB, 651
Passing: Anthony Boone, QB, 2,260 yards
Receiving: Jamison Crowder, WR, 1,360 yards
Tackles: David Helton, LB, 133
Sacks: Jordan DeWalt-Ondijo, DE, 2
Interceptions: Breon Borders, CB, 4; Jeremy Cash, S, 4

Other Key Returnees: QB Brandon Connette, RB Shaquille Powell, TE Braxton Deaver, OL Lakrn Tomlinson, LB Kely Brown, S DeVon Edwards, LB Deondre Singleton, K Ross Martin, P Will Monday

Key Losses: DE Kenny Anunike, DE Justin Foxx, RB Jela Duncan, QB Brandon Connette, WR Brandon Braxton, OL Perry Simmons, CB Ross Cockrell

 

 

 

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 178.0 (54th in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 248.1 (50, 6)
Total Offense: 426.1 (47, 4)
Scoring Offense: 32.8 (41, 5)
Rushing Defense: 174.1 (75, 11)
Pass Defense: 243.9 (82, 11)
Total Defense: 418.0 (82, 12)
Scoring Defense: 26.6 (63, 9)
Turnover Margin: 0.1 (60, 8)
Sacks: 1.64 (89, 14)
Sacks Allowed: 1.21 (15, 2)

 Duke Blue Devils (1978 - Pres)

The Duke Blue Devils are coming off their first 10 win season and now have been in back-to-back bowl games for the first time in their history. Duke is normally known as a basketball school but now they’ve established themselves as a true contender in the ACC.

Duke’s offense scored over 32 points per game last year and most of their playmakers are back in 2014. Quarterback Anthony Boone returns for his senior season along with receivers Jamison Crowder, Max McCaffrey and Isaac Blakeney. TE Braxton Deaver was a second-team All- ACC selection in 2013 and returns as another weapon for Boone. One loss that will be hard to overcome will be the transfer of Brandon Connette who set Duke’s record for career rushing touchdowns with 31. Running back Jela Duncan, the team’s leading rusher the last two years has been suspended from the team for academic issues and will be replaced by Junior Shaquille Powell. Another option at running back will be Josh Snead who rushed for 651 yards last season. The line returns three starters including Takoby Cofield at left tackle and Laken Tomlinson at right guard. The Blue Devils lose left guard Dave Harding and right tackle Perry Simmons. Sophomore Tanner Stone takes over at right tackle and Lucas Patrick will now start at left guard.

Duke’s defense was below average last season and will return six starters in 2014 including nose tackle Jamal Bruce. Reserves Jordan DeWalt-Ondijo and Desmond Johnson will have to step up their production as starters this season. David Helton and Kelby Brown return for their senior seasons at linebacker. Helton led the ACC in tackles per game at 9 ½ while Brown was second in the conference at 8.8 per game. The secondary lost to time All-ACC corner Russ Cockrell but will look to athletic sophomores Byron Fields and Breon Borders to step in and play contributing roles right away. Jeremy Cash returns at safety and figures to be the leader of the defense. Cash had 121 tackles and four interceptions in his first year at Duke after transferring from Ohio State last season. Another plus for Duke is the return game of Crowder and Edwards, both named All- Americans after Edwards averaged over 30 yards per kick return and Crowder returned two punts for scores.

Duke’s early schedule is very favorable with three home games against Elon, Kansas and Tulane. The only road trip will be at Troy on September 6. The difficult part of the schedule begins on September 27 with a road trip to Miami and then three out of the next four will be on the road at Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh and Syracuse with a home contest scheduled for October 18 against Virginia. Duke has enough offense to be a bowl team again this year but the questions will come on defense especially on the front line.


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