2015-16 Football Previews – (ACC) – Blue Devils
The Duke Blue Devils have put themselves on the map in the past couple seasons in the ACC. Known as a pure basketball school, the football program completely turned itself around and has made a name for themselves.
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ACC 2015-2016 College Football Preview – Duke Blue Devils
Head Coach: David Cutcliffe
2014 Record: 9-4
Dukes Odds to ACC: 50/1
Duke was one of the most consistent teams on both sides of the ball last season. They averaged 32.4 points a game (43) and allowed 21.8 (23).
They started off the season 8-1 with a lone loss at Miami and it looked like Duke was in the discussion for at least a BCS bowl birth. However, that came to a crashing halt when they failed to beat Virginia Tech, despite 8 scoring chances in the game.
That loss turned the season for not as they would get routed by UNC the next week and then eventually lose in their bowl game to Arizona State in a shootout.
Duke now must focus on a bit of the rebuilding portion of their program. With some key looses to their roster, this could be a year to focus on solidifying some players into positions and possibly playing to just earn a post season birth.
Defense Wins Championships: While Duke won’t be winning any championships this season, their defense is still the strong point of this team and have many returning starters.
Duke’s defense allowed the opposition to average just 4 points per scoring opportunity, which isn’t bad at all. They didn’t allow the big play often as they let up just 16 gains of 30+ yards and allowed 25 points or more only 3 times last year.
Duke’s defensive mentality was a sight to see. They return two of the best safeties in the ACC in DeVon Edwards and Jeremy Cash which will lead to another season of tough times for opposing quarterbacks passing down field.
Quarterback postion: QB Anthony Boone was stellar in 2014. He passed for 2700 yards and threw for 19 touchdowns to just 8 interceptions. However, he’s moved on and graduated which leaves a lot of uncertainty when it comes to the position.
Junior Thomas Sirk looks to be the front runner for the position, but he received only a little field time in 2014. He threw for just 67 yards on 14 pass attempts last season. His little playing time is a result of Duke typically not playing in lopsided games either way.
Behind Sirk thought is a sophomore, Parker Boehme, and a pair of freshmen.
Duke has it’s options, but filling the shoes of Anthony Boone and what he did to lead this program to a turn around is going to be tough and take a lot of time.
2015 Duke Blue Devils Prediction: 7-5
Duke’s uncertainty with the QB position is a major red flag for them. Some say this is a rebuilding year, but Duke does not want to take a step back.
After all the hard work they did to turn this program around, not at least making a bowl game this year would be devastating.
That being said, a bowl birth certainly will not be handed to the Blue Devils. Game 3 against Northwestern could prove to be a big one long term as they need to grab all the wins they possibly can early, prior to conference play.
Duke 2015 Schedule
|9/3/15||9:30 PM ET||@TULN|
|9/12/15||6:00 PM ET||NCCU|
|9/19/15||12:30 PM ET||NW|
|10/10/15||12:00 PM ET||@ARMY|
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