This is the Year

October 9, 2012

It finally happened.  Duke Football has a good team for the first time in 19 years.  Duke has looked pretty good all year, (beat down at the hands of Stanford aside) but until the game last weekend I wasn’t convinced.  The UVA game is the exact kind of game the Blue Devils normally blow.  Not this year, despite a ton of injuries and a very slow start Duke ran the Wahoos off the field in the second half and won easily.  Blowout wins over ACC opponents, or any opponent really, just don’t happen for Duke.  Or at least they didn’t used to.  This year’s Duke Football team is better, deeper, and utterly unrecognizable from its recent predecessors.

There are definitely valid concerns about the strength of schedule so far, the defense, and the injuries but I do not care at all.  I am drinking the Duke Football Cool-Aid.  And there are three main reasons why.

 

1.  David Cutcliffe

As a lifelong Duke football fan I have had to endure some of the worst coaching of all time.  (Or at least some of the worst coaching not done by Romeo Crennel)  Recently Cutcliffe has been refreshingly competent, calling timeouts at reasonable times and making play calls that make sense.  Cutcliffe has also shown some serious balls over the past couple of years calling for fake punts and onside kicks and surprising and mostly effective times.  Most importantly however, Cutcliffe has been able to recruit a little bit.  Duke will never be able to compete with the top tier football schools for recruits but under Cutcliffe we are bringing in enough talent to compete.

2.  Sean Renfree and Anthony Boone

There are teams in college football that can succeed without great quarterback play.  these are usually recruiting powerhouses such as Alabama and LSU that can stack their defenses and O-lines to the point that QB play is pretty much irrelevant.  Duke is the exact opposite kind of program.  Due to a number of factors, (academics, geography, old-timey stadium) Duke cannot and probably will never be able to bring in the athletes needed for a nationally dominant defense or O-line.  This is fine but it means that Duke is going to require consistently excellent QB play in order to succeed, and with the exception of the Stanford game they have gotten it this season.  Both quarterbacks have different strengths but I have made it very clear where I stand.  I think Anthony Boone’s mobility is crucial important behind what can be at times a shaky offensive line.  Regardless of who starts however I think Duke has one of the best QB’s in the ACC and has a chance to win every game. (Except the one at Florida State.  That’s going to be an ass-kicking.

3.  Conner Vernon

Vernon is an absolutely amazing receiver and gives Duke something it almost never has.  A dominant offensive playmaker who can singlehandedly win games.  Against Virginia, Vernon caught two long touchdown passes by essentially jumping over his defender and grabbing the ball.  The throws were good but Vernon just bitched the DB’s on both plays, pretty much like other team’s good recievers have been doing to Duke for years.  Its a good feeling to finally have that kind of player on our side.

 

The entire Duke team has played well this year and I do not mean to trivialize their contributions by only singling out a few players.  That being said a great coach like Cutcliffe and offensive playmakers like the QB’s and Vernon are what I feel most confident about in this team.  I truly believe they are going to take Duke to unprecedented heights.  And I don’t mean just six wins and a crappy bowl game.  The ACC Coastal division is an absolute wasteland this year.  Virginia Tech is historically bad and Georgia Tech might be worse.  UNC is good but they are cheaters and are thus ineligible.  I really believe Duke can win the division and go to the ACC Championship game in Charlotte.  I am driving the Duke football bandwagon and I suggest you all hop on soon.  Once the Blue Devils beat ass in Blacksburg this weekend there may not be any room.

 

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One Response to “This is the Year”

  1. […] that they could actually win in Blacksburg, an unfathomable idea in years past.  I was certainly buying the hype, but I wasn’t alone.  Against all odds Duke Football had become relevant and competitive.  […]

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