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CFN Take: Duke Overmatched By Florida State
Duke Blue Devils 2013 ...
Head Coach: David Cutcliffe
Duke Blue Devils
Florida State 45, Duke 7
| 2013 Record: 10-3|
8/31 NC Central W 45-0
9/7 at Memphis W 28-14
9/14 Georgia Tech L 38-14
9/21 Pitt L 58-55
9/28 Troy W 38-31
10/5 OPEN DATE
10/12 Navy W 35-7
10/19 at Virginia W 35-22
10/26 at Virginia Tech W 13-10
11/2 OPEN DATE
11/9 NC State W 38-20
11/16 Miami W 48-30
11/23 at Wake Forest W 28-21
11/30 at North Carolina W 27-25
12/7 Florida St L 45-7
Basically … Duke hung tough through a scoreless first quarter and a decent second quarter, but Florida State turned out to be way too much as Jameis Winston threw three touchdown passes with two of the strikes going to Kelvin Benjamin from 14 and 54 yards out. Winston ran for a 17-yard touchdown and Deonta Freeman ran for a seven-yard score as part of a 45-point run on the way to the BCS championship.
- Florida State outgained Duke 569 yards to 239
- Florida State QB Jameis Winston completed 19-of-32 passes for 330 yards and three scores with two picks, and he ran ten times for 59 yards and a score.
- Duke QB Anthony Boone completed 20-of-40 passes for 138 yards and two picks.
- Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin caught five passes for 119 yards and two scores.
at Duke 27, North Carolina 25
Basically … Duke took the Coastal title and is on to the ACC championship after Ross Martin hit a 27-yard field goal for a 27-25 lead, and DeVon Edwards intercepted a Marquise Williams pass to snuff out North Carolina’s final drive. The Blue Devils held a 24-15 lead after Edwards returned a kickoff for a score and Jamison Crowder caught his second touchdown pass of the day, but the Tar Heels controlled most of the second half with Williams finding Quinshad Davis for a 23-yard score and Thomas Moore giving them the lead on a 37-yard field goal.
- Duke QB Anthony Boone completed 23-of-34 passes for 274 yards and two scores.
- North Carolina QB Marquise Williams completed 17-of-36 passes for 223 yards and a score with two picks, and he led the team with 104 rushing yards and two scores on 16 carries.
- North Carolina TE Eric Ebron caught five passes for 121 yards
- Duke held the ball for 35:23 and outgained UNC 461 yards to 448
Duke 28, at Wake Forest 21
Basically … Duke came back from down seven in the third quarter with a 58-yard touchdown play to Jamison Crowder and a three-yard Brandon Connette touchdown run. Wake Forest took a 14-0 lead with a 59-yard fumble return for a score from Thomas Brown and a six-yard Spencer Bishop touchdown catch, but Duke came back to tie it on a ten-yard Crowder catch and a four-yard Max McCaffrey scoring play, but had to answer after Tanner Price ran for a 12-yard score.
- Duke WR Jamison Crowder caught ten passes for 121 yards and two scores.
- Duke QB Anthony Boone completed 24-of-29 passes for 256 yards and three scores, and led the team with 57 rushing yards on seven carries.
- Wake Forest RB Josh Harris ran 19 times for 67 yards, and led the team with 35 yards on two catches.
- Duke outgained Wake Forest 378 yards to 248
at Duke 48, Miami 30
Basically … Duke gained control of its own destiny in the ACC title chase scoring 20 unanswered points to break open a tight game. Brandon Connette threw a touchdown pass and ran for four touchdowns, and Shaquille Powell caught a 22-yard touchdown pass and ran for a 33-yard score. Miami took a 17-7 lead in the first quarter helped by a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown from Stacy Coley and the first of two Herb Waters touchdown catches. The second, from 50 yards out in the third, and a 31-yard Matt Goudis field goal gave the Canes a 30-28 lead in the third before Duke went on its scoring run.
- Miami outgained Duke 565 yards to 543. Duke ran for 358 yards, Miami threw for 379.
- Duke QB Brandon Connette completed 5-of-9 passes for 81 yards and ran 11 times for 37 yards and four touchdowns.
- Miami RB Dallas Crawford ran 19 times for 115 yards and Herb Waters caught nine passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
- Miami QB Stephen Morris completed 30-of-49 passes for 379 yards and two touchdowns with a pick.
at Duke 38, NC State 20
Basically … Down late, the Blue Devils scored the final 21 points in 25 seconds with DeVon Edwards picking off a pass for a score just ten seconds after Brandon Connette ran for a score. Edwards struck again 17 seconds later with a 45-yard pick six Duke scored the first ten points of the game helped by a four-yard Anthony Boone touchdown run, but NC State came back to take the lead with 13 straight points on two Niklas Sade field goals and a 73-yard Rashard Smith punt return for a touchdown. After the second Sade field goal, Duke responded with an Edwards kickoff return for a touchdown. The big plays kept on coming in a wild final seven minutes with NC State getting an 80-yard Quintin Payton touchdown grab for a 20-17 lead before the final Duke explosion.
- Duke S DeVon Edwards made ten tackles with two interceptions for touchdowns and a broken up pass, and he returned three kickoffs for 148 yards and a score.
- The two teams combined for eight turnovers with each giving it away four times.
- NC State LB Brandon Pittman made 14 tackles with a sack and three tackles for loss.
- Duke QB Brandon Connette completed 7-of-13 passes for 59 yards and led the team with 40 yards with a score on eight carries.
Duke 13, at Virginia Tech 10
Basically … Duke scored the first 13 points of the game on Ross Martin field goals from 51 and 53 yards out in the second quarter and a nine-yard Anthony Boone touchdown run in the third, and then the defense took over. Virginia Tech scored late in the third on a five-yard Logan Thomas run, and got a 42-yard Cody Journell field goal midway through the fourth, but the Duke D held on finishing with four interceptions of Thomas.
- Duke’s Anthony Boone completed 7-of-25 passes for 107 yards with four interceptions, and he led the team with 44 rushing yards and a score on 11 carries. In all, Duke finished 0-11 on third downs with 198 yards of total offense and had the ball for just over 20 minutes … and won. Give credit to two bombs from kicker Ross Martin, along with a secondary that gave Logan Thomas a really, really bad day.
- Duke is bowl eligible in October. Think about that for a moment. In a strong year for the ACC, Duke has won four straight, highlighted by this thrilling victory, and now it has its six wins and looking for a decent bowl spot. It already played spoiler, and now can it do more with home games against NC State and Miami coming up after the break? If the D plays like it did this week, yeah.
- Virginia Tech hasn’t been sharp throughout the season, and now it got tagged. Kendall Fuller was outstanding with three interceptions, and the defense allowed fewer than 200 yards of total Duke offense, but four picks thrown by Logan Thomas and the lack of a steady running game from the backs proved costly. Tomas threw for 214 yards and ran for 101 yards and a score, but it’s all about the mistakes.
- Don’t lose focus, Virginia Tech. This loss really doesn’t matter. Three of the last four games are on the road, but Boston College, Miami - despite being unbeaten – and Virginia aren’t world-beaters, and Maryland is a winnable final home game. The ACC championship is hardly out of reach. Win out, and this is an aberration.
Duke 35, at Virginia 22
Basically … Down 22-0 in the first half, Duke scored 35 unanswered points as the game made a complete and total turn starting with a six-yard Jamison Crowder touchdown catch with 46 seconds left in the half. Brandon Connette ran for a six-yard score, and Braxton Deaver caught fourth quarter touchdown passes from 47 and 24 yards out to put the game away. Virginia got three touchdowns from Kevin Parks to start the game, but the offense sputtered and failed time and again, and Duke took advantage.
- It was an odd an uneven game, but Duke’s offense worked after a rocky start. Anthony Boone completed 21-of-39 passes for 245 yards and two scores with a pick, but it was the receiving corps that took over with Jamison Crowder catching nine passes for 113 yards and a score, and Braxton Deaver catching three balls for 96 yards and two touchdowns.
- Virginia had its chances to come back in the second half, but penalties killed key moments to turn the game back around. The off was able to get a few breaks, and the special teams helped, but there were too many mistakes. Kevin Parks tried to carry the offense with two rushing touchdowns and six catches for 88 yards and a score, but there were too many misfires after a great start.
- With four losses in a row and no margin for error, it’s over. The Cavaliers aren’t consistent enough offensively to get by Clemson, Miami or Virginia Tech, and the running game just isn’t controlling enough to help out the defense. Duke doesn’t have a brick wall of a defensive front, but Virginia managed just 2.6 yards per carry.
- All of a sudden, Duke has won three games in a row and now has a shot at a decent bowl game at 5-2. Beating Virginia is one thing, but if the offense can find the same spark at Virginia Tech next week, then it will be time to really get excited. However, after two tremendous defensive performances, the front line has to continue to hold up.
at Duke 35, Navy 7
Basically … Anthony Boone threw three touchdown passes with two to Issac Blakeney from 27 and 18 yards out, and Jela Duncan and Shaquille Powell each ran for scores in the second half as Duke shocked Navy with a blowout win. The Midshipmen sputtered after tying it up at seven with a seven-yard Darius Staten touchdown run. Duke scored 28 unanswered points, while the defense took it away three times and held Navy to just 319 yards.
- It was a big shocker that Anthony Boone was thrown to the wolves just a few weeks after breaking his collarbone, but Brandon Connette wasn’t able to go after injuring his ankle. Boone was almost flawless, completing 31-of-38 passes for295 yards with three touchdowns.
- Navy’s three turnovers were a problem, but the bigger issue was the inability to get the ground game to work like it needed to. 230 yards weren’t bad, but outside of one bit run, there wasn’t anything steady happening. Keenan Reynolds try to make the passing game fly, but as soon as Navy has to turn to that, it’s all but over.
- This was a clunker, and it’s a pattern. When the Navy offense isn’t able to establish itself up the middle, and the big plays aren’t coming on the outside, it gets ugly, fast. It happened against Western Kentucky, and now Duke was able to stuff the attack. Basically, the O has to be far, far sharper.
- Is Duke now in the hunt for a bowl game? At 4-2, it just needs two more wins to get to the post season, and while it won’t be easy, Virginia, NC State and Wake Forest are all beatable. This was one of the key home games the Blue Devils needed to have to get to six wins.
at Duke 38, Troy 31
Basically … Duke jumped out to a 21-7 lead on two Brandon Connette touchdown passes and a three-yard scoring run, but Troy kept on coming with Corey Robinson bombing away, hitting Eric Thomas for a 12-yard touchdown and a 40-yard play to Wilson Van Hooser to tie it up at 28 early in the third. Connette added his second touchdown run to answer, and Ross Martin nailed a 34-yard field goal in the final seconds to finally put the game away.
- How even was the game? Duke came up with 514 yards of total offense, and Troy came up with 512. Each team threw haymakers, and neither defense could come up with anything big until the fourth quarter when the two teams traded field goals.
- Corey Robinson found his accuracy and early season groove again. While he threw a pick, he completed 35-of-45 passes for 354 yards and two touchdowns, spreading the ball around extremely well. He kept Troy alive.
- Robinson still needs help from the ground game that hasn’t shown up on a consistent basis. Jordan Chunn ran for two scores, but for the most part, there wasn’t anything big with the longest run just 16 yards. Duke didn’t have to worry about the ground game, but that didn’t help against Robinson.
- If the Duke defense is going to continue to give up big plays, yard, and points in chunks, Brandon Connette has to continue to ball. He completed 20-of-28 passes for 324 yards and three touchdowns, and he ran for 55 yards and two touchdowns. He had to do everything.
Pitt 58, at Duke 55
Basically … Just when it looked like Pitt was going to have an easy day, going up 27-7 on Tom Savage touchdown passes from 27 and 69 yards out to Tyler Boyd, and a 67-yarder to Devin Street, Duke turned it on. Jamison Crowder scored three times in the second quarter on a 62-yard pass, a seven-yard run, and an 82-yard punt return. And then it was Savage’s turn with three straight touchdown passes, including another to Boyd and another to Street, for a 51-28 lead, but Duke wasn’t done. Brandon Braxton kicked off an explosion late in the third quarter with a 75-yard touchdown catch, and Brandon Connette, who gave up a pick six to Anthony Gonzalez, ran for two scores and threw a six-yard touchdown pass to pull the Blue Devils to within three. Pitt ran out the clock after recovering the onside kick.
- Tom Savage was brilliant, but the offense couldn’t quite come through late to put the game away. On the day he completed 23-of-33 passes for 424 yards and six touchdowns, with Tyler Boyd catching eight passes for 154 yards and three touchdowns and Devin Street catching six passes for 166 yards for two scores.
- Duke has a do-it-all playmaker in quarterback Brandon Connette, who completed 21-of-32 passes for 323 yards and four scores, and ran for 101 yard and two touchdowns on 15 carries. However, his four interceptions, especially the late pick six, were disastrous.
- Savage isn’t afraid to push the ball down the field, and it helped that he got time to work. The O line also did a great job of blasting away for the ground game with James Conner running 26 times for 173 yards and a score. He gashed the Blue Devil linebacking corps.
- How’s this for an all-purpose yardage game? Duke’s Jamison Crowder caught seven passes for 141 yards and a score, returned three punts for 109 yards, and ran twice for 29 yards and a score.
Georgia Tech 38, at Duke 14, Sept. 14
Basically … The Georgia Tech running game rolled for 344 yards, but it was Vad Lee’s arm that got the job done with four touchdown passes including two to DeAndre Smelter in the second quarter. Lee added a four-yard touchdown run and a 13-yard scoring pass to Robert Godhigh as part of a 31-7 lead before Duke could answer with a seven-yard Brandon Connette touchdown run in the fourth.
- That’s exactly how the Georgia Tech attack is supposed to work. Get the ground game going, get several runners involved, hit the passing game for scores when needed, and control the game and the clock along the way. The Yellow Jackets had the ball for over 38 minutes and ground out drive after drive.
- The Duke passing game didn’t come up with enough pop to keep up with a rolling Yellow Jacket attack. Brandon Connette ran for a touchdown, but he only completed 15-of-28 passes for 122 yards. For the Blue Devils to have any prayer in ACC play, there has to be high-octane action from the air.
- Being on the field for a long time means big stats from the defense against the Georgia Tech attack. Linebacker Kelby Brown came up with 17 tackles with a1.5 tackles for loss, and safety Jeremy Cash made 14 stops with 1.5 tackles for loss with a forced fumble, but way too many stops were made after positive yards.
- Ten different Yellow Jackets ran the ball with six of them running for 24 yards or more. Tech was cranking out yards in chunks on the ground.
Duke 28 at Memphis 14, Sept. 7
Basically … The Blue Devils and the Tigers traded scores for the first 50 minutes, taking a deadlocked game into the waning moments on Saturday afternoon. However, Duke pulled away for the win in the Liberty Bowl, scoring the game’s final 28 points on touchdown passes from backup QB Brandon Connette.
- If it didn’t know it already, Duke learned in Memphis that it has two quarterbacks who can engineer wins this season. Connette, used mostly as a situational runner up to this point in his career, was poised going 14-of-21 for 198 yards and those two scores.
- The season opener for Memphis also marked the debut of starting QB Paxton Lynch. He was expectedly erratic, finishing 14-of-24 for 148 yards, without a touchdown or an interception.
- The veteran Duke O-line had problems with an underrated Memphis front wall, especially DE Martin Ifedi, who
- It wasn’t pretty, but the Blue Devils won a road game that was tied in the fourth quarter. Past Duke teams would’ve found a way to lose this kind of a game.
at Duke 45, NC Central 0, Aug. 31
Basically … The Duke offense rolled. Brandon Connette threw two touchdown passes and ran for a one-yard score, and Jamison Crowder took a punt 76 yards for a score in the easy win. The Blue Devil defense allowed just 184 yards and nine first downs with two takeaways. NC Central was never in the game.
- Duke’s passing game carries the offense, but Jela Duncan ran well coming up with 11 carries for 76 yards and a score. The Duke offensive line gashed the NC Central defensive front.
- The Duke quarterbacks were almost flawless. Anthony Boone completed 16-of-20 passes for 176 yards, and did a nice job of pushing the ball deep, while Brandon Connette was effective outside of his pick.
- The defense tackled well. Even when NC Central had a chance to do something, the plays were kept to a minimum.
Why To Get Excited … for the first time in almost two decades, the Blue Devils will begin a spring session with a bowl experience tucked away in their short-term memory. The program is confident that it can continue to build under sixth-year head coach David Cutcliffe, especially since both lines welcome back a bunch of key veterans.
Why To Be Grouchy … Duke is moving on without its two offensive stalwarts of the past few seasons, longtime starting QB Sean Renfree and prolific WR Conner Vernon. Yeah, QB Anthony Boone has game experience and WR Jamison Crowder is leading man material, but the latter needs help on the outside, and the former must prove he can excel as an every-down triggerman for Cutcliffe.
The Number One Thing To Work On Is … defense. What else is new in Durham? The Blue Devils are perennially weak on D, ranking near the bottom of the country in a handful of categories a year ago. While DE Kenny Anunike is back for a sixth year and CB Ross Cockrell is a future pro, they’re unlikely to bail out a defensive backfield missing three seniors.
Team Concerns For 2013: The Blue Devils have to improve the defense to have any chance of
equaling the 2012 success. The offense will be fine, but the secondary was a disaster giving up deep play after deep play. With three starters gone in the 4-2-5 alignment, the Blue Devils have to rebuild as well as improve. The kickoff return game was among the worst in America.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive backs. It's an easy recruiting pitch. Our secondary was awful and there are several holes needing to be filled - come to Duke and play defensive back right away. Corners Johnell Barnes, Evrett Edwards and Deondre Singleton all have the potential to be an instant upgrade, while safeties Chris Holmes and Jake Kite were nice gets. David Cutcliffe isn't going to totally ignore the offense, picking up quarterback Parker Boehme and running back Joseph Ajeigbe.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking:
51. That Class Was Heavy On ... More options for the passing game. The 2010 class addressed the quarterback situation for the next few years, but more and more targets need to be developed for down the road. Head coach David Cutcliffe is trying to build up the offensive talent level, and he’s getting a few more good prospects than normal. With Donovan Varner gone and Conner Vernon done next year, the opportunities will be there to shine early on.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 63. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. The skill players were all but ignored after going big for the passing game last season, and now the David Cutcliffe offense needs blockers to allow the machine to run. Marcus Aprahamian is a strong tackle prospect with the body to be ready almost right away, while guards Lucas Patrick and Cody Robinson out of Tennessee should be good in time. The defense got help up front with Sam Marshall leading a decent group of linemen, while the secondary went big on the corner with Jared Boyd, Jamison Crowder, and Tim Burton all good enough to have gone somewhere bigger.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 70. That Class Was
Heavy On ... The passing game.
Now that David Cutcliffe isn't going anywhere (at
least for this year), bringing in decent quarterback
prospects isn't an issue. Who wants to be a
statistical star? Brandon Cromartie is one of the
better quarterback prospects the program has had in
a while, and Anthony Boone will get his chances.
Brandon Braxton and Braxton Deaver are dangerous
receiver prospects, and Juwan Thompson could be the
key to the running game this year.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 56. That Class Was
Heavy On ... defensive backs. The Blue Devils perennially struggle to stop opposing passers, which prompted David Cutcliffe to go extremely heavy on the secondary. Almost one-third of the class is either a safety or a cornerback, led by Taylor Sowell, a 6-0 speedster who garnered a lot of attention from the rest of the ACC. Duke had rare success in South Carolina, a credit to the job being done by secondary coach Derek Jones.
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