2008 Duke Blue Devils
Duke QB Thaddeus Lewis
Duke QB Thaddeus Lewis
Posted Jan 16, 2009

2008 Duke Blue Devils Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

2008 Duke Blue Devils

Nov. 29
North Carolina 28 … Duke 20
T.J. Yates connected on 15-of-19 passes with three touchdown passes including a 25-yarder to Hakeem Nicks in the second and a 32-yard play to Richard Quinn in the third to help North Carolina pull away. Shaun Draughn added two touchdowns for the Tar Heels including an 11-yard catch to tie it at 15. Duke bombed away with Thaddeus Lewis throwing 49 times, but the O only managed to get into the end zone on an eight-yard catch from Eron Riley on the opening drive. The D got the other touchdown as Vincent Rey returned a fumble for a 36-yard first quarter score, but Duke would only get two field goals the rest of the way.
Player of the game: North Carolina QB T.J. Yates completed 15-of-19 passes for 190 yards and three touchdowns with an interception, and Duke LB Michael Tauiliili made 20 tackles and an interception.
Stat Leaders: Duke - Passing: Thaddeus Lewis, 34-49, 278 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Jay Hollingsworth, 9-50. Receiving: Donovan Varner, 10-73
North Carolina - Passing: T.J. Yates, 15-19, 190 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Shaun Draughn, 29-110, 1 TD. Receiving: Greg Little, 4-67
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... It was a good year for Duke, even with a lousy five-game losing streak to close things out. The offense perked up against North Carolina after two straight horrible outings, with the attack falling on the arm of Thaddeus Lewis. He didn't push the ball deep, but he was able to dink and dunk just enough to crank out some yards. However, he couldn't get the team into the end zone after a good early drive. 4-8 is a good stepping stone, but now the expectations will be there to start winning more of the close games. David Cutcliffe will be looking for a winning season.

- 2008 Duke Preview  
- 2007 Duke Season

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2008 Record:

Aug. 30 James Madison W 31-7
Sept. 6 Northwestern L 24-20
Sept. 13 Navy W 41-31
Sept. 20  OPEN DATE
Sept. 27 Virginia W 31-3
Oct. 4 at Georgia Tech L 27-0
Oct. 11  OPEN DATE
Oct. 18 Miami L 49-31
Oct. 25 at Vanderbilt W 10-7
Nov. 1 at W. Forest L 33-30 OT
Nov. 8 NC State L 27-17
Nov. 15 at Clemson L 31-7
Nov. 22 at Virginia Tech L 14-3
Nov. 29 North Carolina L 28-20

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2007 Record: 1-

Sept. 1 Connecticut L 45-14
Sept. 8 at Virginia L 24-13
Sept. 15 at Nwestern W 20-14
Sept. 22 at Navy L 46-43
Sept. 29 at Miami L 24-14
Oct. 6 Wake Forest L 41-36
Oct. 13 Virginia Tech L 43-14
Oct. 27 at Florida State L 25-6
Nov. 3 Clemson L 47-10
Nov. 10 Georgia Tech L 41-24
Nov. 17 at Notre Dame L 28-7
Nov. 24 at No Carolina L 20-14 OT

Nov. 22
Virginia Tech 14 … Duke 3
Five turnovers kept Virginia Tech from blowing out Duke, but the defense came up with four takeaways of its own highlighted by a 23-yard interception return for a touchdown from Macho Harris in the final minutes. Sean Glennon came off the bench and connected with Jarrett Boykin for a 19-yard touchdown with 38 seconds to play in the first half to give Virginia Tech the lead for good. Duke managed a 39-yard Nick Maggio field goal and finished with just 136 yard of total offense and six first downs.
Player of the game: Virginia Tech RB Darren Evans ran 24 times for 111 yards, and he caught three passes for 16 yards
Stat Leaders: Duke - Passing: Zack Asack, 2-9, 20 yds, 4 INT
Rushing: Zack Asack, 24-87. Receiving: Raphael Chestnut, 1-15
Virginia Tech - Passing: Sean Glennon, 12-20, 132 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Darren Evans, 24-111. Receiving: Jarrett Boykin, 4-67, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Duke forced five Virginia Tech turnovers and did a good job of stopping the Hokie offense holding it to just 334 yards, but the offense was so inept that there wasn't any real hope of pulling off the win. There were several chances, but the offense simply didn't go anywhere with Zack Asack unable to do anything with the passing game. Against North Carolina, something has to happen through the air early on of the Tar Heel D will tee off on the Blue Devil ground game.

Nov. 15
Clemson 31 … Duke 7
Clemson dominated throughout with C.J. Spiller tearing off a 24-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and taking a Cullen Harper pass 83 yards for a score in the third. The Tiger defense held Duke to 10 first downs and 168 yards of total offense, with the only points allowed coming late in the fourth on a 28-yard Eron Riley catch. With 10 catches, Clemson's Aaron Kelly became the ACC's all-time leading receiver.
Player of the game: Clemson RB C.J. Spiller ran 10 times for 71 yards and a touchdown, and caught seven passes for 108 yards and a score.
Stat Leaders: Duke - Passing: Zack Asack, 10-22, 61 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Zack Asack, 10-32. Receiving: Eron Riley, 3-51, 1 TD
Clemson - Passing: Cullen Harper, 20-26, 292 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: C.J. Spiller, 10-71. Receiving: Aaron Kelly, 10-96
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Thaddeus Lewis got knocked out of the game against Clemson and the offense failed to do anything. The defense wasn't a prize, especially against the pass, as C.J. Spiller and Willy Korn completed just about everything they threw. This was one of those games when having a steady running game would've helped, but there wasn't one with just 83 yards and 32 of them coming from Asack. The Blue Devils need to beat Virginia Tech and North Carolina to become bowl eligible.

Nov. 8
NC State 27 … Duke 17
J.C. Neal returned a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown and Russell Wilson threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Williams and a two-yarder to Anthony Hill as NC State rolled to the win. Duke QB Thaddeus Lewis threw 52 times for 217 yards with touchdown passes to Brett Huffman and Jay Hollingsworth, but the Blue Devils failed to get the ball back after pulling within 10 in the final few minutes. NC State converted just 2-of-10 third down chances, while Duke misfired on all four of its fourth down tries.
Player of the game: NC State QB Russell Wilson completed 13-of-25 passes for 218 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Stat Leaders: Duke - Passing: Thaddeus Lewis, 37-52, 317 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Thaddeus Lewis, 6-41. Receiving: Eron Riley, 9-89
NC State - Passing: Russell Wilson, 13-25, 218 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Jamelle Eugene, 11-92. Receiving: Owen Spencer, 3-57
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Duke just ignored the running game against NC State with Thaddeus Lewis taking control with his arm and his legs. While he threw 52 times, he didn't get too many things happening deep and he didn't come up with the one big drive needed in the second half until late. On the plus side, he spread the ball around well hitting 11 different receivers. Now the bowl hopes are all but dashed with road games at Clemson and Virginia Tech up next. The Blue Devils needed this one.

Nov. 1
Wake Forest 33 … Duke 30 OT
Wake Forest got a 28-yard Shane Popham field goal in overtime, and Alphonso Smith came up with an interception at the one-yard line, his second pick of the game, to seal the win. In the see-saw game, Riley Skinner ran for a one-yard score and threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Boldin in the fourth quarter, and hit the two-point conversion to go up seven. That proved to be a big conversion with Duke rallying with a 20-yard Clifford Harris touchdown catch, his second touchdown grab of the second half that ended up forcing overtime. Duke outgained Wake Forest 376 to 344, but lost four turnovers.
Player of the game: Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry made 16 tackles, a tackle for loss, and broke up a pass.
Stat Leaders: Duke - Passing: Thaddeus Lewis, 18-26, 229 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Jay Hollingsworth, 15-67, 1 TD. Receiving: Brett Huffman & Eron Riley, 6-71
Wake Forest - Passing: Riley Skinner, 18-31, 232 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Brandon Pendergrass, 21-64, 1 TD. Receiving: Demir Boldin, 8-89, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Duke got the big game it needed from Thaddeus Lewis and the passing game against Wake Forest, and the defense did a nice job of slowing down the run. But four turnovers, including the one that sealed the Wake win, proved to be the undoing. While Lewis didn't come up with enough third down plays, he showed he can carry the offense for stretches. There are still chances to win two games and get to a bowl, but this is a game that could've easily been a needed win to get closer to the six-win mark.

Oct. 25
Duke 10 … Vanderbilt 7
Missed field goals, three Vanderbilt turnovers, and little offensive punch made for an ugly game, but Duke was able to hold up late. The Blue Devils took a 10-0 lead in the third quarter on a 42-yard Nick Maggio field goal, and got a 22-yard Tony Jackson touchdown catch in the second, for all the points they'd need. Sean Walker accounted for 79 of Vandy's 291 yards on one play taking a Mackenzi Adams pass for a fourth quarter score. The Commodores would have chances late, but turnovers proved costly.
Player of the game: Duke QB Thaddeus Lewis completed 21-of-36 passes for 222 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: Vanderbilt - Passing: Mackenzi Adams, 14-31, 210 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Jared Hawkins, 11-45. Receiving: Sean Walker, 6-138, 1 TD
Duke - Passing: Thaddeus Lewis, 21-36, 222 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Jay Hollingsworth, 10-39. Receiving: Johnny Williams, 4-39
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Can Duke start thinking about a bowl game? At 4-3, the possibility is there, but it could be nice if there was more of a running game to count on. Vanderbilt stuffed the Blue Devil offense was too often, but the defense was able to force turnovers to stall drives and the O did just enough to keep things moving. Thaddeus Lewis failed to generate the big play, but he was steady and wasn't bad on third downs. Duke isn't going to win too many games when it generates 250 yards; take it and run.

Oct. 18
Miami 49 … Duke 31
Duke had a 17-7 first half lead helped by short touchdowns on a Clifford Harris catch and a one-yard Thaddeus Lewis run, And then it became the Jacory Harris show. Filling in for an ineffective Robert Marve, Harris threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers and ran for a 15-yard score as the Hurricanes erased a 24-14 deficit with a 35-point run. Harris threw two interceptions, but he made up for it with big play after big play. Duke finished with 333 yards of total offense, but Lewis went cold in the second half.
Player of the game: Miami QB Jacory Harris completed 18-of-28 passes for 185 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions, and he ran 10 times for 53 yards and a score
Stat Leaders: Duke - Passing: Thaddeus Lewis, 12-28, 130 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Tony Jackson, 11-69. Receiving: Raphael Chestnut, 5-48, 1 TD
Miami - Passing: Jacory Harris, 18-28, 185 yds, 4 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Graig Cooper, 7-64. Receiving: Aldarius Johnson, 8-84 1 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Duke just doesn't have the fire power to keep up against the better teams. It needs everything to go its way, like the Virginia win, but Georgia Tech and Miami showed in back to back games just how far the Blue Devil defense has to go. Thaddeus Lewis has to lead the way to long, drawn out scoring drives over the next three games against Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and NC State. Duke can win those games, or at least come up with one, but there can't be any big mistakes and the offense has to be working from the start.

Oct. 4
Georgia Tech 27 ... Duke 0
Georgia Tech QB Jaybo Shaw completed nine passes, all to Demaryius Thomas, and the defense held Duke to 132 yards in a dominant win. Roddy Jones and Shaw each ran for short scores and Thomas scored on an 88-yard pass play. Scott Blair added two field goals. Duke never got close to scoring, but the defense held tough until the fourth quarter. Tech held on to the ball for 38:46.
Player of the game: Georgia Tech WR Demaryius Thomas caught nine passes for 230 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: Duke
- Passing: Thaddeus Lewis, 15-28, 97 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Clifford Harris, 5-22. Receiving: Eron Riley, 5-20
Georgia Tech
- Passing: Jaybo Shaw, 9-14, 230 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Jonathan Dwyer, 23-159. Receiving: Demaryius Thomas,
9-230, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... There are going to be games when Duke is simply beaten on talent. The offensive line couldn't do anything to slow down all the future NFL starters on the Tech defensive front, while the defense held tough for three quarters and simply broke down after not getting any help from the offense. Overall, the D did a nice job, but with only 35 rushing yards and no big plays from the passing game, this was a long day. Now comes a week off before dealing with Miami.

Sept. 27
Duke 31 … Virginia 3
Virginia scored first with a 33-yard Yannick Reyering field goal, and then it was all Duke. Nick Maggio tied it with a 20-yard field goal just before halftime, and then the Blue Devil defense forced five turnovers in the second half leading to a flurry of points with Thaddeus Lewis hitting Jay Hollingsworth for a ten-yard touchdown and connecting with Eron Riley for a 30-yard score in the third quarter. The defense got into the act with a 42-yard interception return for a score form Jabari Marshall. In all, Virginia turned it over six times, but outgained Duke 304 yards to 258.
Player of the game: Duke LB Michael Tauiliili had 16 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
Stat Leaders: Virginia- Passing: Marc Verica, 19-42, 194 yds, 4 INTs
Rashawn Jackson, 8-43. Receiving: John Phillips, 5-59
- Passing: Thaddeus Lewis, 18-32, 160 yds, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
Jay Hollingsworth, 15-59. Receiving: Austin Kelly, 4-34
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
While David Cutcliffe is being hailed for recharging the Duke offense, it's the improved play of the defense that came through against Virginia. The defense swarmed all over Virginia and still-learning quarterback Marc Verica, never giving him a chance to breathe. It would be nice if there was more of a running game, it only gained 84 yards and averaged 2.3 yards per carry, but Duke finally stopped a 25-game ACC losing streak. There's no nitpicking.

Sept. 13
Duke 41 … Navy 31
Duke got three touchdown catches from Eron Riley, including a 49-yarder in the fourth quarter to provide some breathing room, and Vincent Rey took a fumble 37 yards for a touchdown in the see-saw battle. Navy was held to 207 rushing yards, but it got a 73-yard scoring dash from Shun White and a 68-yard touchdown catch from Tyree Barnes to stay alive. Kaipo-Noa Keheaku-Enhada played for the first time whit year for Navy and completed all three of his passes for 45 yards and a score.
Player of the game:
Duke QB Thaddeus Lewis went 25-of-35 for 317 yards and three touchdown passes, adding 41 yards on 12 carries.
Stat Leaders: Navy
- Passing: Jarod Bryant, 5-7, 105 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Shun White, 15-112, 1 TD. Receiving: Tyree Barnes, 4-113, 1 TD
- Passing: Thaddeus Lewis, 25-35, 317 yds, 3 TDs
Rushing: Thaddeus Lewis, 12-41. Receiving: Eron Riley, 8-137, 3 TDs
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Duke wouldn't have won this game against Navy last year. The Blue Devils got a tightly-efficient day from QB Thaddeus Lewis and a terrific performance from Eron Riley. However, there was nothing coming from the running backs. Lewis had 41 yards rushing, and the rest of the Blue Devils combined for 38. Defensively, outside of one big run, the Blue Devils did a great job of keeping the Navy running game under wraps.

Sept. 6
Northwestern 24 … Duke 20
Northwestern got a two-yard touchdown run from Omar Conteh with just over nine minutes to play to take the lead, and then the defense held on with two big stops late in the game. Duke had its chances, but it failed to capitalize with a penalty and a few misfires ending deep drives. Tyrell Sutton ran for two Wildcat touchdowns in the first half, but Duke hung in with two Nick Maggio field goals and a 16-yard Thaddeus Lewis scoring run. Duke outgained Northwestern 472 yards to 328.
Player of the game:
 Northwestern S Brendan Smith made 11 tackles
Stat Leaders: Duke - Passing: Thaddeus Lewis, 24-42, 256 yds
Rushing: Clifford Harris, 18-86, 1 TD Receiving: Johnny Williams, 11-135
Northwestern - Passing: C.J. Bacher, 14-31, 226 yds
Rushing: Tyrell Sutton, 16-66, 2 TD. Receiving: Rasheed Ward, 5-60

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Duke is going to be kicking itself. The Northwestern game was there for the taking, but the Wildcats came through with the big stop and the big play and the Blue Devils didn't. The offense moved the ball well with a good ground attack and a nice day from the quarterbacks, Zack Asack did a good job completing all five of his passes for 38 yards, and the offense controlled the ball, holding on to it for 39:15. But nothing came of the late fourth quarter drives and a winnable game got away.

Aug. 30
Duke 31 ... James Madison 7
Tied at seven deep into the first half, Duke got a seven-yard touchdown catch from Eron Riley with five seconds to play to start an unanswered run of 24 points. Riley caught a 20-yard scoring pass in the third quarter while Clifford Harris ran for two one-yard touchdowns. The defense stopped drive after JMU drive and came up with a key goal line stand to get the momentum in the first half.
Player of the game: Duke QB Thaddeus Lewis completed 17 of 28 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns, and ran five times for 28 yards.
Stat Leaders: James Madison - Passing: Rodney Landers, 4-9, 51 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Rodney Landers, 16-96, 1 TD. Receiving: Mike Caussin, 2-28
Duke - Passing: Thaddeus Lewis, 17-28, 141 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Clifford Harris, 17-95, 2 TD. Receiving: Eron Riley, 7-67, 2 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The defense didn't exactly explode on James Madison, cranking out 364 yards, but it was effective over the final 35 minutes. The defense was the real story coming through time and again to get JMU off the field. Duke held the ball for 35:19 and didn't allow JMU to convert a third down chance. QB Thaddeus Lewis was as efficient has he has ever been at the helm.

2008 Recruiting Class

Star of the Class

Sean Renfree QB 6-3, 210, Scottsdale, Ariz. Notre Dame Prep
Four-year letterman at Notre Dame Prep under Scott Bemis ... Selected to the 2008 PARADE All-America team ... Charted as the No. 10 quarterback in the country by Scout.com ... Selected to compete at the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp ... Named Arizona's Big School Class 5A and 4A Player of the Year and to the All-Arizona team as a senior by The Arizona Republic
 ... Chosen as a 2007 PrepNation 101 All-American  ... Earned honorable mention all-state honors and was named Notre Dame Prep's MVP as a junior  ... As a senior, led Notre Dame Prep to a 13-1 record and the 2007 Arizona 4AII state championship  ... Capped prep career by completing 23-of-33 passes for a state championship game record 411 yards and five touchdown passes against Cottonwood Mingus  ... As a senior, completed 197-of-357 passes for 3,353 yards and 41 touchdowns with just six interceptions  ... In junior campaign, threw for 2,483 yards and 25 touchdowns with five interceptions  ... Passed for 1,533 yards and 10 touchdowns as a sophomore.

Potential Instant Impact Players

Lee Butler DB 5-10, 180, Anderson, S.C. Westside
Played for Ted Luckadoo at Westside ... Charted as the No. 80 cornerback in the nation by Scout.com  ... Recorded four tackles and one caused fumble to help South Carolina to a 31-24 victory over North Carolina in the 72nd annual Shrine Bowl on December 15, 2007 in Spartanburg, S.C.  ... All-Area selection by the Anderson Indepdendent-Mail  ... Accounted for 1,263 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior as Westside went 10-3 and advanced to the second round of the South Carolina Class AAAA Division II playoffs.

Jay Hollingsworth RB 5-11, 185 Sanford, N.C., Lee County
Three-year letterman at Lee County under Jody Stouffer ... Represented North Carolina in the 72nd annual Shrine Bowl on December 15, 2007 in Spartanburg, S.C.  ... Two-time all-conference selection   ... As a senior, rushed 157 times for 1,029 yards and 12 touchdowns and earned team offensive player of the year honors  ... In junior season, rushed for 1,048 yards and 12 touchdowns on 123 attempts to earn team MVP honors   ... Gained 492 yards and eight touchdowns on 104 rushing attempts as a sophomore as Lee County went 9-6 and captured district and sectional championships ... Finished career with 2,569 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns ... Also participates in basketball and track and field

Rest of the Class

Jackson Anderson TE 6-4 230 Frisco, TX
Kenny Anunike TE 6-5 230 Lewis Center, OH
Paul Asack K 6-2 205 Westwood, MA
Lee Butler ATH 5-10 168 Anderson, SC
Jordon Byas ATH 6-2 185 Panama City, FL
Matt Daniels DB 6-0 183 Fayetteville, GA
Tony Foster WR 6-2 170 Burlington, NC
Curtis  Hazelton DE 6-2 232 Roswell, GA
Jay Hollingsworth RB 5-11 180 Lee County, NC
Conor Irwin OL 6-5 245 Knoxville, TN
Randez James DB 5-11 175 Chatham, VA
Patrick Kurunwune RB 5-10 200 Austin, TX
Trent Mackey LB 5-9 191 Carencro, LA
Brian Moore OL 6-3 275 Coral Gables, FL
Sean Renfree QB 6-3 201 Scottsdale, AZ
Donovan Varner DB 5-8 160 Miami, FL
Johnny Williams WR 5-11 195 Leroy, AL

2007 Recap

Recap: In Week 3, the Blue Devils snapped a 22-game losing streak at the expense of Northwestern, but that brief bout of jubilation wasn't enough to propel them to another victory.  Or save head coach Ted Roof's job.  Oh, Duke often came close, nearly upsetting Virginia, Navy, Miami, Wake Forest, and North Carolina, yet showed an uncanny knack for coming up short.  Changing that culture of losing, which has persisted for nearly a generation, now belongs to David Cutcliffe, who was hired away from Tennessee to lead the program.

Offensive Player of the Year:
QB Thaddeus Lewis

Defensive Player of the Year: DT Vince Oghobaase

Biggest Surprise: The win at Northwestern on Sept. 15.  When you're Duke, and you haven't won a game in two full years, any victory qualifies as a shocker.  Fueled by a big second quarter and three Lewis touchdown passes, the Blue Devils never trailed, and, for a change, held on for the win when the Wildcats rallied in the fourth quarter.    

Biggest Disappointment: There were so many near misses throughout the year, but the Sept. 22 loss to Navy may have been the most painful.  On a day when the Lewis-to-Eron Riley connection was otherworldly, the Duke D couldn't protect an 11-point, fourth-quarter lead, eventually losing in overtime, 46-43.  Had things ended differently, it was the kind of game that might have been a springboard to a third or fourth victory.

Looking Ahead: Obviously, Cutcliffe has his hands full turning this vessel around.  However, he does inherit a lot of returning regulars, and is no stranger to the sidelines or challenging jobs.  If nothing else, the returns of their top passer, rusher, and receiver means Duke should be fun on offense under Cutcliffe's guidance.


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