Blog: Duke blanks NC Central, 45-0
Posted August 31, 2013
Durham, N.C. — FINAL: Duke 45, NC Central 0: The Duke Blue Devils recorded their first shutout since 1989 as they routed cross-town foe NC Central Saturday, 45-0.
6:31 4th; Duke 45, NC Central 0: An 8-play drive ended with a 39-yard field goal by Ross Martined who attoned for an early miss and Duke now leads 45-0.
End of 3: Duke 42, NC Central 0
:37 3rd; Duke 42, NC Central 0: Issac Blakeney caught a 19-yard touchdown pass becoming the sixth different Blue Devils player to find the end zone today as Duke leads 42-0.
4:59 3rd; Duke 35, NC Central 0: Jela Duncan got into the scoring mix for Duke with a 3-yard TD run. He becomes the first running back to find the endzone for the Blue Devils today.
8:00 3rd; Duke 28, NC Central 0: The teams have traded punts to start the second half and Duke continues to lead NC Central 28-0.
HALF; Duke 28, NC Central 0: In the final seconds of the first half, NC Central kicker Oleg Parent missed a field goal wide left. Duke then took a knee and went to half with a 4-TD advantage.
At the half, Duke holds a 272-106 edge in total yards and transfer safety Jeremy Cash leads the Blue Devils with 5 tackles (1 for a 10-yd. loss).
4:09 2nd; Duke 28, NC Central 0: Anthony Boone scored on a 1-yard keeper to put the Blue Devils up 28-0.
The drive was extended after a fumble was reviewed and overturned. The Blue Devils then converted a third and long play on a miscue by NC Central corner Cameron Hughes.
Duke is outgaining the Eagles by more than 200 yards and have scored on all but their opening drive when they missed a field goal.
10:05 2nd; Duke 21, NC Central 0: Brandon Connette powered ahead for a 1-yard TD and Duke has extended their lead on NC Central to 21-0.
It was the second TD of the game for Connette who threw for one in the first quarter.
End of 1: Duke 14, NC Central 0
:18 1st; Duke 14, NC Central 0: Jamison Crowder gave the Duke offense an extended breather as he returned the NC Central punt for a 76-yard touchdown, putting the Blue Devils up 14-0.
The return was the 7th longest in Duke history. He now has 101 yards on two returns in the first quarter today.
5:09 1st; Duke 7, NC Central 0: Brandon Connette play-faked and completed a 3-yard pass to Braxton Deaver for a touchdown to put Duke up 7-0. Boone was split wide on the play.
Connette has been in at QB for three plays - 2 runs and a pass.
Scoring drive: 7 plays, 43 yards
10:02 1st; Duke 0, NC Central 0: Ross Martin misses a 38-yard field goal attempt wide right and an otherwise productive drive by Duke nets nothing.
On the drive, Duke gained 55 yards on 12 plays (5 pass, 7 rush). Anthony Boone was 4-for-5 passing with the lone incompletion coming on a drop on 3rd down.
15:00 1st: It is a late-arriving crowd on a hot, muggy day at Wallace Wade Stadium. Duke is sporting their blue helmets with white pants and blue tops against NC Central's standard maroon helmets and pants with white tops.
Of note in warm-ups, Duke kicker Jack Willoughby was consistent from 60 yards with plenty of room to spare.
Led by new quarterback Anthony Boone, the Duke Blue Devils will begin their quest for a second consecutive bowl trip Saturday afternoon when they welcome crosstown rival North Carolina Central to Wallace Wade Stadium.
Sporting his deepest team yet, sixth-year head coach David Cutcliffe said in early August that the 2013 Blue Devils have more "natural leadership than ever."
While Boone will provide much of that leadership for the Duke offense, it's the defense that could make or break the pursuit of a third bowl trip since 1994. The Blue Devils put an emphasis on their defense in the offseason after injuries throughout the unit led to breakdowns in several games late in 2012.
Duke allowed at least 41 points in five of its last six games, and the season culminated with numerous defensive lapses in a 48-34 loss to Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl. The Blue Devils ranked 10th or worse in the Atlantic Coast Conference in all four of the major defensive categories.
The heart of the Blue Devil defense in 2013 will be a front six that features three redshirt seniors — including sixth-year end Kenny Anunike — and three redshirt juniors.
Their goal is to generate pressure and take some heat off a secondary in which Cockrell, a preseason all-ACC pick, is one of only two senior starters. Four freshmen — one redshirt and three first-year players — appear on the depth chart as possible backups at cornerback.
Offensively, Boone's athletic ability could produce more opportunities for the Blue Devils to add some zone-read principles to their offense and stay balanced.
Coaching change lingers over start of NCCU's season
For the Eagles, who finished 2012 at 6-5, the transition of a coaching change just weeks before the start of the season could hang heavy on Saturday.
Former head coach Henry Frazier III was fired Aug. 22 after he was suspended following an arrest for violating a domestic protective order. Frazier has since appealed that decision to the university and started a process that will involve Chancellor Debra Saunders-White.
Court documents show Frazier was arrested after making contact with his estranged wife, LaNier Turner-Frazier, on Aug. 12, a violation of a court order.
Frazier was sidelined for much of summer 2012 after his initial arrest, which stemmed from domestic dispute with his wife in May 2012. He was suspended with pay for over two months following the incident.
Dwayne Foster, who joined Frazier's staff in 2011 as an assistant coach, will serve as the interim coach during the 2013 season. Foster is also the recruiting coordinator and offensive line coach for the Eagles.