banner
Mike Maniscalco

Duke football getting past 'respectable' moniker

Posted August 30, 2014
Updated August 31, 2014

— What a difference a few years makes. Three years ago I sat in the Duke press box as the Blue Devils struggled with Richmond of the (then or now or whatever college football calls their divisions) FCS to open the 2011 season.

It was a Duke team that was starting to turn the corner, but a few missed field goals and few more missed opportunities and the Blue Devils were beat by the Spiders 23-21. That night, the difference between the two programs was not as clear as it should have been. The first week of the college season, it should be easy to notice the separation between the ACC team and a non D-I opponent.

Fast forward to 2014. This edition of David Cutcliffe’s Blue Devils were better than their I-AA counterpart -- Elon -- in every way. The 52-13 final score didn't even tell the full story.

Duke is coming off a Coastal division title and looked every bit the team that should handle their opponent. It wasn’t a perfect game, but the Blue Devils had the advantage at every position, had the better athletes and had the better of play all night against the over-matched Phoenix.

The starters dictated play and Duke was clearly the more physical of the two teams. Duke’s back-ups were aggressive and the Blue Devils didn’t miss too much of a step as the reserves entered the game. Duke had talent three years ago, but the depth wasn’t there. Saturday night, there was no drop in play when the second, and even some cases third, string entered the game.

Duke has become more than respectable, they have become viable. That doesn’t mean that this team will reach the ACC title game again, but there is no reason not to doubt the Blue Devils reaching another bowl game and being one of the teams that has a hand in the Coastal Division race. Some might want to write-off last season as just an ACC thing, but that would be foolish. 

Yes, this is only a game against Elon, but it has been less than a decade since Duke football couldn’t win a game against anyone. Now they are favored to beat teams by almost five touchdowns.

While the Vegas line is not a “true” measuring stick, we are talking about Duke football -- an entity that hadn’t been relevant to the college scene in almost 20 years.

Three years ago, Duke fans were hoping that they wouldn’t have to worry about a loss against a I-AA opponent. It has taken time, and David Cutcliffe will tell you it started on Day 1, seven years ago when he arrived in Durham. Duke has become a football program: Not a school with a team, but an honest-to-goodness football program.

A demolition of Elon is generally something that most football fans wouldn’t even blink at, it is something that good teams are supposed to do. Saturday night, that is exactly what Duke did.

 

5 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • hokiesvt94@gmail.com Aug 31, 2014

    Coach Cut put this team on the map last season. VT gave them one by missing two FG's. The past is History. I believe that Cut motivates as well as any coach out there. They have made teams/coaches prepare like all of the rest of their perspective schedules, too. These young athletes believe in themselves.

  • mittnfriends Aug 31, 2014

    In the first 12 years of this century Duke won a total of 25 games. In the past 2 years they've won a total of 16 games. 25/12=2.083... 16/2=8.

    Get a grip, y'all... coming on here all cynical like someone said Duke football is a powerhouse. It's all relative; Duke was arguably the worst team in D1 football for 12+ years and now they're having a little success. That is news worthy whether you hate Duke or not.

  • snapjack Aug 31, 2014

    Non of the schools around here should talk schedules

  • Toddler10-21 Aug 31, 2014

    LOL. Really Elon and Troy next week. You suppose to kill them. These type of teams did use to beat Duke or play them close. All that matters around here is winning six.

  • White Is Not A Crime Aug 31, 2014

    "A demolition of Elon is generally something that most football fans wouldn't even blink at,"

    But here you are, acting like puke has gained respect by beating them. Hey Mike, next week they play Troy! That will give you some additional material for another feel good story! That's right, TROY!
    It's called scheduling your way to respectability, but it's a sham. And everyone knows it.

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Tomorrow at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Minnesota

    Tonight at 8:00 on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
MIN
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
TOR
 
Final
DET 4
ATL 6
 
Final
TAM 2
BAL 3
 
Final
PIT 1
NYY 2
 
Final
HOU 6
PHI 3
 
Final
MIA 1
STL 4
 
Final
SFG 8
CHC 6
 
Final
CIN 3
CLE 9
 
Final
CWS 1
LOS 6
 
Final
ANA 3
MIL 2
 
Final
CHC 2
OAK 2
 
Final
SEA 9
SDP 4
 
Final
KAN 5
TEX 4
 
Final
ARI 4
COL 3
 
Final
WAS 5
NYM 4
 
Final
MIN 9
BOS 8
 
Final
BAL 5
TOR 0
 
1:05pm Today
STL
HOU
 
1:05pm Today
BOS
MIA
 
1:05pm Today
TAM
MIN
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
ATL
WAS
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
BAL
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
DET
 
3:05pm Today
SDP
CWS
 
3:05pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
3:05pm Today
CLE
KAN
 
3:05pm Today
MIL
LOS
 
3:05pm Today
TEX
SFG
 
3:05pm Today
LOS
SEA
 
3:10pm Today
ANA
COL
 
3:10pm Today
ARI
OAK
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
PIT
 
Final
CHI 108
OKC 105
Final
POR 94
DAL 75
7:00pm Tonight
IND
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
MIA
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
SAC
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
TOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
UTA
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
CLE
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
BOS
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
LAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
BRK
PHO
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
DEN
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
DAL
 
Final
MDES 89
MRGST 76
 
Final
SIENA 71
NIAG 54
Final
LEH 62
AMER 68
 
Final
SCAR 74
ARK 78
Final
LAF 89
BU 64
 
Final
PETE 63
FAIR 33
Final
BUCK 90
HC 83
 
Final
UNF 71
LIP 57
 
Final
TENNM 65
MORE 76
Final
COL 72
NAVY 62
 
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
FATL 62
UAB 59
Final
FLGC 62
USCU 63
 
Final
CHAR 84
WKENT 88
Final
MINN 63
WISC 76
Final
MIZST 48
SILL 55
Final
COPST 92
DELST 104
 
Final
FIU 59
MTST 54
Final
HAMP 69
NORST 80
 
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
Final
COOK 72
SCST 62
 
Final
APP 67
TXST 64
 
Final
GSOUT 76
TXARL 64
 
Final
LAMON 50
UGST 58
 
Final
ODU 67
MARS 50
Final
TXSA 74
RICE 76
Final
FAM 64
SAV 57
 
Final
LATU 72
SMISS 61
Final
JST 72
ALAAM 54
 
Final
GRAM 46
ALAST 78
 
Final
TXSOU 94
ALCOR 73
 
Final
NICST 77
CARK 70
 
Final
TAMCC 85
HOUB 72
 
Final
NARZ 58
PORST 51
 
Final
LAM 61
SHSU 67
 
Final
ARKST 76
SALA 81
 
Final
PVU 73
SOUTH 77
 
Final
LALAF 75
ARKLR 69
 
Final
NO 85
SELA 79
 
Final
INCWORD 64
ABCHRIST 52
 
9:00pm Thursday
MVSU 0
ARKPB 0
 
Final
ARZ 99
CAL 60
Final
WASH 47
COL 64
Final
WEBER 74
IDAHO 63
 
Final
UCONN 53
MEM 54
Final
UTEP 83
UNT 60
Final
STEPH 92
NWST 66
 
Final
SUTAH 69
SACST 65
 
Final
DAVID 82
VCU 55
Final
IDST 81
EWASH 85
 
Final
QUIN 74
MAR 80
Final
BEL 97
EILL 64
Final
DRAK 50
BRAD 52
Final
LBSU 69
CSNO 58
 
Final
UCI 68
CSFU 62
 
Final
UCD 61
UCR 59
 
Final
ARST 67
STAN 62
Final
WASU 59
UTAH 67
12:00pm Today
MVSU
ARKPB
 
12:00pm Today
CSOU
LONG
 
1:05pm Today
WICHS
SILL
 
2:00pm Today
RAD
WINT
 
3:35pm Today
ILLST
EVAN
 
6:00pm Tonight
HIGH
GWEBB
 
6:00pm Tonight
UNCG
SAMF
 
6:00pm Tonight
ELON
TOWS
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
AKR
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
BGU
 
7:00pm Tonight
DART
BRO
 
7:00pm Tonight
WMICH
CMICH
 
7:00pm Tonight
PENN
CLMB
 
7:00pm Tonight
PRIN
CORN
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
ILLCH
 
7:00pm Tonight
OHIO
UMO
 
7:00pm Tonight
BST
NILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
EMICH
TOL
 
7:05pm Tonight
NIOWA
BRAD
 
7:30pm Tonight
MURST
MORE
 
8:00pm Tonight
CCAR
UNCA
 
8:00pm Tonight
HARV
YALE
 
8:30pm Tonight
DREX
COC
 
8:30pm Tonight
CITA
FUR
 
9:00pm Tonight
USF
PAC
 
9:00pm Tonight
BAY
TTU
 
9:30pm Tonight
EKENT
BEL
 
9:30pm Tonight
CLST
DET
 
9:35pm Tonight
INDST
LOYC
 
11:30pm Tonight
SCU
LMU
 
Final
BOS 3
CAL 4
Final
WAS 1
MIN 2
Final
PHI 3
STL 1
Final
FLA 3
DAL 4
Final
TAM 4
TOR 2
Final
NAS 3
NYI 4
Final
ARI 3
VAN 2
Final
LOS 4
MON 3
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
BUF
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
CAL
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
EDM
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
PIT