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Duke looks for first ever bowl streak

Posted July 23, 2013

The Duke Blue Devils are coming off their first bowl appearance since 1995 and just the program’s ninth in their 117-year history.

David Cutcliffe, the 2012 ACC Coach of the Year, is entering his sixth season with the Blue Devils and believes his team is ready to be the first to appear in consecutive bowl games in school history.

At the ACC Football Kickoff in Greensboro, Cutcliffe said he was happy that he doesn’t have to answer the question about ‘when will the program end their bowl appearance drought.’

Last season, the Blue Devils earned the right to play in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte where their campaign came to an end with a loss to Cincinnati, 48-34.

Duke lost two key offensive starters to graduation from that team, Sean Renfree and Conner Vernon, but Cutcliffe believes the team has enough leadership returning to have a chance at another successful season.

Notable returning offensive players include redshirt junior quarterbacks Anthony Boone and Brandon Connette to go along with Biletnikoff Award Watch List wide receiver Jamison Crowder.

Boone, who is the projected to be the starting quarterback, will replace the Atlanta Falcons’ 2013 seventh round draft pick and three-year starter Renfree. Boone has thrown for 829 yards, six touchdowns, three interceptions and owns a completion percentage of .534 in 22 career games at Duke. The 6-foot signal caller has also rushed for 211 yards on 70 attempts with six touchdowns.

On the other side of the ball, Duke returns redshirt senior cornerback Ross Cockrell, who was named to the 2013 Thorpe and Nagurski Award Watch lists.

Cutcliffe said he has tried in the past to play young, developmental quarterbacks when possible in certain situations. He added it was crucial to play backups in key situations in order to “help youngsters for the future.”

“I feel good that we have two quarterbacks that have played a lot,” Cutcliffe said while joining Mike and Mark on The World Strongest Morning Show on 620 The Buzz Tuesday morning. “This goes back to my raising with coach (Bear) Bryant in a different era. He was going to play more than one quarterback. He played more than one unit because he had the luxury to do it. He was a believer in ‘you’re only as good as your two’s.’”

Cutcliffe said that even after last year’s success, however, his football program is still in the growth stage.

“We are going to constantly change and get better,” Cutcliffe said. “Everything we’ve done, we can’t consider good enough.”

The Duke football program has a 3-6 all-time record in bowl games with their last victory coming at the 1961 Cotton Bowl Classic against Arkansas, 7-6.

Cutcliffe, Boone and the rest of the Blue Devils begin their 2013 campaign against in-state rival North Carolina Central University Aug. 31 at Wallace-Wade Stadium at 4 p.m. The team’s first ACC matchup comes Sept. 14 at home against Georgia Tech.

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  • Sauras69 Jul 27, 4:37 p.m.

    These guys believe now, and this is a major key to keep it going. Duke has a smart coach in Cut, and players will never quit on him and the other coaches. I will never doubt Duke. I hope we can squeak out a win on Oct. 26th. That's all I want.

  • Dudeanonymous Jul 24, 3:52 p.m.

    This could be Duke's best D-Line in a long time, but not it won't be deep. So remaining healthy will be key. The biggest question mark is the secondary. We have a solid All-ACC caliber corner with Ross Cokrell, but the rest is yet to be determined. A lot of young faces and a few hold promise to be good, but they have only seen limited time due to injuries (Helton, Brown).

    It will definitely be our best and deepest O-Line since the Spurrier days. I know some may disagree (just because its Duke football), but I believe this OL will be in the top 5 of the ACC once said and done. And I expect Snead, Duncan, Powell and Thompson to all have great running seasons... another place where we're deep and productive.

    Boone will be an overall better QB than Renfree. Not as accurate, but a dual threat who has a stronger arm for the deep ball to Jamison Crowder and Company.

    Our kicking game will be phenomenal with Ross Martin and Will Monday. Two of the best in the ACC.

    Duke should most definitely end at 6-6, while 7-5 might come if we can stay healthy. Any higher than 7 wins is possible but not very probable, IMO. Hope I'm wrong and we win 8+ but I'm not holding my breath while trying to stay in reality zone as a long time Duke football fan and ticket holder. GO DUKE!

  • schiess Jul 23, 8:41 p.m.

    You duke haters miss the point,coach Cutcllife is one of the best offensive minds in the business,be grateful we can learn a bunch from this guy .i say this from a coaches view.

  • IB4DUKE Jul 23, 7:40 p.m.

    As someone who lives in Durham, I was amused at first with this. When I looked at their... View More

    — Posted by NCSU pays players

    I'm amused at how ignorant you are!

  • IB4DUKE Jul 23, 7:36 p.m.

    As someone who lives in Durham, I was amused at first with this. When I looked at their... View More

    — Posted by NCSU pays players

    check Dukes football roster and get a clue about where the team is from loser.

  • mike honcho Jul 23, 7:29 p.m.

    I'll take the 7 of 9 in the sport both schools care about the most over any football streaks...

    — Posted by 903 PJ suspended til NCAA clears

    me too! 132 - 104 is still the best ticket in town.

    — Posted by tBeast

    Yes, all those extra wins before the last 9 games are great, congratulations.

    Those 132 earlier... View More

    — Posted by 903 PJ suspended til NCAA clears

    Since lipless has been at dook, that's right, for 30 some years, It's UNC 41, dook 40.

    OUCH,... View More

    — Posted by tBeast

    Duke has a streak you can be jealous of, years without an NCCA violation.
    ouch!

  • NCSU pays players Jul 23, 7:14 p.m.

    As someone who lives in Durham, I was amused at first with this. When I looked at their schedule and saw the out-of-conference cupcakes they are playing I see that they might get 6 wins!! I will be pulling for whoever they play ALWAYS. Maybe they could just move the campus to NJ and leave us Southern folks alone.,

  • Boogalooboy Jul 23, 6:08 p.m.

    We are getting better, but we have weaker opponents, I hope we are not scheduling ourselves into a bowl game....before the gigantic conf showed up you didn't have Troys and NCCUs etc, either that could beat up...but regardless i'm excited...

  • PanthersFan45 Jul 23, 5:49 p.m.

    Good luck to Duke this year, I'd like to see the football team return to the Steve Spurrier days.

  • tBeast Jul 23, 5:33 p.m.

    Last time Dook played Lehigh in Basketball they lost - it happens

    — Posted by SportznutV2.0

    I'll take the 7 of 9 in the sport both schools care about the most over any football streaks...

    — Posted by 903 PJ suspended til NCAA clears

    me too! 132 - 104 is still the best ticket in town.

    — Posted by tBeast

    Yes, all those extra wins before the last 9 games are great, congratulations.

    Those 132 earlier... View More

    — Posted by 903 PJ suspended til NCAA clears

    Since lipless has been at dook, that's right, for 30 some years, It's UNC 41, dook 40.

    OUCH, that's got to hurt?

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