banner
Aaron Schoonmaker

Duke's shutout win marks change fans can believe in

Posted August 31, 2013
Updated September 1, 2013

— For Duke, Saturday’s win over North Carolina Central was a big deal. It was more than a blowout win over an FCS opponent; it was a symbol of change – a change Blue Devils fans can believe in.

Back in 2008, the President of the United States was running on a platform of change and uniting the masses to say, “Yes we can.” At that exact same time, the new head coach at Duke University was preaching change to a down-trodden football program and had the fan base saying … well, there wasn’t much of a fan base.

Saturday marked Duke’s first game since the Belk Bowl in 2012 against Cincinnati. It was game No. 1 of a season that has the potential to propel Duke into uncharted territory as they seek their first ever back-to-back bowl appearance. And after a 45-0 shutout win, the 22,500-plus that filtered out of Wallace Wade Stadium Saturday may very well have been saying unto each other, “yes we can.” Blue Devils blank NC Central, 45-0 Slideshow: Blue Devils blank NC Central, 45-0

“The shutout is something we take pride in,” said junior linebacker Kelby Brown who led the Blue Devils defense against NCCU with seven tackles. “That represents change. That was a program win.”

It was the program’s first shutout win since defeating North Carolina 41-0 in 1989. Since that season, Duke has had more winless seasons (4), than winning seasons (1).

It was their first home shutout since a 3-0 win over Wake Forest in 1978. Since that game, they have been shutout on their own home field eight times.

And you really want change? The last time Duke posted a shutout win by a greater margin was back in 1962 (50-0 over Wake Forest) when the school was still segregated**.

“It was nice to see a shutout,” Cutcliffe, who now has four such games in his career (three while at Ole Miss) said. “In this modern era, it’s difficult to get a shutout and it wasn’t a fluke.”

While NC Central was a lesser opponent to the Blue Devils on paper, and is in the middle of an internal overhaul, they entered the game with a 0-0 mark on both the scoreboard and the standings. (Laugh you might, but just this weekend eight – count them 8 – FCS programs beat FBS schools.)

Physical sign of change: Duke came out in an up-tempo, run-you-ragged style of offense and embraced the role of favorite.

“You could tell they were worn down,” said Brandon Connette, who was 5-for-8 passing for 55 yards and two touchdowns and added 22 yards and a score on the ground.

“I was pleased with our tempo but we were able to slow down when we wanted to, too,” Cutcliffe said, describing the Blue Devils’ ability to dictate the pace of the game for the full 60 minutes.

Duke got touchdowns from six different players Saturday, played five true freshman and out-gained the Eagles by 304 yards on offense (Duke didn’t even gain 304 total yards on offense in two of their games last year). More, Duke showed unprecedented depth for the 101-year-old program and played three deep at some positions – many of which by design regardless of the score.

“We played a lot of people in the first half, which was our intent,” said Cutcliffe whose team entered intermission with a 28-0 lead. “It was really good to see us playing so many in the secondary.”

Speaking of secondary, true freshman Breon Borders hauled in an interception in his first ever game and transfer Jeremy Cash recorded six tackles in his first game as a Blue Devil.

“I was a little anxious, but you can’t get overzealous,” said Cash after the performance.

“He had fun, he was chomping at the bit,” said Cutcliffe shining a little more light on the redshirt junior’s emotional state.

It was just one game, but Duke showed Saturday that last year’s bowl berth was real progress. Eleven games remain to have the faithful believing in real change.

**According to University Archives, Duke University admitted the first six graduate and professional school students in 1961. The first five undergraduates to register for Duke took place in Sept. 1963.

15 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Newest First
View all
  • Toddler10-21 Sep 1, 12:07 a.m.

    You have got to be kidding me? You beat NCCU, and its a great victory? WOW!!

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Sep 1, 7:00 a.m.

    Time will tell if this Duke team is "for real", but this is a great way to start the season.

  • Tar Heels Blue Sep 1, 7:56 a.m.

    One step at a time. A good victory, but I hope Duke doesn't spend too much time on this victory. There are tougher teams on the horizon who will really test them. Congrats nonetheless.

  • Boogalooboy Sep 1, 8:24 a.m.

    We were supposed to win and I'm tickled that we scored as many points as we did while clearing the bench. But for once I have to agree with these Tarheel folks. Proof is in the puddin'... we won't know for sure what we got until we play against better teams... but a W is a W...

    Go Devils...

  • NEVER apologize for being white Sep 1, 1:41 p.m.

    What an absolute joke! Sounds like a liberal campaign slogan!

    If you consider defeating the equivalent of a community college who has no head coach something to feel good about, then that just shows what an utter EMBARRASSMENT your so called program is.

    Change fans can believe in..........BWAAHHHHHHHHHHH HAHAHAHAHAHAHHHHHHAAAAAA HAAAAAAAAA!!!!

  • DurhamDevil Sep 1, 2:19 p.m.

    What an absolute joke! Sounds like a liberal campaign slogan!

    If you consider defeating the... View More

    — Posted by NEVER apologize for being white

    Keep on defending the Constitution, A-hole...so you have the right to speak your mind and show everyone around the world how incredibly pathetic you are.

    GO DEVILS!!!

  • living the dream Sep 1, 2:28 p.m.

    Dukes success in sports as always starts when the pointy ends of the football fall off.
    Thanks to K.
    The end.

  • lawha63 Sep 1, 2:58 p.m.

    Yes, it was Duke shutting out NCCU. It's not often that you see Duke on the field as the bigger more physical team. Yesterday they were. But the Eagles were scrappy and they didn't lay down until maybe the 4th quarter when the heat and humidity had taken it's toll. NCCU made Duke work in the 1st half. All you haters who want to discount that Duke has a good team this year have no credibility. Most of you are probably from those 2 big state schools in the area. You guys continue to live under this illusion that you have great football programs. That is what is most laughable. No one in the state of NC can claim they have arrived. If you watched Clemson and UGA then you know what great teams and a great college football game looks like.

  • Toddler10-21 Sep 1, 3:04 p.m.

    Couldnt agree more. Bowl eligible is what the schools in NC care about. Six wins, and let the bragging rights begin.

  • cjw6105 Sep 1, 4:27 p.m.

    NC Central would be pushed to beat Campbell, IF they could beat them.

    Haters? The reason Duke has been such a dismal program for so long is that while their ACC competition is also nearly as bad, Duke continues to struggle on what has become an uphill climb to the bottom of a mediocre league.

    I don't think any of us State fans live under an illusion that we have a great football program. Ditto for the UNC fans. We may sometimes over-estimate our programs, but we have never under-estimated Duke football. And we don't see 6 wins being something to brag about, especially if they come over the likes of Central, Memphis, Troy, Navy, UVA and Wake Forest.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: until Duke decides to recruit bona-fide FOOTBALL players, especially the kind of quarterbacks they used to get, they'll continue to be mired at the bottom of the ACC.

    Until that happens, Duke would be better suited for the FCS playoffs, and they wouldn't be a lock by any means.

More...

 

 

  • Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Tonight at 11:35 on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Virginia Tech at Wake Forest

    Tomorrow at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Ole Miss at Arkansas

    Tomorrow at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • The Logan Zone

    Sunday at 11:30 am on WRAL-TV

  • HS Playoffs Round 2: Southern Durham at Cleveland

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCSU 79
JVU 43
 
Final
ECU 92
VULYNCH 51
 
Final
DUKE 20
UNC 45
Final
LOS 3
CAR 2
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ORL
 
9:30pm Tonight
DUKE
TEMPL
 
Final
MIA 93
LAC 110
Final
SAC 103
CHI 88
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ORL
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
PHO
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
DET
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
MIL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
BOS
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
WAS
CLE
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
SAN
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
LAL
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
NOP
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
CHI
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
UTA
 
Final
WVU 20
KST 26
Final
DUKE 20
UNC 45
Final
TXST 45
ARKST 27
1:00pm Today
BUF 0
KSU 0
8:00pm Tonight
RICE
UTEP
9:30pm Tonight
SDST
AFA
9:30pm Tonight
UTST
SJST
Final
AKR 66
USC 46
Final
UCONN 65
COC 57
Final
MIAMI 66
DREX 46
Final
BC 69
NMU 65
Final
CHAR 106
PSU 97
Final
MICH 71
DET 62
Final
WMARY 100
BFLD 57
 
Final
USCU 107
BOBJONES 41
 
Final
UCF 76
ECKERD 59
 
Final
PURD 82
GRAM 30
 
Final
NCSU 79
JVU 43
 
Final
RFLSH 102
KEYSTONE 69
 
Final
VCU 106
MDES 66
Final
PROV 88
NAVY 51
 
Final
BRY 72
UNH 63
 
Final
PETE 59
NIAG 61
Final
STET 96
PBAT 85
 
Final
WAGN 83
SUNYWEST 49
 
Final
IOWA 57
TEX 71
Final
TENN 70
TXSOU 58
 
Final
SHU 54
MLOWELL 57
 
Final
ECU 92
VULYNCH 51
 
Final
TENNM 115
CBC 29
 
Final
MD 66
FORD 50
Final
WVU 91
GMAS 65
Final
RAD 61
HOW 52
 
Final
MURST 89
BRESCIA 56
 
Final
VILL 72
BUCK 65
Final
TENST 75
FISK 60
 
Final
HARV 71
FATL 49
Final
MINN 109
FRANKPRCE 57
 
Final
TULA 100
MVSU 61
 
Final
TCU 86
NO 71
 
Final
NW 69
UNF 67
 
Final
LSUALEX 79
NWST 89
 
Final
IND 74
SMU 68
Final
UAB 71
SFLA 73
Final
EILL 61
UCD 63
Final
SAV 59
WINT 58
 
Final
NIOWA 73
MRGST 53
 
Final
MISS 69
SOUTH 38
 
Final
SCAR 69
CORN 45
Final
VANDY 72
LIP 62
 
Final
ARST 68
LMU 44
Final
ALA 81
SMISS 67
Final
GRCN 64
TXARL 66
 
Final
NILL 78
IDAHO 67
Final
CAL 73
SYR 59
Final
GAELS 78
DEN 62
Final
NARZ 73
FRES 52
Final
PAC 81
PACU 56
 
Final
SDST 51
CALST 27
Final
UCLA 107
NICST 74
 
12:00pm Today
COC
TEXAM
 
12:00pm Today
DREX
USC
 
1:30pm Today
GWEBB
CLEM
 
2:30pm Today
MIAMI
AKR
 
2:30pm Today
UCONN
DAY
 
4:00pm Today
NEV
SHU
 
4:30pm Today
VALPO
ARKPB
 
4:30pm Today
LONG
UNCG
 
5:00pm Tonight
WVU
BC
 
5:00pm Tonight
TOWS
CCST
 
5:00pm Tonight
YALE
ILLCH
 
5:00pm Tonight
SYR
IOWA
 
5:30pm Tonight
HAMP
ALCOR
 
6:30pm Tonight
ODU
LSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
KENT
BU
 
7:00pm Tonight
SCAR
CHAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
UVA
GWU
 
7:00pm Tonight
WCU
HIWASSEE
 
7:00pm Tonight
GT
MAST
 
7:00pm Tonight
RIDE
LEH
 
7:00pm Tonight
MSU
LOYC
 
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
MAINE
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
MNTST
 
7:00pm Tonight
GMAS
NMU
 
7:00pm Tonight
BAY
PVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
HOF
USB
 
7:00pm Tonight
OREG
TOL
 
7:00pm Tonight
UGA
TROY
 
7:00pm Tonight
STAN
UNLV
 
7:00pm Tonight
FAIR
WOFF
 
7:00pm Tonight
EMICH
YOUNG
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
COOK
 
7:30pm Tonight
FIU
FLMEM
 
7:30pm Tonight
KSU
SILL
 
7:30pm Tonight
CAL
TEX
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILL
PEAY
 
8:00pm Tonight
ARK
DELST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MCNST
JCHR
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDST
KNST
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKST
UWMIL
 
8:00pm Tonight
LATU
MORE
 
8:00pm Tonight
SDKST
NDAK
 
8:00pm Tonight
XAV
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
UF
LAMON
 
8:30pm Tonight
WAKE
IONA
 
9:00pm Tonight
GRCN
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
COLST
UGST
 
9:00pm Tonight
WASU
IDST
 
9:00pm Tonight
WEBER
ILLST
 
9:00pm Tonight
AUB
LALAF
 
9:00pm Tonight
LOU
MARS
 
9:00pm Tonight
ORST
ORU
 
9:00pm Tonight
CORN
PSU
 
9:00pm Tonight
SD
SHSU
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTAH
UCR
 
9:30pm Tonight
DUKE
TEMPL
 
10:00pm Tonight
CPSL
DEL
 
10:00pm Tonight
AMER
PBY
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
WASH
 
10:30pm Tonight
LBSU
KYST
 
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
PITT
 
Final
PHI 2
MIN 3
Final
OTT 3
NAS 2
Final
MON 4
STL 1
Final
TOR 5
TAM 2
Final
WIN 3
DET 4
Final
DAL 3
ARI 1
Final
CAL 3
CHI 4
Final
COL 2
WAS 3
Final
VAN 3
ANA 4
Final
LOS 3
CAR 2
Final
SJS 2
FLA 3
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
BOS
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
NYI
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF 0
NYR 0
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
NJD
 
Final
OAK 24
KAN 20