Aaron Schoonmaker

Finding meaning in Duke's best win to date

Posted October 12, 2013

Issac Blakeney (17) with the carry for Duke. Navy Midshipmen travel to Durham, N.C. for a Saturday boon game. Duke proves to have too much offense for Navy and prevails 35 to 7. Photo by CHRIS BAIRD

— Saturday’s 35-7 win over Navy was the best game of the David Cutcliffe era. In fact, he said it himself.

His exact words in his postgame press conference were, “I think that’s probably the best game we’ve played as a team since we’ve been here at Duke.”

Really, it is hard to argue from the couch, the stands, the press box or the other sideline.

“We got our butts whooped all the way around,” said Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo. “We got outcoached, we got outplayed. It’s been a long time since we’ve been beat that bad in every phase.” Duke dominates Navy, 35-7 Slideshow: Duke dominates Navy, 35-7

The superlatives could go on and on. But what do they mean? At the end of the day, it was Duke’s fourth win of the year. They still need two to be bowl eligible and are winless in the ACC.

“I want this to mean something,” Cutcliffe said. “And for it to mean something, you have to get better. We just have to keep playing to better our football team and play to the standards we try and set here as a football team.”

The Blue Devils forced three Navy turnovers – including a game-changing fumble at the end of the first half knocked loose by Kenny Anunike as the Midshipmen were knocking on the door. After that, Navy never threatened again and was out-scored 21-0.

“Sweet, sweet, sweet,” Cutcliffe said of the play.

“That play was awesome,” Anunike said. “I remember everything was slowing down in my mind, I saw the quarterback was keeping the ball and I just said ‘go.’”

Duke held the nation’s No. 8 rushing attack, which entered the game averaging 294 yards per game, in check and then-some. Anunike said even though the looks are slightly different, the preparation that carried over from the Georgia Tech game helped. Navy ended the day with 230 yards on the ground, but fumbled twice and with the exception of one big play – a 47-yarder that set up their only score - was held to minimum gains.

Defensively, the Blue Devils played great Saturday, but remember that it is their mulligan game against an option team. They may want a mulligan against a team that throws it around like Pittsburgh did a few weeks back.

On third down, Duke went to half converting 7 of 9 and ended the day 10-for-16. They held a 24-18 edge in first downs. Anthony Boone, who got his first action in four games, went 32-for-39 for a career high 233 yards and three scores.

It is no question – to even the untrained eye – that the offense was much more smooth and in rhythm with Boone under center. That is no knock on Brandon Connette who was more than serviceable as a back-up, but Cutcliffe said it himself, “Anthony earned that spot in camp.”

A balanced attack also helps. Duke ran 37 running plays Saturday to 39 passing plays. The yards-gained was also very close to 2-to-1. That is as balanced as it gets – especially with four running backs. Getting better in that department: Shaquille Powell scored his first career touchdown Saturday and Jela Duncan didn’t even see the field until the second half.

What lies ahead are six shots at two wins - at Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and North Carolina; home for NC State and Miami. All the games are in the ACC and four are in the state of North Carolina. Should they get the two, history awaits them.

“It means a lot to come out and perform, but at the same time it doesn’t mean anything,” said Duke defensive back Jeremy Cash, who hauled in his second interception of the year Saturday. “We are still trying to become the first team in Duke history to go to back-to-back bowls.”

“It’s a great feeling right now,” Anunike said. “We don’t want just two more wins though, we want them all.”

Should they not get two, well, let's just wa

20 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • jabparker4 Oct 14, 10:21 a.m.

    Gotta love Coach Cutt. The man is really building something in Durham. This Navy team is much improved this season, and would likely hasve a good chance to beat any of the teams in North Carolina. When Duke can get their defense going, Boone and co. can really take a game over. I predict 7 wins for Duke this season with wins over UVA, UNC, and Wake.

  • DEVILS1 Oct 13, 9:11 p.m.

    ...loser, keep your expectations as low as you can

    loser, that all u have? U have to be the smartest assshole on here

  • hsiflee Oct 13, 6:48 p.m.

    I failed to mention earlier that it was great to see Boone back and to have the game he did; the... View More

    — Posted by DEVILS1

    ...loser, keep your expectations as low as you can...

  • hsiflee Oct 13, 6:43 p.m.

    the best all-time program in the state just keeps winning.....mmmm, taste good!!! and they... View More

    — Posted by kmorrevenge

    ...Really? Who have they beaten? I wouldn't take a lot of pride in stating Duke is the best in NC, given how bad all of the teams are.Yes, this includes the Bad Devils...

  • kmorrevenge Oct 13, 10:44 a.m.

    the best all-time program in the state just keeps winning.....mmmm, taste good!!! and they... View More

    — Posted by kmorrevenge

    Duke deserves accolades for the way they played today, but c'mon - best ALL TIME???? I don't... View More

    — Posted by Gunnstigator

    Jgunn....don't make me provide the links according to the experts......your a good fan but I... View More

    — Posted by kmorrevenge

    Heelsfan is probably right that if you go in the way back machine and count the teams in the... View More

    — Posted by Gunnstigator

    its cool....don't forget they are also last team in triangle to win an ACC title too....if we didn't count teams from pre-90s, then unc would havealot less titles in b-ball as well.....cant have it both ways.

  • Gunnstigator Oct 13, 10:13 a.m.

    the best all-time program in the state just keeps winning.....mmmm, taste good!!! and they... View More

    — Posted by kmorrevenge

    Duke deserves accolades for the way they played today, but c'mon - best ALL TIME???? I don't... View More

    — Posted by Gunnstigator

    Jgunn....don't make me provide the links according to the experts......your a good fan but I... View More

    — Posted by kmorrevenge

    Heelsfan is probably right that if you go in the way back machine and count the teams in the 40's and the Spurrier years, maaaaybe the best program in the State. Still surprising to me, kmor - and I have to admit that I was wrong.

  • Gunnstigator Oct 13, 10:10 a.m.

    the best all-time program in the state just keeps winning.....mmmm, taste good!!! and they... View More

    — Posted by kmorrevenge

    Duke deserves accolades for the way they played today, but c'mon - best ALL TIME???? I don't... View More

    — Posted by Gunnstigator

    Probably referring to some teams in the 40's. But other than that and the Spurrier years...

    — Posted by heelsforever

    Guess who is who. YOu get three guessess to whih one is Duke and I bet you'll only need one.
    View More

    — Posted by heelsforever

    I'm guessing choice #3 (.486)?

    What impressed me most yesterday was Duke's D. This is supposed to be a good navy team (maybe relative to Navy's previous teams, but still....), and Duke just stifled Navy every time they had the ball. If Duke plays like that, they can beat a lot of ACC teams - not the top tier teams, but still a lot of ACC teams.

  • DurhamDevil Oct 13, 8:32 a.m.

    As a life-long Durham resident and a child of a Duke grad, I have watched many football games in Wallace Wade Stadium. Yesterday's game was as well-played by the Devils as any in the past 40 years.

    The game yesterday, however, is as much history (as in "over and in the past") as any of the games played back in the late '40's and Coach Cut will be the first to tell you that. In the post-game yesterday, he said that nothing stays the same - either you're getting better or you're getting worse. It is that type of coaching mentality that will make Cutcliffe one of the greatest Duke coaches ever.

    I, personally, am very excited about the future of Duke Football.

    GO DEVILS!!!

  • DUKE4EVER Oct 13, 8:10 a.m.

    GO DUKE!!

  • heelsforever Oct 12, 10:02 p.m.

    the best all-time program in the state just keeps winning.....mmmm, taste good!!! and they... View More

    — Posted by kmorrevenge

    Duke deserves accolades for the way they played today, but c'mon - best ALL TIME???? I don't... View More

    — Posted by Gunnstigator

    Probably referring to some teams in the 40's. But other than that and the Spurrier years...

    — Posted by heelsforever

    Guess who is who. YOu get three guessess to whih one is Duke and I bet you'll only need one.

    670-503-54 (.568)

    560-542-55 (.508)

    464-492-31 (.486)

    None very impressive.

More...

 

 

  • NASL: RailHawks vs. Ft. Lauderdale

    Saturday at 7:30 am on WRAL-2

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Durham Bulls vs. Norfolk Tides

    Tonight at 7:05 on 620am

  • MLB: Atlanta Braves at NY Mets

    Saturday at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Sunday at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 91
CHI 86
Final
DUR 6
NOR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
CIN 4
PIT 0
Final
BAL 3
TAM 0
Final
NYY 3
CHC 0
Final
MIL 5
STL 1
Final
ARI 2
NYM 5
Final
PHI 0
ATL 1
Final
NYY 2
CHC 0
Final
DET 2
CLE 3
Final
MIA 3
WAS 6
Final
TEX 3
SEA 2
Final
CWS 4
BOS 6
Final
HOU 4
KAN 6
8:10pm Wednesday
MIN 0
TOR 0
Final
ANA 5
OAK 4
Final
SDP 4
COL 2
Final
SFG 2
LOS 1
1:05pm Today
PHI
ATL
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CLE
 
1:10pm Today
MIN
TOR
 
2:05pm Today
TEX
SEA
 
3:45pm Today
SFG
LOS
 
6:40pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
STL
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIN
TOR
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
BOS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
KAN
 
Final
CHA 91
CHI 86
Final
ORL 86
IND 101
Final
MIL 103
ATL 111
Final
CLE 114
BRK 85
Final
MEM 106
DAL 105
Final
OKC 112
DET 111
Final
NOP 105
HOU 100
Final
SAN 100
LAL 113
Final
MIA 87
PHI 100
Final
NYK 95
TOR 92
Final
MIN 130
UTA 136
Final
BOS 102
WAS 118
Final
DEN 112
GSW 116
Final
POR 110
LAC 104
Final
SAC 99
PHO 104
Final
TAM 4
MON 5
Final
PIT 4
CLB 3
Final
ANA 4
DAL 3
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
PHI
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
9:30pm Tonight
COL
MIN
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
Final
DUR 6
NOR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR