banner
Joe Ovies

Talking Points: Crown Cutcliffe as Coach of the Year

Posted December 1, 2013

1. Duke wrapped up the first 10-win season in school history and claimed the Coastal Division with a 27-25 win over North Carolina. Like so many times in their eight-game winning streak to close out the regular season, the Blue Devils earned a trip to the ACC Championship by being the better team in the second half. 

Duke's gut-wrenching victories included 35 unanswered points against Virginia, keeping Virginia Tech out of the end zone, a 17-point fourth quarter against Miami and game-breaking interceptions in the fourth quarter against NC State and Wake Forest. Going into their contest against North Carolina, the Blue Devils had given up only 34 points in the fourth quarter. When kicker Thomas Moore gave the Tar Heels a 25-24 lead early in the final quarter of Saturday's contest, it was the first points Duke had allowed in the fourth quarter since the NC State game on November 9th.

The word "clutch" gets tossed out there way too often in sports punditry, but there really is no other way to describe Duke at this point. 

While everyone else used last season's post-bowl eligibility collapse and brutal loss to Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl to assume more of the same this year, the Blue Devils used it as motivation to never have that sour taste in their mouths again.

2. The argument for David Cutcliffe to win ACC Coach of the Year is simple enough. The head coach guided Duke to 10 wins. 

Sure, Jimbo Fisher oversaw an undefeated regular season at Florida State. And yes, the Seminoles absolutely destroyed their ACC competition. However, it could be argued their success came from the emergence of quarterback Jameis Winston and not from the guy wearing a headset on the sideline. 

While saying "10 wins at Duke" should be the "drops microphone" moment in any ACC Coach of the Year debate, it's important to note how Cutcliffe had his team truly believing in the process and watched them grow more confident as the season progressed. The Blue Devils lived in the fourth quarter because of that confidence. It's a testament to great coaching.

Attempts have been made to cover Duke's winning streak with shade. Skeptics immediately point out the poor records or glaring deficiencies of the competition in the Blue Devils' path to Charlotte. It's unfortunate and misses the real success of Cutcliffe's season at Duke.

The Blue Devils cashed in opportunities while the rest of the conference ate itself.

It's what Wake Forest did in 2006 when Florida State was in the twilight years of Bobby Bowden and Clemson couldn't get out of its own way under Tommy Bowden. It's what NC State failed to do in 2010 when a win over Maryland at the end of the season would have locked up a trip the ACC Championship. It's what North Carolina could have done this season had there not been a 1-5 start thanks in large part to self-inflicted damage.

3. Now that we're done praising Duke for their historic season, time for a splash of cold water to the face.

4. Credit to North Carolina for stabilizing their year and finishing with a 6-6 record. However, it's tough to shake the feeling the Tar Heels could have accomplished more than just a lower-tier bowl this season.

 

A few missed opportunities and mistakes loomed large throughout the game. Quarterback Marquise Williams threw an interception to start the second half, which lead to a Duke touchdown. On the following drive,  wide receiver T.J. Logan dropped what would have been a touchdown. The Tar Heels had to settle for a 25-24 lead after a field goal following Russell Bodine's 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. 

While North Carolina was 3-for-4 on fourth down conversions, they were 2-for-12 on third down conversions. The Tar Heels did not convert a third down on their first eight opportunities.

Then came the final drive of the game, where UNC had 2:22 left on the clock and two timeouts remaining. The Tar Heels never looked comfortable executing and Williams eventually threw an interception to Duke's DeVon Edwards to ice the game. 

5. NC State ended their forgettable 2013 campaign with an eight-game losing streak and couldn't avoid going winless in conference play for the first time since 1959. There is a list of issues facing head coach Dave Doeren, most importantly at quarterback, but that's another set of talking points for another day. When a program goes in a totally new direction with its coaching staff, this was a potential blunder along the way.

...so you're saying there's a chance?

70 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • GunnyGoesBaaaarf Dec 3, 4:48 p.m.

    If the national coach of the were to be voted on like american idol I'm sure you guys would... View More

    — Posted by PricelessGemUNC

    You watch American Idol?

    — Posted by DEVILS1

    His bumper sticker reads "I Watch American Idol, And I Vote!"

    — Posted by Hammerhead

    That certainly explains a lot in Washington:)

  • Hammerhead Dec 2, 9:14 p.m.

    Hammerhead-- I'm with you on that!!! I must admit that I love our "technology"... View More

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    I love technology, since I have been playing with cutting edge analytical equipment for the past... View More

    — Posted by Hammerhead

    amen! Amen!! AMEN!!!

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    Wow! This thread turned ghey! Seems like a bunch of tree huggers on here!

    — Posted by PricelessGemUNC

    Your opinion is very important to us. Please keep up the excellent work.

  • PricelessGemUNC Dec 2, 9:08 p.m.

    The constant references to TV, movies, music, popular culture, technology, etc and the gossip... View More

    — Posted by Hammerhead

    Hammerhead-- I'm with you on that!!! I must admit that I love our "technology"... View More

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    I love technology, since I have been playing with cutting edge analytical equipment for the past... View More

    — Posted by Hammerhead

    amen! Amen!! AMEN!!!

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    Wow! This thread turned ghey! Seems like a bunch of tree huggers on here!

  • Objective Scientist Dec 2, 8:08 p.m.

    venombee - seems you should be a GA Tech fan with that moniker. No one has enjoyed sports more... View More

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    The constant references to TV, movies, music, popular culture, technology, etc and the gossip... View More

    — Posted by Hammerhead

    Hammerhead-- I'm with you on that!!! I must admit that I love our "technology"... View More

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    I love technology, since I have been playing with cutting edge analytical equipment for the past... View More

    — Posted by Hammerhead

    amen! Amen!! AMEN!!!

  • Hammerhead Dec 2, 7:55 p.m.

    use, you need to pay more attention the CF. Espn already crowned The Auburn coach.

    — Posted by PricelessGemUNC

    venombee - seems you should be a GA Tech fan with that moniker. No one has enjoyed sports more... View More

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    The constant references to TV, movies, music, popular culture, technology, etc and the gossip... View More

    — Posted by Hammerhead

    Hammerhead-- I'm with you on that!!! I must admit that I love our "technology"... View More

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    I love technology, since I have been playing with cutting edge analytical equipment for the past 27 years, and have to laugh at someone who calls themself a "techno geek" because they have the latest electronic bell and/or whistle. That's not really what I would consider complicated. I just choose not to be connected other than the internet, because when I'm out in the woods, paddling, working on my house or in my yard, I'd rather have no distractions other than the task at hand. I'll take a chain saw, kayak, fishing gear or bicycle over another of the latestest devices any day.

  • Objective Scientist Dec 2, 5:44 p.m.

    Who would be other viable candidates for COY? I don't have time to research that and... View More

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    use, you need to pay more attention the CF. Espn already crowned The Auburn coach.

    — Posted by PricelessGemUNC

    venombee - seems you should be a GA Tech fan with that moniker. No one has enjoyed sports more... View More

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    The constant references to TV, movies, music, popular culture, technology, etc and the gossip... View More

    — Posted by Hammerhead

    Hammerhead-- I'm with you on that!!! I must admit that I love our "technology" we have today. I have a couple of laptop computers... which I use primarily for my work. I have an iPad and an iPhone 5... each of which I use for both work and personal communications and obtaining information. However, I have no hesitation to turn them all off and go fishing... playing one of our many ball games, etc, etc. I do not feel I have to be permanently teathered to my electronic devices and that every call, every text... or whatever, has to be responded to immediately! TV...? Yes, I enjoy my large HD TV. Compared to the TV picture quality when I was a kid and a young adult, and past... it is amazing! But... I do not literally waste time watching a continual series of silly sitcoms or talking heads programs about sports. If it is a truly nice day outside... you will not find me inside in front of the TV. It is great technology and there are a lot of positive things to our electronic high-tech devices, but in some ways those devices are the worse things to ever happen to us. Those who "stare" at the screens all day... are often putting themselves and others in danger, even outside of a motor vehicle - and they are missing out on the world around them!!!

  • PricelessGemUNC Dec 2, 10:04 a.m.

    On a serious note. Sorry to hear about Cutcliffe being hospitalized this evening.

    — Posted by PricelessGemUNC

    Sick and sad individual you are.

    — Posted by DUKE4EVER

    Only wishful thinking. lol

  • Hammerhead Dec 2, 8:59 a.m.

    Who would be other viable candidates for COY? I don't have time to research that and... View More

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    use, you need to pay more attention the CF. Espn already crowned The Auburn coach.

    — Posted by PricelessGemUNC

    venombee - seems you should be a GA Tech fan with that moniker. No one has enjoyed sports more... View More

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    The constant references to TV, movies, music, popular culture, technology, etc and the gossip topic du jour leads me to beleive that the local guys have spent their entire lives staring at screens or electronic devices. I am blissfully out of that loop.

  • Hammerhead Dec 2, 8:38 a.m.

    If the national coach of the were to be voted on like american idol I'm sure you guys would... View More

    — Posted by PricelessGemUNC

    You watch American Idol?

    — Posted by DEVILS1

    His bumper sticker reads "I Watch American Idol, And I Vote!"

  • DEVILS1 Dec 2, 8:30 a.m.

    Malzahn's Tigers put him in contention with two miracle game ending plays. Without them,... View More

    — Posted by Ken D.

    There should be votes for Saban, for fighting to get that extra second put back on the clock in... View More

    — Posted by GunnyGoesBaaaarf

    Cutcliffe should win ACC & National Coach of the year; Auburn or 'Bama could hire me... View More

    — Posted by DEVILS1

    Oh, I agree about Cut being COY. I was being sarcastic about Saban. 'Ol Nick did open the... View More

    — Posted by GunnyGoesBaaaarf

    Oh, I know...just generally speaking. The 'Bama coach had to have that one second.

More...

 

 

  • CBB: North Carolina vs. Ohio State

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: UCLA vs Kentucky

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego at San Francisco

    Saturday at 8:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Cleveland

    Monday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: NC State vs. Tennessee

    Tonight at 7:00 on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Toronto

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Duke vs. UConn

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 620am

  • WBB: Duke vs. UMass Lowell

    Friday at 6:30 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
NCCU
BASC
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
PHO
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
TENN
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
ATL
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
PHO
7:30pm Tonight
DET
DAL
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
ORL
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
UTA
8:00pm Tonight
TOR
BRK
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
MEM
10:00pm Tonight
POR
MIL
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
HOU
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
IND
Final
UNT 78
LANG 65
 
Final
Terriers 64
DELST 72
 
7:00pm Tonight
MSST
ARKST
7:00pm Tonight
NCCU
BASC
 
7:00pm Tonight
GMAS
CATAWBA
 
7:00pm Tonight
WOFF
CSOU
 
7:00pm Tonight
HIGH
FERR
 
7:00pm Tonight
JVU
GWEBB
 
7:00pm Tonight
ILL
HAMP
 
7:00pm Tonight
BST
JMU
 
7:00pm Tonight
YOUNG
KNST
 
7:00pm Tonight
UMO
LONG
 
7:00pm Tonight
PITT
MAN
7:00pm Tonight
OSU
NCAT
7:00pm Tonight
FSU
UNF
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOL
RMU
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAMP
SIUE
 
7:00pm Tonight
DUQ
RFLSH
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
TENN
7:30pm Tonight
UCF
DET
7:30pm Tonight
UNCW
LIB
 
8:00pm Tonight
LOYC
ABCHRIST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MURST
ALCOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
ARKPB
 
8:00pm Tonight
NW
CMICH
8:00pm Tonight
WKENT
CHIST
 
8:00pm Tonight
ODU
UGST
8:00pm Tonight
SMU
ILLCH
8:00pm Tonight
LALAF
MLGN
 
8:00pm Tonight
TULSA
MIZST
8:00pm Tonight
UWGB
MORE
 
8:00pm Tonight
NEOM
NCOL
 
8:00pm Tonight
TTU
SCST
 
8:00pm Tonight
DEN
TAMCC
 
8:00pm Tonight
STEPH
TXST
 
8:00pm Tonight
STLU
TXPA
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
USCU
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILLST
TENNM
 
9:00pm Tonight
MSU
EMICH
9:00pm Tonight
GRCN
INCWORD
 
9:00pm Tonight
STAN
LMU
9:00pm Tonight
BAY
NMST
 
9:00pm Tonight
CIN
SDST
9:00pm Tonight
AUB
WINT
 
10:00pm Tonight
NMU
CARK
 
10:00pm Tonight
PEPP
HOW
 
10:00pm Tonight
CPSL
NE
 
10:30pm Tonight
UNLV
PORT
11:00pm Tonight
OREG
CSNO
11:00pm Tonight
WASH
GRAM
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
OTT
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
BOS
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
DAL