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Ryan Craig

Cutcliffe continues to make in-state impression

Posted July 30, 2009

When David Cutcliffe arrived in Durham two years ago, Duke had only 11 North Carolina prep players on its roster and even fewer in-state inroads on which to try and build a program.

Since then, it’s been clear that the new regime has had one goal in mind – let people know there are three division one football schools in the Triangle, not two.

While it has been, and likely always will be, a struggle, it is clear that progress is being made – on and off the field.

Four wins in 2008, while a modest amount for most, represented a breakout year at Wallace Wade Stadium.

Winning battles for in-state recruits against Butch Davis at North Carolina and Tom O’Brien at N.C. State?

That’s more like a coup.

Davis and O’Brien are spectacular coaches that have their programs on the rise and both will one day have their teams in the nation’s top-10 - but neither had the reclamation project on their hands that Cutcliffe inherited upon his arrival in the Old North State.

So how has the soon to be 55-year old head coach managed to wedge Duke back into the Triangle football conversation? By having events like the one that took place Thursday night at the Tobacco Road Café in Raleigh.

 For two hours, in one sports bar, Duke was king – right in the middle of N.C. State country.

 Cutcliffe, a man who knows and speaks honestly about the magnitude of the challenge he has in front of him, joked that he was happy to see Duke fans coming “out of the woodwork.”

Let’s be honest - O’Brien is not likely to be threatened by the Blue Devils’ brief appearance in his territory. After all, if the former Boston College head man wanted to have an event there, they’d probably have to blockade the entire street to accommodate all of the people.

But, the mere fact that Duke football can pack out a place like that 30 minutes away from campus, or the thought to even try, is a clear sign things aren’t as they recently were in the Duke football realm.

For the Duke fans that were in downtown Raleigh Thursday night, and those anywhere else for that matter, that’s a very good thing.

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  • Hokies94 Aug 1, 2:03 p.m.

    I like his discipline. He is tough on his players and he should be. They were fat, and out of shape. They gave up when they were down two TD's, before he got there. The team is going to get better, but I wonder how long it will take to truly become a force.

  • Gunnstigator Jul 31, 7:35 a.m.

    I'm a Carolina fan, but I couldn't be happier for the success Coach Cut has had. He is such a classy guy and is working very hard to give Duke credibility and respect. He has a Herculean task ahead of him, but he looks to be up to the job. Good for him!

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Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
3rd
ECU 42
UNC 20
 
1st
TOWSN 0
NCCU 0
 
1st
NCSU 0
PRES 0
 
Final
KAN 2
DET 3
Final
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7th
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BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
 
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
 
Final
AKR 17
MARS 48
 
4th
WAKE 17
ARMY 21
 
3rd
KU 10
CMICH 9
 
3rd
ALA 21
UF 21
 
2nd
FIU 0
LOU 21
 
3rd
ECU 42
UNC 20
 
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NAVY 17
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4th
SMU 3
TEXAM 48
 
4th
MICH 10
UTAH 23
 
3rd
BYU 27
UVA 16
 
3rd
WYO 10
FATL 13
 
3rd
MIZZ 17
IND 17
 
3rd
PSU 41
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3rd
MINN 17
SJST 7
 
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SDST
1st
TOWSN 0
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1st
NCSU 0
PRES 0