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Caulton Tudor

Win at Wake Cutcliffe's most impressive yet

Posted November 25, 2013

David Cutcliffe, Duke, A: Sounds strange, but the 28-21 win at Wake Forest probably rates as the most impressive performance yet by Cutcliffe and his staff.

Coming on the heels of the startling show against Miami, the trip to Winston was an obvious trap game that soon become even more of a challenge when the desperate Deacons (coming off a bye week) jumped to a 14-0 lead.

A Duke football team probably hadn’t been under such pressure since a late-season 35-26 win over N.C. State in 1989.

It was just another remarkable job of button-pushing and game management by Cutcliffe, allowing the Devils to go to UNC this week with a chance to extend the dream.

Previous grades: Five As, 3 Bs, one C, one D.

Ruffin McNeill, ECU, A: Tulane’s Curtis Johnson is likely to edge McNeill, Marshall’s Doc Holliday and Rice’s Dave Bailiff in the Conference USA coach of the year race, but McNeill would be a deserving winner regardless of what happens Friday (noon) at Marshall.

The 42-21 win at N.C. State got skewed to some extent late but was another example of how much McNeill’s decision to bring in defensive coordinator Rick Smith has improved the program.

Marshall (6-1, 8-3) will enter the East Division title game with a quarterback in stride with ECU’s prolific Shane Carden, who has passed for 3,575 yards and 32 touchdowns with seven interceptions. The Herd’s Rakeem Cato has passed for 3,042 yards and 32 TDs with seven picks.

The Friday weather forecast for Huntington (W.Va.) is for a high of 40 degrees and clear skies, meaning it will be the first abnormally cold game for ECU all season. Marshall is an early 3-point favorite.

Previous grades: Five As, three Bs, one C, one D.

Dave Doeren, NCSU, C: It’s all basically irrelevant at this point, but most 3-7 teams would have completely bagged it if an in-state rival invaded, gobbled up tickets and thoroughly dominated the game for three quarters.

The Wolfpack didn’t and was able to make it reasonably respectable by scoring three touchdowns in the fourth quarter against the Pirates.

Previous grades: Three Bs, one C, six Ds.

Larry Fedora, UNC, A: The 80-20 win over Old Dominion was much like the wins over Elon (62-0) and Idaho (66-0) in 2012 – good for morale, great for the stat sheets but difficult to put into any significant context.

It is clear that the offense has made the adjustment from Bryn Renner to Marquise Williams at quarterback and freshmen T.J. Logan and Ryan Switzer are going to be genuine standouts.

Yet, the defense is still something of a mystery even after 11 games.

ODU’s Gerard Johnson quietly rushed for 143 yards on nine carriers and teammate Colby Goodwyn added 57 more on 10 attempts.

It’s just been a strange season. On one hand, the Heels held Boston College’s Andre Williams to 55 yards in an easy 34-10 win on Oct. 26 but then gave up 212 yards rushing at N.C. State a week later in a 27-19 win.  But add it all up and Fedora’s second team is 6-5 with five-game win streak that began after four straight losses.

Previous grades: Four As, one B, one C, four Ds.

Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers, B: The Panthers were hardly sharp offensively but at least got it together in the final minutes and escaped Miami with a 20-16 win.

Among the primary running backs, only Mike Tolbert (23 yards on four carries) seemed to be on key.

An unlikely 4th-and-10 late-game conversion made the win possible and now, there’s no compelling reason to predict the seven-game win streak will be halted by Tampa Bay and Mike Glennon this week in Charlotte.

At 8-3, a playoff berth is almost at hand, but the games against New Orleans (in Charlotte Dec. 8) and at the Saints (Dec. 22) are probably going to determine when and where the postseason schedule will start.

Previous grades: Six As, one B, one C, one D, one F.

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  • 903 Hook em banned Nov 26, 2013

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    Agree. And furthermore, all the desperation gimmick plays like the reverses and HB options have been used and documented. Coach Cut has seen all that stuff before and will be prepared. The Duke secondary has been stellar during this run and can't wait for Saturday.

  • DurhamDevil Nov 26, 2013

    I live in a proverbial "house divided" so my wife and I watch games in separate rooms. It should be a great game - there hasn't been this much riding on the Duke-UNC football game since we've been married.

    After its over, we act like nothing ever happened...I still love her even though she is a UNC grad.

    GO DEVILS!!!

  • rick19 Nov 26, 2013

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    This might be the most intelligent post yet from a 'heel fan regarding this game. But, No way UNC scores 10 points over their season average against Duke with a one dimensional offense. In spite of all the talk about a multi role qb, you're still near the bottom of the conference in rushing offense. probably explains why the only decent win in this run was Boston College. Duke takes it 38-21. Latest lines have Duke by 5, no problem covering on this one.

  • StunGunn Nov 26, 2013

    View quoted thread



    Agree about Coach Cut! It's hard to pull against him, but this Saturday, I will be pulling for the Heels. Cut deserves a lot of credit for what he's accomplished at Duke.

  • StunGunn Nov 26, 2013

    I'm more impressed with some of Duke's other wins, like Miami and VT than the win at a Campanaro-less Wake. Regardless, Duke is having a terrific season. This is the first time I can remember when a Duke/Carolina FOOTBALL game has the potential to be so exciting.

    Agree with Tudor's grading. Rivera made a strange use of his last T/O early in the second quarter of the Miami game when he challenged a call that was clearly not going to be reversed, but that call to go for it on 4th and 10 on their own 20 yard line took guts.

    I hope the title of Tudor's next piece is "UNC's Win Over Duke Fedora's Most Impressive Yet". Go Heels!

  • thinkfirsttypelater Nov 25, 2013

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    common sense says duke wins to anyone paying attention.

  • thinkfirsttypelater Nov 25, 2013

    View quoted thread


    better bowl than carolina for sure.

  • HEELSrocknU Nov 25, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Heels 35-27

  • 2ND AMENDMENT Nov 25, 2013

    Yeah, I guess they are a little better than Troy

  • DEVILS1 Nov 25, 2013

    View quoted thread



    That game was 34-34 with 1:30 to go and DUKE fumbled inside the five. Cincy was a good team last year and DUKE out played them. UNC is projected to play Cincy in the Belk Bowl this year (if things play out the way 'the experts' think). DUKE, as of now, are projected to play either Texas A&M or Arizona State...things will probably change.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
TEX 3
CLE 12
Final
COL 6
CIN 4
Final
MIA 2
PIT 5
Final
CWS 5
TOR 3
Final
KAN 2
NYY 4
Final
BOS 4
MIN 6
Final
PHI 0
NYM 7
Final
SEA 3
TAM 0
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
DET 3
OAK 2
Final
HOU 4
BAL 5
Final
WAS 3
CHC 0
Final
ARI 3
STL 4
Final
SDP 5
ANA 4
Final
ATL 3
LOS 2
1:05pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Tonight
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Tonight
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Tonight
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Tonight
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
7:05pm Monday
TOR
WAS
 
7:10pm Monday
CHC
MIA
 
7:10pm Monday
MIN
BOS
 
8:10pm Monday
BAL
HOU
 
8:10pm Monday
MIL
STL
 
8:40pm Monday
LOS
COL
 
9:40pm Monday
ATL
ARI
 
10:05pm Monday
TAM
ANA
 
10:10pm Monday
NYM
SDP
 
10:10pm Monday
NYY
SEA
 
10:15pm Monday
PIT
SFG
 
Final
HOU 90
GSW 104
Final
ANA 2
CHI 5
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR