banner
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.

83 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Newest First
View all
  • heelgrad1978 Nov 25, 10:53 a.m.

    Duke looks Good!!

    I think they beat my Heels, 31-17 this week.

    smh.

  • lec02572 Nov 25, 10:55 a.m.

    Hopefully, the most impressive win will come next week for Duke. I am not a Duke fan, nor an ABC'er, however I am a real fan of Coach Cut. He should be ACC and National Coach of the Year for what he has accomplished at Duke. He is truly a good person and a great coach. I'd like to know just how does he stay so cool all the time on the sidelines. It doesn't matter if there is a great play or a bad play like the so-called fumble at Wake. When you see him on the sideline you would not know if they are winning or losing. Good Luck Coach Cut.

  • abcersimback Nov 25, 11:07 a.m.

    LOL! wf is ust above a hs team and just below a juco team.

  • PirateGrad2009 Nov 25, 11:11 a.m.

    Absolutely LOVED hearing the deafening PURPLE/GOLD chant in NC State's house. Pretty sad when your home field turns into a road game!

    GO PIRATES

  • heelgrad1978 Nov 25, 11:18 a.m.

    Absolutely LOVED hearing the deafening PURPLE/GOLD chant in NC State's house. Pretty sad when... View More

    — Posted by PirateGrad2009

    They did to us too!! Congrats to your team, they look good.

  • DEVILS1 Nov 25, 11:23 a.m.

    It should be a good game this weekend, 12:00 start stinks, but oh well. KEEP IT ROLLING DEVILS!

  • Turheel Nov 25, 11:33 a.m.

    I believe the UNC-Duke game Saturday could be a classic. The Heels are playing their best ball of the year and Duke is one win away from an ACC Title shot. Heels will win 49-42. GO HEELS!

  • Obamacare for one and all Nov 25, 11:35 a.m.

    Will UNC be ready after playing a high school team this past weekend? Let me file this game under, who cares?

  • ABCers Partying Nov 25, 11:54 a.m.

    That lucky win at dook put them on the map. The loss at UNC will take them off.

  • DEVILS1 Nov 25, 12:01 p.m.

    That lucky win at dook put them on the map. The loss at UNC will take them off.

    — Posted by ABCers Partying

    What?

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

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Toronto

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Duke vs. UConn

    Tonight at 8:00 on 620am

  • WBB: Duke vs. UMass Lowell

    Tomorrow at 6:30 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
Final
CHA 106
PHO 111
Final
NCSU 83
TENN 72
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
UCONN
 
Final
CLE 98
ATL 127
Final
CHA 106
PHO 111
Final
DET 106
DAL 117
Final
BOS 109
ORL 92
Final
MIA 87
UTA 105
Final
TOR 105
BRK 89
Final
SAN 116
MEM 117
Final
POR 104
MIL 97
Final
DEN 111
HOU 115
Final
LAC 102
IND 100
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NYK
 
8:30pm Tonight
HOU
NOP
 
10:00pm Tonight
SAC
MIL
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
OKC
 
Final
UNT 78
LANG 65
 
Final
Terriers 64
DELST 72
 
Final
MSST 55
ARKST 69
Final
NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
Final
GMAS 99
CATAWBA 69
 
Final
WOFF 64
CSOU 58
 
Final
HIGH 106
FERR 48
 
Final
JVU 68
GWEBB 65
 
Final
ILL 73
HAMP 55
 
Final
BST 52
JMU 72
 
Final
YOUNG 84
KNST 90
 
Final
UMO 71
LONG 60
 
Final
PITT 65
MAN 56
Final
OSU 97
NCAT 55
Final
FSU 93
UNF 77
 
Final
TOL 83
RMU 57
 
Final
CAMP 70
SIUE 65
 
Final
DUQ 52
RFLSH 67
 
Final
NCSU 83
TENN 72
Final
UCF 75
DET 70
Final
UNCW 73
LIB 70
 
Final
LOYC 83
ABCHRIST 44
 
Final
MURST 94
ALCOR 56
 
Final
HOU 56
ARKPB 61
 
Final
NW 67
CMICH 80
Final
WKENT 75
CHIST 60
 
Final
ODU 58
UGST 54
Final
SMU 67
ILLCH 46
Final
LALAF 115
MLGN 76
 
Final
TULSA 74
MIZST 70
Final
UWGB 66
MORE 50
 
Final
NEOM 92
NCOL 82
 
Final
TTU 101
SCST 39
 
Final
DEN 83
TAMCC 73
 
Final
STEPH 66
TXST 60
 
Final
STLU 75
TXPA 69
 
Final
MEM 83
USCU 73
 
Final
ILLST 64
TENNM 54
 
Final
MSU 66
EMICH 46
Final
GRCN 80
INCWORD 82
 
Final
STAN 67
LMU 58
Final
BAY 66
NMST 55
 
Final
CIN 71
SDST 62
Final
AUB 80
WINT 62
 
Final
NMU 76
CARK 55
 
Final
PEPP 53
HOW 45
 
Final
CPSL 60
NE 58
 
Final
UNLV 75
PORT 73
Final
OREG 79
CSNO 56
Final
WASH 86
GRAM 38
12:30pm Today
RICE
STTHOMASTX
 
7:00pm Tonight
UVA
CLST
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIU
FIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
STET
GSOUT
 
7:00pm Tonight
QUIN
LEH
 
7:00pm Tonight
SFLA
SHU
 
7:00pm Tonight
RICH
SALA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAN
USB
 
7:00pm Tonight
DEL
TEMPL
 
7:00pm Tonight
WCU
WRST
 
7:00pm Tonight
VERM
YALE
 
7:30pm Tonight
SDKST
IDST
 
7:30pm Tonight
RIDE
MRGST
 
7:30pm Tonight
LATU
NICST
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHAR
APP
 
8:00pm Tonight
MISS
CCAR
 
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
UCONN
 
8:00pm Tonight
BRAD
EUREK
 
8:00pm Tonight
PEAY
OAKC
 
8:00pm Tonight
JST
SMISS
 
8:30pm Tonight
SD
MNTST
 
9:00pm Tonight
UAB
LSU
 
9:05pm Tonight
EVAN
OHIO
 
10:00pm Tonight
CSFU
CSDH
 
10:00pm Tonight
ORST
DEP
 
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
NEV
 
10:00pm Tonight
USF
PORST
 
10:00pm Tonight
IDAHO
WALLA
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
CALST
 
Final
NJD 0
OTT 2
Final
MIN 2
BOS 3
Final
VAN 0
DAL 2
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
COL
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
TOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
WAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
ANA
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
EDM
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
STL
 
8:25pm Tonight
JAC
TEN