HALFTIME: Duke 27, Army 0

WEST POINT, N.Y.—Thanks to multiple Army fumbles, stellar field position and a relentless offense, Duke made the first half of Saturday's nonconference finale a lopsided affair.

The Blue Devils lead the Black Knights 27-0 at the half at Michie Stadium. Army—which relies on its triple-threat rushing attack—attempted just one pass, which went incomplete, as Thomas Sirk and the Duke offense have been able to move the ball thanks to the emergence of a new target.

After a Ross Martin field goal put Duke ahead 3-0 on the game’s opening drive, Army fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and after recovering, started the game in the shadow of its own goalpost. It was a sign of things to come.

Duke went three-and-out on its next drive, but after a Will Monday punt pinned Army on its four yard-line, things began to fall apart for the Black Knights. Quarterback A.J. Schurr took several consecutive rushing attempts, but left the field with an injury after taking a big hit on third down. Sophomore Ahmad Bradshaw replaced Schurr under center on fourth and one and the Army pitch play went awry, setting the Blue Devils up with a short field. Read more »

Chronicle Pregame: Duke football vs. Army

The Chronicle's Ryan Hoerger and Brian Pollack preview Duke's final nonconference game of the year, a noon kickoff against Army Saturday at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y. The Blue Devils are coming off a 9-7 win against Boston College and will have their hands full with a triple-option offense for the second time this season.

Duke in the MLB: Stroman inconsistent in first postseason start

After the Texas Rangers stole Game 1 from the Toronto Blue Jays Friday, former Duke starting pitcher Marcus Stroman took the mound in Game 2 hoping to salvage a split for the home team. After surprisingly overcoming a torn ACL in spring training, Stroman returned for the month of September and went 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA.

But Stroman could not seem to get into a rhythm early in the biggest start of his career. In the first inning, two runs scored on an RBI single by Shin-Soo Choo and a fielding error by catcher Russell Martin. Stroman was able to escape the jam when first baseman Chris Colabello turned an unassisted double play to end the inning. In the second inning, Stroman walked Rougned Odor—who later came around to score on a sacrifice fly. 

Following that point, Stroman was lights out. The former Blue Devil retired the next 14 batters he faced and the Rangers offense struggled to make good contact on the ball. Stroman masterfully painted the corners of the strike zone from the third inning on and forced some Texas players to complain about calls. 

Stroman’s early struggles put the Blue Jays in an early hole that they slowly dug themselves out of behind a big second inning. But with the young pitcher performing well, the final batter he faced eventually helped the Rangers force extra innings. With a 4-3 lead, Stroman gave up a leadoff single to Delino DeShields and Stroman was taken out of the game. DeShields would eventually come around to score, helping the Rangers force extra innings. After a few innings of scoreless action, Texas would go on to push two runs across in the top of the 14th inning and came away with a 6-4 victory.  Read more »

Third and Goal: Duke football vs Army

Third and Goal: Duke football vs Army

Duke will hit the road for the first time since its season-opener against Tulane and take on Army at Michie Stadium at noon Saturday. Last weekend against Boston College, Duke squeaked out a 9-7 victory behind a stout defensive performance and three Ross Martin field goals. The Blue Devils take an impressive 4-1 record into West Point, N.Y., but there is still plenty of room for improvement before the team hits the meat of its schedule. Here are three keys to Duke’s final non-conference game of the season:

Take risks downfield in the passing game

A break in the Blue Devils' ACC schedule to play a 1-4 Army team presents an ideal opportunity for quarterback Thomas Sirk to regain some confidence and reestablish the offensive rhythm that led the Duke to blowout victories against Tulane and N.C. Central. Sirk threw for more than 600 yards and had five touchdown passes in these two games, but has struggled to adjust to better defenses in his first year as a starter. The Glen St. Mary, Fla., native has just one touchdown pass and three interceptions since his successful start to the season and has not surpassed 200 passing yards in a game during this stretch. Read more »

XFactor: Duke football vs Army

XFactor: Duke football vs Army

After winning a defensive slugfest at home last week against Boston College 9-7, the Blue Devils hit the road this week to face Army at noon Saturday at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y. Every week throughout the football season, we will break down a player on each team who could be the difference-maker in the upcoming contest:

Duke: wide receiver Johnell Barnes

The Blue Devil passing attack has sputtered at times this season, but Thomas Sirk and his receivers showed flashes of potential last week. The unit looks primed for a big game against an Army secondary that is allowing 240.6 yards per game through the air, but it will need more production from Barnes. The Lehigh Acres, Fla., native began the season with 13 catches for 165 yards and a touchdown in his first two games, but has since only caught five passes for 43 yards against tougher competition. 

Granted, Barnes did miss the end of the Georgia Tech game and the first half of the Boston College contest due to a targeting penalty he committed on a punt, but he has been somewhat of an afterthought in the passing game lately. Barnes has shown us that he can whiz past cornerbacks with his top-end speed, but has had trouble executing big plays this season. Saturday’s matchup with Army will be the perfect opportunity for Barnes to have a breakout game, build chemistry with Sirk and gain confidence heading into the heart of the Blue Devils’ schedule. Read more »

Injury Report: Duke football vs. Army

Ahead of Duke's first road game since a season-opening win Sept. 3 at Tulane, the Blue Devils released their weekly injury report Thursday afternoon. Head coach David Cutcliffe's squad will be without a reserve duo along the offensive line Saturday at Army, but no starters are hurt.


TE Dan Beilinson (leg)

OG Cody Robinson (upper body) Read more »

USA Today: Krzyzewski called Chris Burns to congratulate him after the Bryant assistant came out as gay

Duke plays Bryant Nov. 14 in its second game of the season. But the Blue Devils and Bulldogs are already making headlines off the court.

Bryant assistant Chris Burns became the first active Division I men's basketball coach to come out as gay—his story was captured by USA Today and can be read here.

According to USA Today, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski was among those to call Burns after hearing the news. Krzyzewski reportedly reached out to Burns—nine times—to congratulate him.

"My message to him is, first off, congratulations, I'm very proud of you," Krzyzewski told USA Today. "Next, please know you'll be accepted by your brothers in the sport of men's basketball. You're included now in a very strong way. I think this will be something coaches in our sport will love." Read more »

Duke women's basketball ranked No. 8 as Stevens nets preseason honors

Duke women's basketball ranked No. 8 as Stevens nets preseason honors

A week after their male counterparts hosted an open practice to kick off their season, the Blue Devils are starting to make some headlines on the hardwood as well.

Sophomore Azura Stevens led the charge for Blue Devils, earning second-team All-American honors from Sporting News and Athlon Sports earlier this week. The 6-foot-5 wing ranked second on the team with 14.2 points and 8.1 rebounds during her rookie campaign, a performance that netted her Second-Team All-ACC and First-Team All-Freshman accolades. Stevens set a Duke freshman record with 10 double-doubles, and also etched her name in the program record books by recording the most field goals and rebounds by a freshman.

Stevens—who brought home a gold medal for Team USA in the FIBA 19U World Championships this summer— is one of three starters to return for head coach Joanne P. McCallie as she enters her ninth season at the helm in Durham. The Blue Devils struggled through an inconsistent regular season last year and took a No. 4 seed into the NCAA tournament, where they were knocked off by top-seeded Maryland in the Sweet 16.

Heading into 2015-16, Duke's roster is going to be bolstered by the addition of the top-ranked recruiting class in the nation—a quintet of Haley Gorecki, Kyra Lambert, Crystal Primm, Angela Salvadores and Faith Suggs. The infusion of new talent has the Blue Devils ranked No. 8 in Sporting News' preseason poll, and No. 13 in Athlon Sports'. Read more »

Nobel Prize or NCAA championship: Students debate

For the second time in four years, a Duke researcher has won the Nobel Prize. Paul Modrich, James B. Duke professor of biochemistrywill share the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Aziz Sancar of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Tomas Lindahl of the Francis Crick Institute in the U.K. for the trio's work on DNA repair mechanisms.

The Chronicle's Gautam Hathi and Samantha Neal talked to students on campus to find out what they thought about Modrich's accomplishment, and how it compares with Duke's NCAA men's basketball championship in April in terms of excitement, importance and meaning to the University community.

Duke in the NFL: Week 3 and 4

As the NFL season continues, former Blue Devils have moved into new roles on their respective teams and become to get more playing time. We take a look at what some of Duke's finest have done in the last two weeks: 

Jamison Crowder, WR – With an injury to DeSean Jackson two weeks ago, Crowder was finally given the chance to show what he can do in the slot in Week 3 against the Giants. Crowder responded with six receptions for 45 yards out of the slot in his team's 32-21 loss. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden was so impressed with Crowder’s performance that he benched struggling veteran Andre Roberts and started the former Duke star in the slot against the Eagles this past weekend. Crowder cemented his place as a valuable asset on the team with seven receptions for 65 yards on 12 targets. Late in the third quarter with the Redskins deep in Eagle territory, quarterback Kirk Cousins launched a third down pass 22 yards downfield for Crowder, who made a leaping catch in triple coverage to pick up the first down.

With his consistent play, Crowder appears set to become a key cog in the Redskins' offense going forward.  Read more »