Thoughts on the AP Poll: Week 1

Duke slaughters Elon, inches closer to AP Poll

The Blue Devils received 71 votes in the preseason poll—71 more votes than they received in last season’s preseason poll—but despite their decisive victory against the Phoenix, they only got 60 votes in this week’s poll, but that total was still the third-most for an unranked team. Duke beat Elon 52-13 in Saturday’s season opener at Wallace Wade Stadium behind four passing touchdowns from starting quarterback Anthony Boone.

By the fourth quarter, all of the starters had taken a seat on the bench, allowing true freshman running back Shaun Wilson and backup quarterback Thomas Sirk to showcase their talents. Wilson exploded for 71 yards on just six carries and Sirk went 5-for-7 for 40 yards in the air to go along with 54 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Unfortunately for Duke, most top-25 teams won this week, so the Blue Devils weren’t able to crack the poll. But if they keep performing well during the next few weeks, they should find themselves back in where they ended last season... Read more

Around the ACC: Week 1

With the first Saturday of the college football season in the books, the Blue Zone takes a look at how the 14 teams in the ACC fared:

Duke 52, Elon 13: The Blue Devils (1-0) separated themselves quickly from the Phoenix, led by the strong quarterback play of Anthony Boone. Boone threw for four touchdowns and completed 22-of-33 passes in the rout.

No. 1 Florida State 37, Oklahoma State 31: The national champs were tested in their season debut, played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, but squeaked out a six-point win against upstart Oklahoma State. Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston wasn't perfect, throwing a pair of interceptions, but made all the big plays when needed, finishing with 370 yards and two total touchdowns, one of which came on an elusive quarterback draw. With star weapons Kelvin Benjamin and Devonta Freeman gone, Winston found wideout Rashad Greene early and often to the tune of 203 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown strike that helped seal the game for the Seminoles (1-0).

No... Read more

Duke in the NFL: 6 Blue Devils make 53-man rosters in final week of preseason

The NFL preseason has concluded, and here is a look at how the former Blue Devils performed before teams made their final roster cuts:

Kenny Anunike, defensive end, Denver Broncos: After a spectacular 2014 preseason, Anunike’s run came to an end in the second half of Denver’s final preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys. Anunike suffered an elbow injury, prompting the Broncos to place him on injured reserve. Before the injury, he was expected to be signed to the practice squad, but for now his NFL future looks uncertain.

Juwan Thompson, running back, Denver Broncos: Adding 41 yards on 13 carries against the Dallas Cowboys this week, the undrafted free agent finished the preseason as the Broncos’ leading rusher with 143 yards at a healthy 4.9 yards per carry. The Read more

Ingram and Tatum include Duke on list of top schools, Stone to make decision in November

With the summer season at an end, this was presumed to be a very quiet week. And it was, until about 5 p.m. Sunday afternoon when Duke priority recruit Brandon Ingram sent out this tweet:

That’s right, Ingram’s final six will include in-state powers Duke, UNC and N.C. State, Adidas powers Kansas and UCLA and the always powerful Kentucky big blue nation.

The two notable schools left off the list are Louisville and UConn. Although both schools were late to the party, many analysts thought the national pedigree would make up for the difference.

After a prolific summer on the court, Ingram has gained national recognition and recently jumped from a four-star to five-star recruit. He has also already visited half of his top six—Duke, UNC and UCLA—and has visits scheduled for Kansas and Kentucky in mid-October... Read more

Making the Grade: Duke football vs. Elon

While other teams around the country struggled against FCS teams, the Blue Devils cruised past Elon 52-13 in their season opener Saturday night. Although the Phoenix kept the score close in the first quarter, Duke scored 21 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 28-6 lead by halftime. Elon could not mount a comeback and was held to just a single fourth quarter touchdown.

Offense: A+

Pass: After posting a disappointing 13-13 touchdown-to-interception ratio last season, Anthony Boone started 2014 on a high note with four touchdown passes on the evening. He completed 22-of-33 passes for 247 yards, finding senior wide receivers Jamison Crowder and Issac Blakeney for two touchdowns apiece. Boone, who was well protected throughout the game, seemed very comfortable in the pocket and only a handful of his throws were off target. Thomas Sirk, who played in his first career game, also had success throwing the ball, completing 5-of-7 passes for 40 yards in the second half... Read more

Extra Point: Duke football vs. Elon

The Blue Devils mauled their FCS opponent 52-13 in their season opener, scoring the most points in a season opener for a Duke team since 1954 Saturday evening at Wallace Wade Stadium.

Revisiting the three keys to the game:

  • Stay healthy: The Blue Devils suffered no more major losses in Saturday's contest, and even showed depth and strength in the positions that already lost starters to season-ending knee injuries—mike linebacker and tight end. Senior David Helton, junior Deion Williams and redshirt freshman Chirs Holmes combined for 13 tackles and showed quickness to the ball in place of the injured Kelby Brown, and tight end David Reeves caught three passes for 25 yards in place of Braxton Deaver. Thankfully, Duke suffered no more detrimental injuries in its first game... Read more

Former Blue Devil Hairston takes big role in Switzerland

Josh Hairston knew he wasn't going to the NBA like Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood after last season. He also knew he wanted to keep playing as opposed to making the leap to the coaching ranks like his classmate Tyler Thornton. Therefore, Hairston took his talents to Switzerland, where he will play for SAM Massagno.

In a recent article by Corriere del Ticine, Hairston opens up about his experience at Duke with Mike Krzyzewski and his future with SAM Massagno.

According to the article, despite getting many offers during the recruiting process, "After the first visit to campus, I knew already this was the place I wanted to pursue my career following high school." Hairston lauded Krzyzewski for helping him grow not only as a player, but also as a man in his time in Durham.

As far as this coming season, Hairston will be playing a big role for SAM Massagno, which plays in the top league in Switzerland... Read more

Showtime Sports to air documentary showing Cutcliffe's special bond with Manning brothers

Sometimes it's easy to forget that head coach David Cutcliffe has past allegiances because of the way he has resurrected Duke's football program.

But although he has transformed the Blue Devil football culture, many would still say that the 2013 National Coach of the Year's greatest accomplishment has been his coaching and close personal relationship with the Manning brothers, whom he has been coaching for more than 15 years.

Showtime Sports made a documentary detailing the special relationship between Cutcliffe and the brothers as part of its recurring 60 Minutes Sports program. The film will air Tuesday evening, but a preview of the documentary was released last week and includes some of its most compelling moments

Duke basketball gets day of conditioning off, plays wiffle ball

With their head coach away, the Blue Devils have still been putting in hard work this offseason, but were also sure to recently get in some leisure and laughs after a recent workout.

Duke basketball released a hilarious youtube video Friday of the team playing wiffle ball after in place of the strenuous conditioning regiment that typically follows the Blue Devils' time in the weight room.

The video begins with Duke's touted squad celebrating raucously when they heard the news that they would be pushing themselves in wiffle ball rather than sprints.

Highlights of the video include sophomore guard Matt Jones swinging and missing badly, self-proclaimed comedian Justise Winslow ribbing Rice transfer Sean Obi for his unique swing and freshman point guard Tyus Jones showing he can do more than run an offense... Read more

Halftime Report: Duke football vs. Elon

The Blue Devils lead 28-6 after getting off to a hot start at a packed Wallace Wade Stadium. Redshirt senior quarterback Anthony Boone started the game on a high note with an 11 play, 61-yard drive that resulted in a four-yard flare pass to wide receiver Issac Blakeney. Elon responded with a scoring drive of its own, that resulted in a 36-yard field goal by kicker John Gallagher.

But Duke struck again in early in the second quarter, when the familiar duo of Boone and senior All-ACC receiver Jamison Crowder connected on the first play of the offense's third drive for a 46-yard touchdown. Midway through the second quarter, Boone got some help from his running backs, Josh Snead and Shaquille Powell who combined for 67 out of the 80 yards on the Blue Devils' third scoring drive, which extended the Duke lead to 18 points. A second touchdown pass to Blakeney with 1:01 to play in the half set the score at 28-6.

The Blue Devil defense held the Elon offensive attack to just 165 yards and six points in the first half... Read more