Third and goal: Duke football vs. Elon

Coming off a historic season and a devastating loss in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, Duke opens its season against FCS opponent Elon. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. at Wallace Wade Stadium. Here are the keys to tonight’s game:

Stay Healthy

Duke has already lost star middle linebacker Kelby Brown and star tight end Braxton Deaver to season-ending knee injuries this preseason, in addition to redzone threat Brandon Connette, who transferred to Fresno State in the offseason. One has to wonder how many more injuries the Blue Devils will be able to sustain to remain relevant in the ACC’s Coastal Division, and it would be a real shame to see anyone else get hurt against an FCS opponent that went 2-10 last season.

Get All Defensive Linemen Involved

Duke lost a number of longtime starters on the defensive line in ends Kenny Anunike and Justin Foxx and tackle Sydney Sarmiento to graduation. This year, head coach David Cutcliffe has a platoon of inexperienced linemen to use around returning starter Jamal Bruce... Read more

Behind Enemy Lines: Elon

Before every football game this year, The Blue Zone is going to sit down with a football writer from the opposing school’s student newspaper to get the scoop on their team and season.

This week, The Chronicle’s Nick Martin spoke to The Elon Pendulum's Sports Editor Thomas Hamzik about this weekend’s season kickoff between Duke and Elon.

The Chronicle: It's been a while since our two teams met. Can you tell me a little bit about what's changed for you guys?

The Pendulum: Skrosky left for Ball State. In came Jason Swepson and frankly, the program took a pretty drastic turn. Lembo had the guys in the top 25 for a couple consecutive years and Sewpson's teams went straight in the opposite direction. They struggled pretty heavily the last couple years. Last year especially, they struggled to finish games down the stretch. Almost every game, except the Georgia Tech game, they were in it in the first half and they only came away with two wins... Read more

Duke football releases exciting 2014 entrance video

A day before they get set to take the field to kick off their 2014 season, the Blue Devils released the entrance video that will play before the team takes the field at Wallace Wade Stadium this year.

The video features several Duke players breaking out of the gate inside the tunnel that they exit through to enter the stadium, and recreates some of the top moments from last year's storybook season.

Highlights include several big plays by preseason All-ACC selections Anthony Boone, Jamison Crowder and Jeremy Cash, as well as head coach David Cutcliffe ringing the victory bell and the team celebrating with the ACC Coastal Division Championship trophy.

The new video definitely reflects the Blue Devils' new direction as a program and is sure to get fans fired up before Duke takes the field this season.

The Blue Devils take on Elon Saturday at 6:00 p.m... Read more

A guide to Duke football's 2014 opponents

With the Blue Devils starting their bid to repeat as ACC Coastal Division champions Saturday against Elon at 6:00 p.m. at Wallace Wade Stadium, we break down every team on Duke's schedule and every other ACC squad:

Aug. 30 vs. Elon

Sept. 6 at Troy

Sept. 13 vs. Tulane

Sept. 20 vs. Kansas

Sept. 27 at Miami

Oct... Read more

X factor: Duke football vs. Elon

The Blue Devils host Elon the season opener for both teams tomorrow and will take on the Phoenix at 6:00 p.m. at Wallace Wade Stadium. Every week throughout the football season, we’ll break down a player on each team who could be the difference-maker in the upcoming contest.

Duke: linebacker David Helton

Helton, a talented second-team All-ACC linebacker, spent most of the summer overshadowed by fellow linebacker Kelby Brown, who was the undisputed leader of the defense. But when Brown tore his ACL earlier this month, Helton's responsibilities increased overnight. The coaching staff moved him to the Mike linebacker position and has asked him to lead an inexperienced linebacking corp.

Helton recorded 133 tackles last season, which led the ACC and was the seventh-best mark in the nation in 2013. Look for the Chattanooga, Tenn. native to anchor an older, but somewhat inexperienced front six against a revamped Elon offense that could have some tricks up its sleeve thanks to head coach Rich Skrosky... Read more

Top-5 recruit Stone releases top 5, surprisingly includes Blue Devils

Already with an electrifying perimeter scorer and athletic power forward locked up in the class of 2015, the Blue Devils took a step towards securing one of the best big men in the nation Thursday evening.

Milwaukee native Diamond Stone—the fourth-best player in the class according to ESPN—released his top five schools, and Duke was joined by Wisconsin, Connecticut, Oklahoma State and former ACC rival Maryland on the list.

The move comes as a bit of a surprise because Stone has not been connected to the Blue Devils for quite sometime, and the 6-foot-10, 250-pound center chose to leave Kentucky off the list despite rumors that the Wildcats were in the running for Stone and his best friend Malik Newman... Read more

Duke football injury report: Elon

As the Blue Devils prepare to take on Elon at Wallace Wade Stadium Saturday at 6 p.m., Duke released its weekly injury report. Here’s a rundown of the players are listed on the injury report this week:


TE Dan Bellinson (upper body)

CB Johnathan Lloyd (lower body)

OL Trip McNeill (lower body)

OL Jake Sanders (upper body)


LB Kelby Brown (leg)

TE Braxton Deaver (leg)

DE Taariq Shabazz (leg)

Breakdown: No surprises on the first injury report of the season, as outside of linebacker Kelby Brown and tight end Braxton Deaver, all starters appear to be healthy for the Saturday's season opener. Neither of the All-ACC players will be available this season, but both can apply for a sixth year of eligibility.

Freshman defensive end Taariq Shabazz, who was expected to compete for playing time this season, sustained a leg injury during Fall Camp and will likely redshirt in 2014... Read more

ACC releases 2014-15 men's basketball schedule; Duke draws backloaded schedule

The ACC released the 2014-15 men's basketball conference schedule Wednesday afternoon, after announcing the season's conference matchups several months earlier. The Blue Devils drew a back-heavy schedule, with all four matchups against Syracuse and North Carolina coming in the final four weeks of the regular season.

Duke's top-ranked recruiting class and returning nucleus will be tested throughout the conference slate, though, which includes road games at new ACC member Louisville Jan. 17 and defending conference champion Virginia Jan. 31, as well as the home-and-home contests with the Orange and Tar Heels.

After rounding out the 2014 calendar year with a home game against Wofford Dec. 31, the Blue Devils will open up ACC play Jan. 3 against Boston College at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke will then make a two-game road swing to pay visits to in-state rivals Wake Forest and N.C. State Jan. 7 and Jan. 11, respectively, before returning home to take on Miami Jan. 13.

The first big test of the ACC schedule comes Jan... Read more

Spurrier, 1989 Squad to be honored this Saturday

This weekend, Duke football will be partying like it's 1989.

During Saturday's season-opening game against Elon, the Blue Devils will honor the 1989 squad that posted an 8-4 record, winning a share of the ACC title before eventually losing to Texas Tech in the All-American Bowl.

Current South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier, who coached the 1989 squad, will be honored along with the team during the first half. The Gamecocks play Texas A&M this Thursday, allowing Spurrier to travel to Durham Saturday.

Spurrier's gig at Duke in the late 1980s was his first ever head-coaching job that propelled him to future head coaching jobs with Florida, South Carolina and the Washington Redskins. Spurrier has maintained a relationship with the program and has a history of giving the Blue Devils an annual vote in the Coaches' Poll.

The honoring of the 1989 team coincides with Read more

Battle to visit Duke at Countdown to Craziness, Elite 24 weekend recap

When the Blue Devils take the court in front of the Cameron Crazies for the first time, the players and fans will be doing their best to convince one of the best players in next year's class to join them in Durham, as Tyus Battle will officially visit Duke on October 25th for Countdown to Craziness.

Battle, the 6-foot-5 guard from St. Bernard High School in N.J., recently finished playing for the Gold Medal-winning Team USA in the 17U FIBA World Championships. The combo guard possesses the skill set desired for the ideal two-guard, as he has both a smooth shooting stroke from deep and the ability to get to the rim and finish among the bigs. Battle is joining five-star recruit T.J. Leaf for Countdown to Craziness, making it a crucial weekend for Duke 2016 recruiting’s class.

The New York Post recently covered Tyus Battle and his impressive summer in a must-read piece... Read more