No surprise here: Duke has officially added a Sept. 27 game with N.C. Central, its fourth non-conference opponent for 2009, the athletic department announced in a statement Friday. The Eagles are the second Division I-AA team the Blue Devils will play—national champion Richmond will also come to Wallace Wade Stadium Sept. 5 next year—and per NCAA rules, Duke will need to win seven games next year to go to a bowl.
Duke's crosstown opponent will be in its second year in Division I-AA, having posted a 4-7 mark its first season. Terms of the contract will not be released, but the athletic department announced that it will only be a one-year series.
"It will be a great environment for Durham's two college football teams to play against one another," head coach David Cutcliffe said in a statement. "Our players know their players; they took it upon themselves to arrange workouts with each other during the past few summers and they associate together socially."
"Anytime you have an opportunity to play against a team that you share the same city with, it's like playing your brother," Eagles head coach Mose Rison said. "We are extremely excited about the opportunity to play Duke University. This game will help continue to build long-term relationships between the two universities, and will bring this city closer together. A lot of people thought this football meeting would never happen, but it shows you how far these two universities have come."
The Blue Devils round out their non-conference slate with games at Army Sept. 12 and at Kansas Sept. 19. The Black Knights went 3-9 last year, but in the offseason, they hired a new head coach in Rich Ellerson, who is expected to bring his triple-option offense from Cal Poly. Mark Mangino's Kansas squad has emerged in the national spotlight in the last two seasons with Todd Reesing at quarterback. The Jayhawks finished 8-5 last season with a win in the Insight Bowl, its fifth bowl win in their last six tries.
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