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Rushing disparity glaring at end of Duke's season

The most intriguing numbers to come out of Duke’s 2011 season:


Duke never really got its running game going this season.  On 365 carries, the Blue Devils managed just 1129 yards, good for only a 3.1 yards per carry average.  That figure is down from the 3.4 the team averaged last year, but the 3.4 is also the highest yards per carry since 2004.  Desmond Scott and Juwan Thompson, who handled the majority of work this season, will both be back in 2012.


Coming off a fantastic season in which he hit 21 of 24 field goals, Will Snyderwine struggled  this year.  The senior kicker connected on just eight of 17 attempts.  When Jeffrey Ijjas’ one for three is factored in, Duke kickers made just 45 percent of their kicks this season.  Perhaps the most disturbing Snyderwine stat is that he missed four kicks from inside the 29 yard line.


The Blue Devils were a second half team the entire season.  On the defensive side of the football, Duke allowed 68 points fewer in the second half than they did in the first half of games.  The quarter in which they excelled the most was the third, where they only allowed 70 points.  On the season, the Blue Devils were outscored across all four quarters.  On offense, Duke was a more balanced team, scoring just six more points in the first half than the second half.


With a 3-9 record, it is obvious that the Blue Devils were outscored by their opponents.  However, Duke was outscored by a full 104 points this season.  That means opponents scored 8.7 points more on a per game basis than the Blue Devils did.


If nothing else, Duke was a more fundamentally sound team this season.  The Blue Devils won the penalty matchup in a big way, flagged for 12 fewer penalties resulting in 177 fewer penalty yards than their opponents.  On a per game basis, Duke saved 14.8 yards a contest.


Defense wasn’t Duke’s forte this season.  Four times the Blue Devils surrendered over 500 total yards of offense, the culprits being Stanford, Florida International, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina.  To put it in perspective, Duke's offense recorded zero games of over 500 total yards.  The Blue Devil’s high was 484 yards, obtained against Tulane.


Rush defense was a particularly tough task for the Blue Devils.  Opponents rushed for an average of 180.7 yards per game.  The most prolific yardage games belong to Stanford, Florida State, Virginia Tech, and Miami, all of whom rushed for over 200 yards.  Georgia Tech had the most impressive showing however, rushing for 364 yards in a single game against the Blue Devils.  Duke averaged 94 rushing yards per game.


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