Duke secured a bowl bid last season by beating North Carolina Oct. 20, and Blue Devil fans rushed the field to celebrate the landmark victory. But Duke could not capitalize on this momentum and proceeded to lose its last four games of the regular season.
This year the Blue Devils won their biggest game of the season so far, their bowl-clenching sixth win, against Virginia Tech on Oct. 26. Duke has four games left this season.
Like last year, all four of the Blue Devils’ final games in 2013 are ACC contests. In many ways, Duke finds itself in the exact same position it did entering the final month of the college football season a year ago.
But for so many reasons, the Blue Devils of 2013 face a completely different situation from last year.
Duke’s final four opponents in 2012 were Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Miami. The Seminoles and Tigers finished the year with a combined record of 20-4, ranked first and second, respectively, in the ACC’s Atlantic Division. The Hurricanes and Yellow Jackets combined final record was 13-11, finishing tied for first in the Coastal Division.
This year the Blue Devils close out the year with N.C. State, Miami, Wake Forest and North Carolina. The four schools have a combined record of 17-16. The Wolfpack are 0-5 in conference play, the Demon Deacons 2-4 and the Tar Heels 2-3. Last season, Duke’s final four matchups included two teams ranked in the nation’s top 15, and none of its opponents was below .500 for the year. This year, seven-win Miami is the only opponent left on the Blue Devils’ schedule that does not have a losing record.
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