Duke football Player of the Week: Week 10

Jela Duncan

Statline: 13 carries for 115 yards and one rushing touchdown

The good: Duncan was the lone bright spot in an otherwise ugly game for the Blue Devils. The Charlotte, N.C., native averaged 8.8 yards a carry and was able to consistently burst through the hole and fight for tough yardage against the Tar Heel defense. Early in the second quarter, with the Tar Heels pulling away, Duncan burst through the left side, broke two tackles and outran two Tar Heel defenders on his way to a 52-yard touchdown. Duncan helped the offense to 533 total yards, but he could not overcome the deficit made by the explosive Tar Heel offense. Duncan will need to continue his explosive running style if Duke wants to finish off the season on a high note after two disappointing losses.

The bad: Much of Duncan’s yardage came after the game was already out of hand. Duncan and the rest of the Duke offense will need to get going earlier next week against ACC foe Pittsburgh if the Blue Devils want to come away with a victory. Duncan appears to have finally shaken off the rust after his early season injury and will need to continue to be a consistent threat with fellow tailback Shaun Wilson out with a lower body injury.

Bottom Line: After coming back from injury, Duncan has been an big addition to the Blue Devil’s stable of solid running backs. This was the redshirt junior's best performance of his career and building momentum for next season will be key for Duncan as the season winds down. Duncan has been exemplary of the next man up policy that Coach Cutcliffe has embraced this season.

Honorable Mention: Punter Will Monday did an excellent job in the field position game on Saturday, with an average of 44.3 yards on his four punts and a long of 52. Monday was able to keep the ball away from Tar Heels star receiver and kick returner Ryan Switzer, who has long been a threat to score touchdowns in the special teams game. The redshirt senior was one of the lone bright spots in a dreadful game for the Blue Devils. 


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