Duke football Player of the Week: Week 12

T.J. Rahming

Statline: 12 catches, 190 yards, one touchdown

The good: In what was a very turbulent week for the Blue Devils—who suffered their fourth consecutive loss to a three-win Virginia squad and also dismissed three players from the team Tuesday—Rahming provided a bright spot for head coach David Cutcliffe moving forward. Rahming was touted in the preseason as a player who could come in and contribute right away with his blazing speed, and Duke finally saw that potential come to life Saturday. 

The freshman cracked double-digits in catches and 100 receiving yards for the first time in his career against the Cavaliers, and led the offense as it nearly surmounted a 22-point fourth-quarter deficit. With receivers Johnell Barnes and Terrence Alls no longer on the roster, Rahming will see plenty of snaps for the rest of this year, and he certainly took advantage of his first opportunity Saturday.

The bad: Was this truly a breakout performance for Rahming or just a flash in the pan? Inconsistency has plagued the Powder Springs, Ga., native all season long, and only time will tell if this is truly the turning point that jumpstarts his progression. Rahming came out of the gate strong with 70 yards in the season-opener against Tulane, but had disappeared in the four games prior to this one, amassing just 27 receiving yards combined. He has also struggled to find the end zone in his rookie season, and his fourth quarter score was just his second of the year and first in nearly two months. 

Bottom Line: Without Barnes and Alls, Rahming is going to have to step up in Duke's remaining two games to give the offense any semblance of a downfield passing game. Offensive coordinator Scottie Montgomery has to be thrilled with what he saw from his freshman speedster Saturday, and the signs are positive for Rahming to finish the season on a high note.

Honorable Mention: After the Blue Devils fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter, DeVon Edwards gave Duke a little life by taking a kickoff return 94 yards all the way back to the house to put Duke on the scoreboard. It marked the third return touchdown of the season for Edwards, who also recorded five solo tackles on defense against Virginia.


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