They say the devil is in the details. But in Durham, the Blue Devils are in the details—and numbers.
Each week, the Blue Zone will dissect five key numbers from last week's action in Duke sports, whether they be historic or underwhelming. This week, let the numbers take you inside a historic performance from Men’s Golf and Football’s offensive transformation in the absence of its starting quarterback.
With starting quarterback Daniel Jones out with a clavicle injury, Duke knows it will have to become a run-first offense for the foreseeable future. That was evident Saturday against Baylor, when the Blue Devils rushed the ball 44 times with only 30 pass attempts. The strategy worked, as Duke totaled 225 yards on the ground (5.1 yards per rush) en route to a 40-27 victory over the Bears, moving to 3-0 on the season.
Despite the team’s run-first approach, interim signal-caller Quentin Harris still tossed three passing touchdowns. The three scores went for 28, 66 and seven yards respectively, proving that the first-time starter isn’t afraid to heave the ball downfield. Harris’ ability to keep defenses honest through the air will be essential if the Blue Devils hope to keep their winning streak alive.
Men’s Golf had a record-breaking performance this past weekend at the Louisville Cardinal Challenge, posting a 37-under 815 in the No. 18 Blue Devils’ victory over the 16-team field. That 815 mark by Duke was a 54-hole team record, with the Blue Devils setting 18-hole (257) and 36-hole (534) team records during the tournament as well. Duke was led by senior Alex Smalley, who dropped a ten-under 61 in the opening round- one shot shy of the NCAA’s single-round record of 60 set by the Blue Devils’ own Michael Schachner in 2007- on his way to a dominant individual win.
Women’s soccer struggled offensively to start off the season, scoring only 14 goals through their first eight contests. But the No. 13 Blue Devils finally woke up in their ACC-opener, scoring four times in a shutout over Syracuse, their largest goal output of the year. Duke (7-1-1) hopes to keep rolling as they continue conference play this Thursday at Miami.
Duke Field Hockey has had a rough schedule to say the least, matching up against eight consecutive ranked opponents to begin the 2018 campaign. Despite two consecutive losses at the hands of No. 4 Maryland and then No. 6 Princeton, the No. 4 Blue Devils have managed to bounce back with three straight wins- including a 6-3 victory over No. 14 Saint Joseph’s this past Sunday- to bring their record to 6-2. Duke’s schedule will become even harder as they face off against No 1 North Carolina this Friday.
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