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The Chronicle's Duke football 2019 season preview

A preseason All-ACC selection, Deon Jackson will be the focal point of Duke's offense this fall.
A preseason All-ACC selection, Deon Jackson will be the focal point of Duke's offense this fall.

As the summer turns to fall, it is once again time for Duke football, led by head coach David Cutcliffe, now in his 12th year in Durham. There are plenty of new faces suiting up in Wallace Wade this season—especially on the offensive side of the ball—but there is still a solid cast of returners who can help contribute to a successful season. 

The Chronicle will be your go-to source for all things about the Blue Devils as they go for their seventh bowl appearance in the last eight years. Whether it's the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, a trip to Middle Tennessee, or hosting Notre Dame, we've got you covered with in-depth coverage throughout the year. 

The team will be under new leadership this season after the departure of Daniel Jones, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The offense will now be run by redshirt senior Quentin Harris, who started two games last season, winning both. Despite his reputation as a runner, the team is confident in his ability to lead a well-rounded attack and be a mature leader on this team. 

Cutcliffe certainly didn't schedule any cupcakes to open the season, as the Blue Devils will take on No. 2 Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta. As the Duke football program has risen to prominence under Cutcliffe, this is a chance to show the world it can compete on the biggest stage, and it doesn't plan on rolling over.

The Crimson Tide will certainly have red in their eyes after suffering a blowout loss in the College Football Playoff National Championship to Clemson their last time out. This matchup between the two teams will be the first since Alabama handled the Blue Devils 62-13 in 2010. 

Duke may have lost two of its best defenders from last season in Joe Giles-Harris and Ben Humphreys, but don't expect many setbacks from a front seven that returns guys from injuries like captain Edgar Cerenord and added even more depth.

Staying on the defensive side of the ball, the secondary has a chance to be the Blue Devils' strongest unit, and perhaps one of the best in the ACC. This is in large part due to coaches Derek Jones and Matt Guerrieri, who have built a brand in 'The Coalition' that top defensive backs want to be a part of.

With all the roster turnover in the offense, this season could be somewhat of an off year in terms of the program's new standards, and the Blue Devils could miss a bowl game for the first time since 2016, the first year of the Daniel Jones era. Or Duke could ride its talented defense and electric running back duo to pick up bowl eligibility.

The Blue Zone has got you covered on positional previews for every unit whether it's the quarterbacks, running backs, receivers/tight ends, offensive line, defensive line, linebackers, defensive backs, or specialists.

If you aren't already, follow us on Twitter @chroniclesports and visit our website for all the best coverage on the Blue Devils this fall. Also, check out our season predictions as our beat reporters give you their picks for MVPs, best win and much more.


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