Search Results

Use the fields below to perform an advanced search of The Chronicle's archives. This will return articles, images, and multimedia relevant to your query. You can also try a Basic search

730 items found for your search. If no results were found please broaden your search.

The road to Charlotte: Duke football season recap

(12/06/13 9:35pm)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>As a part of The Chronicle's coverage of the upcoming ACC Championship game pitting the No. 20 Blue Devils against No. 1 Florida State, we took a look back at Duke's historic season.Here are links to a game-by-game recap of the sights and sounds from the Blue Devil's run to the ACC Championship game.Aug. 31: Duke 45, N.C. Central 0 (1-0)Sept. 7: Duke 28, Memphis 14 (2-0)Sept. 14: Duke 14, Georgia Tech 38 (2-1, 0-1)Sept. 21: Duke 55, Pittsburgh 58 (2-2, 0-2)Sept. 28: Duke 38, Troy 31 (3-2, 0-2)Oct. 12: Duke 35, Navy 7 (4-2, 0-2)Oct. 19: Duke 35, Virginia 22 (5-2, 1-2)Oct. 26: Duke 13, No. 16 Virginia Tech 10 (6-2, 2-2)Nov. 9: Duke 38, N.C. State 20 (7-2, 3-2)Nov. 16: Duke 48, No. 24 Miami 30 (8-2, 4-2)Nov. 23: No. 25 Duke 28, Wake Forest 21 (9-2, 5-2)Nov. 30: No. 24 Duke 27, North Carolina 25 (10-2, 6-2)For our preview and feature coverage, check out The Chronicle's football page.

David Cutcliffe and Kevin White reunited by 'perfect storm'

(12/06/13 8:42am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Win or lose, Kevin White is one of the first people David Cutcliffe sees at the end of any football game.Depending on the result of the game, the mood of their conversation varies, but one thing remains constant—Cutcliffe and White have unmistakable chemistry. As the Blue Devils' head coach and Duke's Director of Athletics have watched their football program flourish into an ACC Coastal Division champion in their sixth season together, that bond has only grown stronger."Because you care about somebody and you build relationships and you like people who do things right, it's been a lot more rewarding to do it with someone who has the same ideas and ideals as what you do," Cutcliffe said of White. "He’s a machine. Ask any coach in any sport here. He sees and knows all the athletes. That just makes it fun. It’s been special."White's knowledge of Cutcliffe spans all the way back to the early 1990s, when White was the Athletic Director at Tulane. Two of White's sons played in basketball leagues with Peyton and Eli Manning, who Cutcliffe would go on to coach at Tennessee and Ole Miss, respectively. White and the duo's father, Archie Manning, quickly became friends and supporters of the Tulane athletics programs."I remember on a couple of occasions in the early '90s Archie would bring up on a couple of occasions this young quarterbacks coach at the University of Tennessee, David Cutcliffe," White said. "That was the first time I had ever heard of him. And Archie said, 'There's a guy up there, he's going to be a head coach.'"When Cutcliffe took over as the head coach at Ole Miss in 1998, his path crossed with White's once again. White's son Mike, who is currently the head basketball coach for Louisiana Tech, was a point guard for the Rebels. Cutcliffe and White would often bump into each other at church in downtown Oxford, Miss., and were able to become truly acquainted for the first time."It was interesting that we never really knew each other, but we knew of each other for a long time," White said.So when White—who was ranked as the third-most-powerful man in college football by Sports Illustrated in 2003—needed a new assistant head coach at Notre Dame in 2005, he knew exactly where to turn."Charlie Weis hadn't been a college head coach before, so we wanted to surround him with coaches on both sides of the ball that had head coaching experience," White said. "Archie called me, I can remember it like it was yesterday, and said, 'Boy, David would be great in that role.' And I knew he would be."Cutcliffe interviewed for the position and was added to Weis' staff. He was set to mentor a young quarterback named Brady Quinn, who would go on to become a Heisman Trophy finalist in back-to-back seasons.But just as Cutcliffe got settled in South Bend, his health began to falter. He tried to work through his illness, but it eventually became too much for him. Doctors told him that he would need a triple bypass to clear an artery that was 99 percent blocked. After conferring with White, Cutcliffe resigned from his position at Notre Dame and went in for surgery.Although White's attention shifted toward his Fighting Irish squad that would go 9-3 in 2005, he kept close tabs on Cutcliffe throughout his recovery process, exchanging phone calls and messages with the coach and his wife, Karen, on a weekly basis. As Cutcliffe took time away from the coaching profession that he had been entrenched in for the previous 36 years, it forced him to reevaluate many aspects of his life."I never saw the leaves change color before I had triple bypass surgery," he said. "That summer I spent a lot of time just enjoying the neighborhood, walking, recovery. I'd take my daughter Emily to school, she had just started kindergarten. We'd hang out, we had a screen porch on the back, beautiful trees out where we lived, and I'd forgotten how beautiful the fall was. I took a sabbatical. I used that term just to see how different my life was."Cutcliffe returned to coaching for two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Tennessee before taking over a Duke team that had previously been the laughing stock of college football. After the head coach was hired by then-Athletic Director Joe Alleva, White made a point to laud the man who would become his predecessor on the hire."I knew just how difficult this football resuscitation project was going to be, and it was going to take someone like David Cutcliffe," White said. "I remember as soon as I heard David was coming to Duke, long before I knew I would ever be here, I wrote to Joe Alleva to tell him that."Six months after Cutcliffe was hired, Alleva stepped down to take the Athletic Director position at LSU. In stepped White, who said Cutcliffe was one of the key reasons why he came to Duke in the first place. Four years after Cutcliffe and White were pried apart by fate, the duo had a second chance to build a program together. But White and his new head coach faced the ultimate rebuilding project with the Blue Devils, a team that had won just eight games in its previous eight seasons.Cutcliffe would later call his first team the "fattest, slowest football team he had ever seen." He challenged his first Duke squad to get in shape, and the Blue Devils lost 597 pounds together as a team. His squad won a combined 11 games in Cutcliffe's first three seasons at the helm, and White began to notice the beginnings of something special."The guy had built what I called a widget factory," White said. "We weren't in a position, when he came, to go buy ready-made players. We weren't in the player-acquisition business. David was quick enough to understand that. He's a very smart guy—he determined we were in the player-development business. And then he built a heck of a process and put it in play, and that's what we're all seeing and enjoying here six years in. It's pretty amazing."Slowly but surely, the dominos started to fall for Cutcliffe. He won his first ACC game in 2008, took Duke to a bowl trip in 2012 and knocked off a ranked Virginia Tech squad on the road in 2013 en route to the program's first 10-win season and a Coastal Division championship. He won his second consecutive ACC Coach of the Year Award and had the Blue Devils back to national prominence for the first time in decades.Duke's run to the ACC championship game is a story of redemption in more ways than one. At the core of a program that made its rise back into the spotlight after an embarrassing period of dormancy are two men who Cutcliffe said were pulled apart and brought back together by a twist of fate."I'm a believer in it. I think there's a purpose to be had here. I've felt that since I've been here," Cutcliffe said. "I think a lot of this has taken a perfect storm."

David vs. Goliath

(12/06/13 8:29am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Hollywood could not script a better underdog story.Months after being picked to finish dead last in the ACC's Coastal Division, No. 20 Duke will ride an eight-game winning streak into the conference title game where it will meet undefeated No. 1 Florida State, a juggernaut on both sides of the ball. The Blue Devils and Seminoles will square off at 8 p.m. Saturday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte with the ACC championship and an Orange Bowl berth on the line.College football pundits across the country aren't giving Duke much of a chance. The game opened with Florida State as a 27.5-point favorite, with the line shifting to 29 points soon after. Although the Blue Devils are playing this game in their home state and are in the midst of a historic season, they will enter Saturday's matchup in an all-too-familiar position."Nobody has given us a chance all year long," redshirt senior offensive guard Dave Harding said. "It's business as usual for Duke football. We are going to come ready to play, and as underdogs that's a role we embrace."With a matchup against the Seminoles (12-0, 8-0 in the ACC) looming, Duke (10-2, 6-2) will face the same outside skepticism it has all season. For instance, the Blue Devils went on the road last week as the 24th-ranked team in the nation to take on an unranked North Carolina team and came into the game as four-point underdogs.When the Blue Devils and Florida State squared off last season in Tallahassee, Fla., the Seminoles ran Duke off the field in a 48-7 drubbing. But Florida State lost five players in the first two rounds of the 2013 NFL draft and has replaced those players with a new crop of talent, including Heisman hopeful Jameis Winston, who swept the ACC's individual awards among offensive players.Although the Seminoles have replenished their core, the Blue Devils believe they have grown enough in the past season to compete with the No. 1 team in the nation."I think that as far as they go, they're still very talented, very physical and great football players," Harding said. "I think the differences really lie on our side of the ball, where we've become more talented. We've been able to close the gap from a speed perspective."Winston's offensive arsenal is fully stocked with weapons like wide receivers Rashad Greene and Kelvin Benjamin and tight end Nick O'Leary. The Florida State offensive line has three first-team All-ACC selections in tackle Cameron Erving, guard Tre' Jackson and center Bryan Stork, who pave the way for the team's three-headed rushing attack of Devonta Freeman, Karlos Williams and James Wilder, Jr. Six of the conference's 12 first-team All-ACC players on offense are Seminoles.Despite only having one first-team All-ACC selection on the defensive side of the football, Florida State boasts one of the top defenses in the nation. The Seminoles rank first in the nation by allowing a paltry 11.0 points per game. Florida State ranks first in the conference in both scoring offense and scoring defense. The Seminoles are tops in the conference in a slew of offensive and defensive categories—the Blue Devils do not rank second in any of those statistics.But Duke has done something Florida State has not this season. In the Blue Devils' eight-game winning streak, they have come back from second-half deficits to win the game four times. The mantra of this year's team has been to finish, and Duke has done that, allowing just 3.08 points per game in the fourth quarter.The Seminole starters, meanwhile, are not even used to being on the field in the fourth quarter of games. Florida State's starters have played just one full game this season—a 48-34 victory against Boston College Sept. 28. The Seminoles' narrow 14-point victory against the Eagles was the only game Florida State has won by fewer than 27 points."We're going to be able to battle for three-and-a-half hours and get ready to give them our best shot," redshirt senior defensive tackle Sydney Sarmiento said. "There's a reason why they're number one in the nation. It's going to be tough."The Blue Devils' success this season has garnered the program more attention from national media than at any other time in the program's recent history. It has also caught the eye of a man who knows a thing or two about winning ACC championships. Duke head men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, who brought the Blue Devils to national prominence in the early 1980s, understands the difficulties of playing the role of underdog."When it's magical, sometimes you hear that its lucky. It’s not lucky. It’s magical what Cutcliffe and his staff, all these guys, how they’ve all worked together to provide an environment where magic can happen," Krzyzewski said. "They have a chance. They are winners. They were a program that wanted to win going into the season, and now they are a program of winners. They’ve proven that they can win, and when you cross that bridge a lot of neat things can happen."

Jameis Winston not charged with sexual assault

(12/05/13 11:59pm)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will not be charged with sexual assault, State Attorney Willie Meggs announced Thursday in a news conference at the Leon County Courthouse.Meggs' announcement concludes a three-week investigation into the Heisman hopeful, who will led the No. 1 Seminoles into an ACC championship game matchup with Duke Saturday in Charlotte. The redshirt freshman quarterback was accused of raping a fellow student Dec. 7, 2012."We have a duty as prosecutors to only file those charges if we have a reasonable likelihood of confusion," Meggs said. "After reviewing all of the evidence in the case, it did not meet that burden."If Winston were charged with the felony, he would have been immediately suspended indefinitely per Florida State Athletic Department policy, putting his team's shot at the national championship game in jeopardy should the top-ranked Seminoles defeat Duke Saturday.Playing his first season of college football, Winston was named ACC Player of the Year, completing 68.8 percent of his passes and throwing for 3,490 yards in 12 regular-season games. He also threw for 35 touchdowns and eight interceptions.The case has been the center of attention for the past three weeks following intense scrutiny from the alleged victim's family, which issued a statement accusing law enforcement officers of trying to dissuade them from progressing with the charges due to the Seminoles' national championship aspirations."We requested assistance from an attorney friend to interact with law enforcement on the victim's behalf," the statement said. "When the attorney contacted Detective [Scott] Angulo immediately after Winston was identified, Detective Angulo told the attorney that Tallahassee was a big football town and the victim needs to think long and hard before proceeding against him because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable."Meggs responded to those allegations Thursday, stating that his office does not give preferential treatment to Florida State athletes."We try to treat everyone the same," Meggs said. "I think we have a record of doing that over the past 29 years."When asked about whether or not Meggs scheduled the announcement to be made before the Heisman trophy ceremony, the State Attorney laughed and asked when that was. Meggs said he did not consult with the Florida State football program to reveal the findings of the investigation.

Jameis Winston findings to be announced Thursday

(12/05/13 4:44am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>With a matchup against Duke in the ACC championship game looming, No. 1 Florida State will learn the legal fate of its starting quarterback.State Attorney Willie Meggs will announce the findings of the investigation of Heisman hopeful Jameis Winston Thursday in a 2 p.m. press conference. Winston, the Seminoles' standout redshirt freshman signal-caller, could be charged with sexual battery in the attempted rape of a fellow student, which allegedly took place Dec. 7, 2012.If he is charged with a felony, Winston would be immediately suspended indefinitely per Florida State Athletic Department policy and would not be able to suit up for Saturday's conference championship game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.Winston was named ACC Player of the Year Wednesday after leading the conference with 3,490 passing yards, throwing for 35 touchdowns and just eight interceptions.Winston's attorney alleged that the sex between the Seminole quarterback and his 19-year-old accuser, was consensual. The accuser did not identify Winston as her attacker until more than a month after the alleged incident, according to a timeline released by the Tallahassee Police Department.The case has been the center of attention for the past three weeks following intense scrutiny from the alleged victim's family, which issued a statement accusing law enforcement officers of trying to dissuade them from progressing with the charges due to the Seminoles' national championship aspirations."We requested assistance from an attorney friend to interact with law enforcement on the victim's behalf," the statement said. "When the attorney contacted Detective [Scott] Angulo immediately after Winston was identified, Detective Angulo told the attorney that Tallahassee was a big football town and the victim needs to think long and hard before proceeding against him because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable." Despite Winston's ongoing investigation, it has been business as usual at Florida State. Winston addressed the media Wednesday but answered football questions only.

Duke basketball upends Michigan in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

(12/04/13 9:28am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Duke got what it had been waiting for all season—a balanced performance.Behind some productive bench play, hard-nosed defense and tenacity on the glass, the No. 10 Blue Devils defeated No. 22 Michigan 79-69 Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at Cameron Indoor Stadium.For the first time this season, junior Quinn Cook led the way for the Blue Devils (7-2) with 24 points, becoming the first player other than freshman Jabari Parker or redshirt sophomore Rodney Hood to pace Duke this season. All 24 of Cook's points came in the second half, including a perfect 10-of-10 performance from the line."Quinn was magnificent," Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "The whole game, even though he didn't score in the first half, he managed the team well. We told him to be very aggressive in the second half."Although Cook stole the show in the second half, it was productive play from the Blue Devils' bench that gave them the spark they needed.Matt Jones played a career-high 18 minutes, and although he scored just two points and did not hit a shot from the floor, his defense on Michigan's leading scorer, guard Nik Stauskas, kept Michigan's offense from finding a rhythm throughout the first half. The Wolverines (5-3) shot just 8-of-26 from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, and although the Blue Devils managed to hit just 4-of-13 3-point attempts, Duke went into the locker room with a 32-22 advantage.Stauskas, who entered the contest averaging a team-high 20.3 points per contest, managed just four points and did not hit a field goal in the contest."We took away their best player, Stauskas, and we took away their three-point shots," Hood said. "We did a great job. We talked, and we gained rebounds and we scrapped for loose balls. We can score the ball—that's not the issue. We have to have that defensive mindset, and that's what's going to get it for us this year."Shifting away from its frenetic run-and-gun pace, the Blue Devils chose to slow things down on both ends of the floor against Michigan, milking the shot clock on offense and grinding out defensive possessions to get stops."Duke is known for defense. We got tired of people saying that we couldn't play defense," Cook said. "ESPN was doing specials on us about not playing defense—well deserved because we weren't—but we got tired of that."Playing the most productive minutes of his career, redshirt sophomore Marshall Plumlee battled down low with Michigan forward Mitch McGary. Although McGary recorded a game-high 14 rebounds, it was Duke that outrebounded the Wolverines 32-31. Many of Plumlee's biggest plays did not show up in the box score—he altered shots, clogged up passing lanes and fought on the glass to make an impact.Parker made crucial buckets early in the second half to maintain Duke's comfortable lead. The Chicago native attacked the paint relentlessly, even when he was being guarded by McGary, and put his post moves on display in the second period.Michigan began to claw its way back in the second half, trimming Duke's lead to 46-40 with 9:01 to play. In stepped graduate student Andre Dawkins, who had played just three minutes in the first half. Dawkins came off the bench shooting, knocking down two 3-pointers in a minute to push his team's lead back to double digits."Those two threes were just huge," Krzyzewski said. "They're going to make a push... and Andre—boom, boom—put us up by 12. I'm really happy for him."Dawkins' sweet shooting appeared to spark his teammates' shooting stroke as well. Cook, who dished out nine assists in the game, got into the act as well, knocking down two 3-pointers down the stretch, including a big shot with less than five minutes to play that pushed Duke's lead to 16.Earning their first win against a ranked opponent this season, the Blue Devils played what could have been their most complete game of the season. After struggling through nonconference games in the NIT Season Tip-off, which culminated in a loss to Arizona, it appears Duke is finally beginning to find its identity as a team."We're getting better. We're a little more cohesive. We're getting to know one another a little bit more, and we have to keep that going," Krzyzewski said. "The best way we can become cohesive is on the defensive end."

Watch ACC basketball players fail to spell Coach K's last name

(12/04/13 2:10am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Krzyzewski.In addition to being associated with the winningest coach in Division I basketball history, it's also one of the hardest names in all of sports to spell.ESPN decided to put some of the ACC's top talents to the test and see how they fared. The results...were not good. Take a look:

David Cutcliffe named ACC Coach of the Year

(12/03/13 11:48pm)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Duke head coach David Cutcliffe earned ACC Coach of the Year honors for the second season in a row, the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association announced Tuesday afternoon.Cutcliffe received 62 of the 65 first-place votes. Boston College's Steve Adazio received two first place votes and Florida State's Jimbo Fisher received one."For our program, for our staff, for our university, that's big," Cutcliffe said. "I humbly accept that, knowing that there were a lot of right choices and that I'm about that much of it. I've said it time and time again, it's the perfect storm to be surrounded by so many fine people."Cutcliffe is the first Duke coach to win the award in back-to-back seasons since Steve Spurrier received the honor in 1988 and 1989.Leading the Blue Devils to their first 10-win season in program history, Cutcliffe's Duke squad will represent the ACC Coastal Division in this week's conference championship game. The Blue Devils will make a trip to a bowl game in consecutive years for the first time in 101 seasons of Duke football. Cutcliffe's 10 wins this season match the Blue Devils' total from the years 2000-07."His passion, his confidence, just his will to not be denied—that kind of trickles down into our players and program," redshirt junior quarterback Anthony Boone said. "His passion started when we first got here. It was him telling us that he was going to change the program."Cutcliffe was also named a finalist for the Maxwell National Coach of the Year award alongside Auburn's Guz Malzahn and Missouri's Gary Pinkel.

A season of growth comes full circle for Duke football

(12/02/13 8:54am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>CHAPEL HILL—Eight games ago, it did not look like a trip to the ACC championship game was even going to be in the realm of possibility for Duke.With starting quarterback Anthony Boone sitting on the sidelines nursing a broken collarbone, the Blue Devils fell to Pittsburgh 58-55 in front of a sparse home crowd at Wallace Wade Stadium. Duke allowed nearly 600 yards of total offense in that Sept. 21 game as a late comeback attempt fell short.The loss dropped the Blue Devils to 2-2 on the season. Boone had no timetable for his return, and the Duke defense looked every bit as porous as the group that allowed 49.2 points per game in a five-game losing skid to end the 2012 season. It was the type of loss that could send an otherwise-promising season spiraling out of control.The opposite happened—more than two months later, the Blue Devils have not lost since."That’s when it really settled in for me that we have a great team," redshirt senior cornerback Ross Cockrell said. "Even with all the ups and downs in that game, a lot of negative things happened for us. Defensively, we gave up a ton of big plays, but we fought to the very end of that game—a game we should have been out of, I think."Despite all the negative takeaways on both sides of the ball, Cockrell said it was his team's loss to the Panthers that showed the physicality and resilience that has led the team on its current eight-game winning streak."I was talking to [head coach David Cutcliffe] after that game, and I said, ‘Even after all the bad things that happened to us, we still were only three points away,’" Cockrell said. "And that’s when I think I knew that we had a special team and that we had a special season ahead of us."Slowly but surely, the Blue Devils built the pieces it would need to take the Coastal Division crown. After eking out an ugly win against Troy on Homecoming weekend, Duke began to look like a different football team. Boone returned, but the redshirt junior struggled, leaving the defense to grind out low-scoring affairs. Instead of jumping out to 20-point first quarter leads like the Blue Devils did last season against Virginia Tech, Duke fell behind early in games and had to claw its way back into contests. Turnovers turned into points—points turned into wins.Cutcliffe often harps on the three phases necessary to winning a football game—offense, defense and special teams. During this eight-game winning streak, the Blue Devils have won games with only one or two of these phases playing efficiently. Fittingly, it took plays from all three phases to beat North Carolina and wrap up a season for the history books.Duke's offense moved effectively through the air and marched down the field—just like it had in wins against N.C. Central, Navy and Miami—en route to the game-winning field goal. The Blue Devil defense came up with a turnover to seal the victory, just like it did in wins against Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. And an opportunistic play on special teams by redshirt freshman DeVon Edwards gave Duke the spark it needed to prevail, just like it did four weeks ago against N.C. State."It went back to all three phases," Cutcliffe said. "All three phases in that last three, four minutes of the game had to step up and make plays to enable us to win. So how appropriate is that?"Saturday's win was about more than just the first 10-win Duke team ever. It was about more than a trip to the ACC championship game or earning respect from other big-time college football programs. It was about bringing a journey full-circle—the culmination of a roller-coaster ride that ended with the realization of a dream Cutcliffe brought to Duke six years ago."We’ve never really been expected win," Boone said. "It’s like a shark, once you taste blood for the first time, you know you just have to keep doing it. That’s our mentality right now. We know how to win and we’re going to go out there and do what it takes to win the game."

COASTAL DIVISION CHAMPIONS: Duke football tops UNC 27-25

(12/01/13 1:16am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—DeVon Edwards did not think he could come up with a bigger game than his three-touchdown performance against N.C. State. He was wrong.The redshirt freshman safety returned a kickoff for a touchdown and sealed the game with an interception as the No. 24 Blue Devils knocked off North Carolina 27-25 at Kenan Stadium to claim the ACC's Coastal Division crown. The Blue Devils will take on No. 2 Florida State in next week's ACC championship game in Charlotte, N.C."My time at Tennessee was building from the ground up. But this, no offense to anybody else, this just feels special," Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said. "This is better. This is different. I know exactly where we were when we came here. I know where we were when we worked out in January 2008. I have a very vivid picture what that workout looked like and to coach the division champions today is pretty special."As has been the case this year, Duke (10-2, 6-2 in the ACC) needed a stand from its defense to hold on for the victory. After allowing the Tar Heels (6-6, 4-4) to cross midfield on their final drive, relentless pass rush led the Blue Devils to the decisive turnover, the division crown and a date with the Seminoles."I really don't have words for it. It's a great feeling," redshirt junior quarterback Anthony Boone said. "It's just one of those dreams come true—Coach Cut coming into each one of our houses and selling us his dream that one day you're going to compete for an ACC championship. It's happening in front of our eyes."North Carolina had a chance to win the game on its final drive. Trailing by two points with 2:20 remaining in the contest, it was up to Duke's defense to conserve the victory. Relentless pass rush from the team's defensive line kept Tar Heel quarterback Marquise Williams flushed out of the pocket and forced him to make plays with his feet.After converting a fourth down by crossing the 50-yard line into Duke territory, Williams once again felt the pressure from the Blue Devils' defensive front. Edwards was waiting.Two days after Thanksgiving, the redshirt freshman had the opportunity to scarf up a different kind of bird."I mean [Williams] kinda just threw a little duck, simply to me," Edwards said. "I knew I just had to catch it as I was patient and I just let it come down to me. I just fell because I knew the game was over."After North Carolina turned a Jamison Crowder fumble into points to take a 15-10 lead with 1:30 remaining in the second quarter, Edwards ensured his team would not go into the locker trailing. He found a seam on the right side and took the ensuing kickoff 99 yards to the house for a touchdown.Edwards' touchdown—his second score off a kick return and fourth of the season—put the momentum squarely in the Blue Devils' corner heading into the locker room."Thank you DeVon. He's put in a lot of hard work," redshirt senior cornerback Ross Cockrell said. "Coach Cut talked about Mr. November—kind of like the Mr. October of football. And I think DeVon has earned that. He earned that today."But North Carolina refused to go away. Even after Williams threw nine consecutive incomplete passes, the sophomore went a perfect 5-for-5 to lead a touchdown drive that brought the Tar Heels within two points at 24-22. Thomas Moore would tack on a field goal to give North Carolina a 25-22 advantage.Playing against a high-paced Tar Heel offense, the Blue Devils strayed from their usual up-tempo style and milked the clock to allow their defense to rest. Stringing together three scoring drives longer than four minutes on the afternoon—including an 11-play drive that led to Ross Martin's go-ahead 27-yard field goal—Duke's defense was well-rested heading into its final stand.The Blue Devils stood tall on the defensive side of the football once again, and are now allowing an average of 3.08 points per contest in the final period of play."We just continued to fight, continued to play," Cockrell said. "This team is part of my family. I love every single member. We go to the wall every single day."Although Crowder caught two touchdowns on the afternoon—including an acrobatic tip-toe in catch for his second score—Boone favored his possession receivers in big spots. Brandon Braxton and Braxton Deaver, Boone's roommates, were also their quarterback's favorite targets on the afternoon, combining for 135 yards on 12 receptions. Nine of those connections converted first downs for the Blue Devils."Just living with them, I can go back and watch film and tell them a scenario and they'll know what I'm looking for," Boone said. "It showed today. They were seeing what I was seeing, and I was able to connect with my roommates."As the clock struck zero, Duke fans were not in their home stadium to storm the field. The Blue Devils compensated by giving Cutcliffe a ceremonial Gatorade shower—something he's become accustomed to this season—before fifth-year seniors Sydney Sarmiento and Justin Foxx hoisted him on their shoulders and carried him off the field.With the victory, Duke's first 10-win team in program history will ride its eight-game winning streak into next week's ACC championship game against Florida State at Bank of America Stadium. The Blue Devils will become the first team from the Triangle to represent either division in the conference title game.And although Duke has found a way to shock just about everybody this season, the Blue Devils believe they aren't close to done yet."I just think people need to believe that Duke football is going to be a powerhouse," redshirt sophomore Jeremy Cash said. "Whether you want to believe it or not, we are going to run the ACC."

Duke's seniors want to hang onto Victory Bell

(11/30/13 11:37am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Duke has some bigger fish to fry heading into Saturday's matchup with North Carolina at Kenan Stadium. The Blue Devils can make their first appearance in the ACC championship game with a victory, and can secure the first 10-win season in program history.But if for nothing more than pride, Duke's senior class will head into enemy territory Saturday hoping to keep the fabled Victory Bell for another season."This senior class is committed to keeping the Bell at Duke University," redshirt senior guard Dave Harding said. "It'll be disappointing if that doesn't happen. We're devoted to finishing out this regular season strong against a very good North Carolina team."