A Preseason Look at Duke

Another in-depth look at our 2021 opponents by Rich in SC.

Trying to find a story line or interesting tidbits on the Duke football team is like having your teeth pulled – a slow and painful experience. After three evenings of starts, stops, rewrites and erasures, I just decided to gum my way through it. Why is it hard? You probably know or guessed the answer – Duke is a Basketball School.

David Cutcliffe enters his fourteenth season with the Blue Devils. His overall record is currently standing at 74 – 88 (35-71 ACC, 36 – 13 OOC, a bowl record of 3 – 3, and finally 0 -1 in conference championship games. If you ignore the 2020 season, Duke basically averages going 3 – 1 in OOC play. His golden years at Duke was the time period from 2012 – 2015. His teams were 33 – 20 (18-14 ACC, 14-2 OOC, and four bowl appearances (1-3).  His best year was 2013. A 10 – 4 record (6-2 ACC,    4-0  OOC and a conference championship appearance (loss).

AS usual, I start off the preseason look with Duke’s and Pitt’s 2021 schedule.

On to the review, starting with recruiting.

Duke’s recruiting is not very accretive (JoeL ☺).

Duke took in 4 players from the transfer portal (TP).

I hate to say it, but this TP haul reminds me of Pitt’s pre-TP search for OLinemen and tight ends. Who are the Duke players to know?

Usually, I start this by listing the returning 2020 All ACC selections followed by the 2021 Athlon All ACC selections. There are no returning 2020 selections. The 3 players Duke had, went pro. Instead, I have listed the two names besides Mataeo Durant who attended the 2021 ACC Media Days.

Speaking of the ACC Media Days, the ACC released the 27 man (13 offense, 11 defense, three special team) 2021 Preseason All ACC team.

Howell Named Preseason POTY, Clemson Leads with Eight on All-ACC Team – Atlantic Coast Conference (theacc.com)

The team was selected by 147 media attendees. Mataeo Durant’s name is in bold to mark his selection.

That wraps up the recruiting, TP additions and ‘names to know” section of the review.

What payers did Duke lose?

As I said previously, Duke lost their three All ACC selections to the pros. Their names are in bold. Here is the complete listing.

One TP entry from Stanford. Mark Gilbert opter-out of the 2020 season.

Of course, they lost a few players to the TP

I do not know much about Duke, but I believe they lost at least 3 starters – QB Brice, Safety Waters and DT Tangelo.

Brice will be replaced by 2021 ACC Duke Media Days representative Gunner Holmberg. He had 48 snaps where he either passed (25 snaps) or ran the ball (23) during the 2020 season.

That all I got. There is some grumbling from the Duke fan base on Cutcliffe tenure but probably not going anywhere. After all, Duke is a Basketball School.