You hear it so often, and it sounds so cliche – Team A is better than it’s record. With the Duke Blue Devils, this is actually true. Duke was a team that was better than it’s 3-6, 0-4 record. If you had seen play in recent weeks, you knew it.
There was 10 point loss at Louisville, where Duke came within 1 penalty call of setting up for a possible game winning drive. They fell behind 28-7 to Georgia Tech before losing 38-35, and they lost to Coastal Division leader Virginia Tech 24-21 last week.
4 of their 6 losses were by 10 points or less. Daniel Jones was emerging freshman starter at quarterback, and Duke was competing in each of their games but the wins weren’t there. Along with the close losses, there was the win at Notre Dame that opened a lot of eyes. Duke isn’t a bad team. That was before the Irish went into a complete tailspin.
You knew David Cutcliffe was too good a coach to let Duke go winless in the ACC. It was only a matter of time before the Blue Devils beat somebody. How nice it must feel for that first ACC win to beat hated arch-rival North Carolina. For those of you that saw the upset coming, way to go, but not that many saw tonight’s win.
The Tar Heels are having a decent season now 7-3, but it’s falling short of expectations. They couldn’t get that pivotal non-conference win to open the season against Georgia. They likely won’t be the Coastal Division or ACC champions. The last 2 points are thanks to those pesky neighbors 8 miles away in Durham who virtually ended the Heels chances of repeating at Coastal Division champions.
Back to Duke… With Jones at QB, and Cutcliffe still there at Duke I really like this to be factor in the Coastal next year. There were injuries, inexperience, and bad luck this season, but they have been a tough out all season. Pitt and Miami better be careful at home with this Duke team, that could knock off both. They are playing for a bowl birth after all.