The Duke football team FINALLY had a bye week on Saturday, so it is a great time to look back at their 2012 season to date.
Back on October 20th, the Blue Devils became bowl eligible for the first time since 1994, which was reason to celebrate. In that game, they beat rival North Carolina for the first time since 2003, another reason to celebrate. That win put Duke at 6-2 and in first place in the ACC’s Coastal Division. Yet another reason to celebrate.
Unfortunatley, the Blue Devils came back down to earth in their next two games against ranked conference opponents Florida State and Clemson. The disappointing part was that they were blown out from the beginning of both games.
Those losses dropped them to third place, so they have some ground to make up if they want to play in the ACC Championship. Next Saturday, they head to Atlanta to play Georgia Tech. Duke then finishes the regular season at home against Miami. If they win their final two games, they will finish with a 5-3 ACC record (8-4 overall). That could be enough to put Duke in the ACC Championship game against either Clemson or FSU.
Heading into Saturday’s matchup, the Yellow Jackets and Hurricanes are tied atop the Coast Division at 4-3. UNC dropped behind Duke after a loss to GT this past Saturday. In that game, GT scored 68 points (but allowed 50). Saturday’s game could be wild. Miami was upset by Virginia.
The Blue Devils are averaging 40.7 points per game, but are allowing 32.6 points. Rushing has been an issue all season for Duke. They average less than four yards a carry. Jela Duncan leads Duke with 41.3 yards a game and has four touchdowns (which is second on the team). Josh Snead gets 31.8 yards a game. Brandon Connette, who is their goal line rusher but has been injured, leads the team with five rushing touchdowns.
The warrior has been quarterback Sean Renfree, who has been battered all season, but keeps getting back up. He has completed 67.3% of his passes (200-of-297), but has thrown seven interceptions. He does however average 236 yards per game and has thrown 12 TD passes.
Jamison Crowder has come on 2012 to give Renfree two of the best receivers in college football (along with Conner Vernon). Crowder has caught six touchdown passes so far and averages 81 yards per game. He averages 13.5 yards per catch. Vernon is now the ACC’s all-time leading receiver and is having a solid season. He averages close to 81 yards a game and has caught five TD passes. He averages 13.7 yards per catch. Desmond Scott has also been a solid receiver, as he averages close to ten yards a catch.
Freshman kicker Ross Martin has been almost automatic in his first collegiate season. He is 16-of-18 on field goal attempts and has made all 35 of his extra points. His new career-high in field goal distance is 47 yards, set in Duke’s loss to Clemson in their last game.
Ross Cockrell leads the team in interceptions with five. He also returned one for a touchdown. He also has 54 total tackles and one sack. Walt Conty leads the Duke defense in tackles with 89.
Duke will need their defense to step up big time over their final two games if they want a shot at shocking the college football world.