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  • Writer's picturefreddiehodges22

A Look Back at the Duke Football Blue & White Game

We are now on year 2 of the Elko Era with the spring game that happened this past Friday night.

Before I give some quick thoughts on the spring game, let's look back on what was an epic season one of the Elko era.

In season one under Mike Elko Duke Football

  • Finished the season with a 9 - 4 record

  • Went 5 - 1 at home

  • 3 - 3 on the road

  • 1 - 0 neutral

  • 5 - 3 in the ACC

  • Beat UCF in the Military Bowl

If I remember correctly, Vegas had the Over/Under at 3.5 wins last season. Well Duke Football easily surpassed everybody's expectations and finished an epic season one under coach Mike Elko that finished with the bowl win over UCF in the Military Bowl.

It was good to be back in Wallace Wade Stadium last Friday night to kick off the Duke Football early season with the Blue & White game.

Some Quick Thoughts

It was a spring game, so I'm not going to take much out of it... but there were a few things I'll mention.

Duke looks to be in solid hands for the present and future at the quarterback position.

Riley Leonard finished 19 of 28 passing for 154 yards with 2 touchdowns. Duke fans are definitely excited about another season of Riley at the QB position. And don't get me started on Grayson Loftis and possible future expectations for him. Sadly, the one bathroom break I took was when Grayson connected with Cook on a 49 yard touchdown pass. But seeing the replay of that and his performance as well as the work Henry Belin IV put in has me excited about the future of the QB spot.

Riley Leonard should have a lot of options to throw to.

Jordan Moore led receiving for the White team with 48 yards and Eli Pancol had 44 yards. For the Blue team, Jalon Calhoun and Sahmir Hagans both had 30+ receiving yards. Now put all these guys together on the same team... and Riley Leonard will have multiple weapons to throw to when the season starts.

Solid turnout for the spring game.

Even with the game quickly being switched to a Friday night instead of Saturday afternoon (due to weather) there was still a decent turn out for the game especially considering other sporting events that were happening. They held the Fan Fest again before the game and also gave out 2023 Duke Football schedule posters, schedule cards, key tags, and a cool Bleed Blue Duke Football hat.

Riley Leonard plays with a chip on his shoulder.

In the post game interview my media friend Conor O'Neill with Devils Illustrated noticed that Riley had a "You Suck" bracelet on and asked him about it. Riley laughed and talked about how everybody tells him how good he is. He mentioned that he gets his mom before every game to tell him he sucks. He laughs and goes on to mention that she isn't good at it. Riley then talked about how he needs criticism to get him going. My take from this is that Riley Leonard is the ultimate competitor. Even after the successful season he had last year, he still remains very motivated and looks for ways to find that edge. Check out the full interview with Riley Leonard from Go Duke below.

Keep scrolling below to see Mike Elko's opening statement and a partial interview with Riley Leonard.

Mike Elko

Riley Leonard

Duke fans have a lot to be excited about in season 2 of the Elko era. I hope to see many of you out Labor Day night September 4th when Clemson comes to town in what should be an electric game in Wallace Wade Stadium to finish out week 1 of the college football season.

Thanks for checking out the blog. As always follow us on Twitter @DukeReport and @Skeelow22 for up to date information on Duke Football and Duke Basketball. Check back here at the blog as I hope to have some cool stuff happening and posted here in the off-season this coming summer.

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