Duke Football Is Now 4 - 1 And Not Done Yet
After losing in Charlottesville last year to Virginia by a score of 48 - 0, Duke Football got its revenge this past Saturday night in Wallace Wade Stadium and won its ACC opening game beating Virginia 38 -17. This game was a huge boost for this Duke Football team as it broke 2 streaks that Duke.. well didn't prefer to have. The win ended Duke Football's streak of thirteen straight ACC losses as well as ended their seven straight losses streak to Virginia. Duke jumped out to a 21 - 0 lead over Virginia and at halftime was up 21 - 7. Duke won by 21 points easily beating the -2.5 spread Vegas had set for this game.
Duke is now 1-0 in the ACC and has a 4-1 overall record.
Coach Mike Elko meet with the media after the game and below are his post game quotes per Duke Sports Information.
Mike Elko Opening Statement:
“Really proud of our guys, a lot of respect for Virginia and a lot of respect for that team. We knew that was going to be a big challenge for us. I thought our guys answered the bell, I thought we came out and played extremely physical. I thought we established the running game early and kept it going late. I thought that seven minute drive in the fourth quarter was an attitude drive for our program. That was great to see. I thought defensively, we bounced back, made a lot of stops, did a much better job of kind of slowing their offense down and keeping it bottled up. I thought we did a really good job there, and then we made some big plays on special teams to get the block punt to get the fumble recovery. Those
things were critical. You know, we won the turnover battle again and that was really important. I thought we finished really strong. I thought those were the keys to the game and [I’m] so proud of our guys and proud to get ACC win number one. But you know, I just told them that the expectations around here are changing. We're excited for the win, but now it's on to the next. With these wins come more opportunities, so we're looking forward to it.”
On main keys that allowed the running game to be so successful:
“We blocked them and we blocked them well. That was something we felt like we had to do. We knew they were going to load the box ... that was a defense that hadn't given up very many running yards because they were going to load the box and they were going to try to outnumber you. I thought schematically, we tried to do some things to loosen them up and I thought we were able to do that. That certainly helped. But I thought our offensive line played physical and our backs ran really hard. That's what you have to do against those types of teams. If those teams are going to load the box, you're going
to have to account for the extra people with your backs at times. With movement up front, I thought we were able to do that.”
On winning the turnover battle:
“You have to ask him. I think he's scared to come off the sideline and see me if he does ... maybe, I don't know. But no, I'm kidding. We emphasize it, we preach it and we live it every day. It's not something we just talk about because we need to talk about it ... we literally teach it every single rep every single day. I think the kids understand how important that is for our success. They understand that sometimes a four yard scramble is better than a 50/50 ball into the middle of the field that could become a turnover. I think he [Riley Leonard] understands it. He's executing at a really high level. He's superseding expectations in that regard. Now, he's just got to keep doing it.”
On Riley Leonard’s pocket presence:
“I think he works extremely hard. I think Coach [Kevin] Johns works extremely hard to get him in positions. I think we talked a lot in the offseason about this, that this was going to be a team effort. There was no way we could change the fact that we were going to have a first time starting quarterback, that just was going to be what it was going to be and that it wasn't just going to be about him. We were going to have to be able to run the ball, we're gonna have to protect them in the pocket and we were going to have to do things to make the game easy for him. He's allowed us the way he's played these first five games ... he's allowed us to open up a little bit more because he's showing that we can trust them and that he can execute the offense at a really high level.”
Duke now heads to Atlanta this Saturday to take on Georgia Tech for a 4:00 PM kickoff.
Georgia Tech went on the road and upset Pittsburgh this past weekend winning 26 -21. As of this writing BetMGM has Duke favored by -3 in this game.
Ok... as I write this.. I know I am not the only person who scrolls through the weekly bowl projections from various sports media sites to see if and where they put Duke Football. Look... before I go any further... one must know.. you look at these bowl projections and have a "take it with a grain of salt" mentality as there is a lot of regular season football games left. It is still exciting for Duke fans to start seeing Duke Football mentioned in various bowl projections. At the start of the season various sports book had Duke Football Over/Under at 3.5 regular season wins. Well... Duke Football is now 4 - 1 and 2 games away from being bowl eligible. I have to give a shoutout to all those who took the Over 3.5 wins for Duke Football... as you are already now set to cash out and its only the beginning of October.
With all of that said here are some bowl projections from various sports sites after Week 5 play finished.
- CBS = Sun Bowl - Duke vs Oregon State
- 247 Sports = Pinstripe Bowl - Duke vs Iowa
- CollegeFootballNew.com = Duke's Mayo Bowl - Duke vs Purdue
- Athlon Sports = Military Bowl - Duke vs East Carolina
As one can see... these bowl projections are all over the place as to be expected this early in the season. If anything what fans can get from these projections above is that the media is taking notice of Duke Football. There is still a lot left to be done for Duke Football to get bowl eligible. With that said... the Elko Era clearly has this team headed in the right direction and are taking it one game at a time.
"I just told them that the expectations around here are changing. We're excited for the win, but now it's on to the next. With these wins come more opportunities, so we're looking forward to it.” - Mike Elko after the win over Virginia.