Duke Blue Devils, head football coach, David Cutcliffe, in his sixth year at the helm, has taken the next step to clinch the program’s first winning season since 1994 – that Belk Bowl loss left Duke at 6-7 last year – the Blue Devils have implemented the option offense (zone read). That includes executing it on offense and stopping it on defense.
During the spring, Coach Cutliffe said, "The game has changed, the field is the same size that it has always been, and the defense is bigger, faster and stronger. We’re reverting right back to single-wing football is what we’re doing, where you have these weapons at your disposal, misdirection, anything you can do."
Coach Cutcliffe called the 2013 Blue Devils team a mixture of veteran players and young talent. Officially, Duke returns 17 starters – seven on offense, eight on defense and two specialists. But he also pointed out how flexible that number actually is – because of Duke’s heavy injury toll last season, quite a few players got experience as starters.
The Blue Devils have about 32 players who started at least one game last season.
Duke will be led at the Quarterback position by redshirt junior, Anthony Boone who had one start last season against the Virginia Cavaliers, leading Duke to a 41-17 victory.
Boone threw four touchdown passes and finished 18-of-31 for 212 yards; while also rushing seven times for 41 yards.
Implementing an option offense (Zone read) will be effective in managing the game clock, giving the opposing team less time to score, and keeping the option team's defense from tiring.
In my eyes, Cutcliffe is wise to use the strengths and experience of his offense by going with the option offense, primarily because of a combined total of 104 starts for the projected starters on the offensive live.
Duke’s offensive line is one of the tightest groups on the team. A year ago, most of them went to Africa together to dig wells in Ethiopia. This past summer, they worked with Habitat for Humanity.
I realize what has been predicted by the experts for the 2013 ACC football season! Yes I do agree that Clemson will win the ACC Championship, but I don't agree that Duke will finish last in the Coastal division.
I look for them to finish 4th or 5th in the Coastal, (4-4) with a (7-5) overall record and another trip to a bowl game.
Keep in mind I feel that an 8-4 season is not really out of reach. Remember, they don’t have to play Clemson or Florida State this season.
Many may say I am foolish for making this prediction but many didn’t feel that the Blue Devils would even make it to a bowl last season.
Duke football will be under the radar and with a new offensive scheme, barring any major injuries, I feel this will allow them to catch a lot of teams off guard and lead them to another special season.
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