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Talking Canes-Duke with Blue Devil Nation

Earlier this week I exchanged a few questions with Patrick Cacchio who covers Duke football for Blue Devil Nation. He asked me for my thoughts on the Canes and I asked him questions about Duke. 


1. It's amazing to see the turnaround Duke's program has made under David Cutcliffe. What has really been the key to the Blue Devils growing from being a bowl-eligible 6-6 team to now 7-2 and in the hunt for the Coastal Division crown?

"When Coach Cutcliffe arrived in Durham, he promised fans that the Blue Devils would feature a high-flying offense that put up points. The last two seasons, he's delivered on that promise, as Duke's spread offense averaged 31.5 points a year ago and have improved to 33.4 points per game so far this season. Surprisingly, though, it's the Blue Devil defense that has transformed this program from simply bowl-eligible to ACC contender. The strong play of the defense is even more surprising since Duke entered the season with four true freshmen on the two-deep in the secondary. In September, the Duke defense allowed 58 points to Pittsburgh in a bizarre shoot-out of a game. Since their first bye week, however, it's been a completely different story. Duke has allowed a total of 59 points in their last 5 games. Even after that shaky September, Duke boasts the nation's 32nd best scoring defense and the top red zone defense in the ACC. Though they have received opportunistic plays from the young secondary, the Blue Devil defense is led up front by 3 of the top 5 tacklers in the ACC - LB David Helton, LB Kelby Brown, and S Jeremy Cash. Special teams has contributed, as well, where the Blue Devils rank in the top 5 in the conference in punt returns, kick returns, punting, and kick coverage. While the offense has slumped, Duke has found a way to win with defense and special teams; it's that balance that makes this team a legitimate ACC Coastal Division threat."

2. What's the buzz been like in Durham this week for this game? Isn't that supposed to be basketball country? Or has this football team really won the town over this year?

"It's no secret that support for Duke Football has been lacking in recent years, but with a winning team and a chance to play for an ACC Championship, there's a distinct buzz on and around campus. Last week, as the Blue Devils hosted in-state rival NC State, Wallace Wade Stadium was packed with 32,000 fans mostly in Duke blue, helping to ensure the program's first winning season since 1994. Prior to the NC State game, however, attendance was down significantly this year for the Blue Devils. The University has invested a lot into the program, and during this offseason, significant upgrades to Wallace Wade Stadium to enhance the fan experience are expected. This season has seen nearby Wake Forest, UNC and NC State struggle, making the Blue Devils the best football story in the Triangle. While tickets are still available for Saturday's game, don't expect to see the half-empty stadium of years past."

3. I know the Canes have won nine in a row against Duke, but why do Miami fans need to be worried? Who is playing well for this Duke team right now?

"Miami is still the bigger and more talented team on paper, but the same could be said about the Blue Devils' last two opponents. Duke is playing with confidence as they take a five-game winning streak into Saturday's Coastal Division showdown. The Blue Devils have been carried by their strong play on defense and special teams. I expect to see LBs Kelby Brown and David Helton continue to wrack up tackles and slow the Hurricanes on the ground. Stephen Morris will have to make accurate throws against an opportunistic Duke secondary, who welcomes back All-ACC CB Ross Cockrell this week. That being said, I still think it's the Duke offense that will be most problematic for the Hurricanes. Anthony Boone has yet to lose a game as a starting quarterback, despite giving away 7 interceptions over his past two games. The Blue Devil offense is hungry for a breakout effort and will look to establish All-ACC WR Jamison Crowder early and often. Coach Cutcliffe has emphasized the need for Duke to do a better job of committing to the run, so I also expect to see a stronger effort from star sophomore Jela Duncan and company. Much like in recent years, I think this game ends up to be a high-scoring affair, and if recent history is any indicator for these two teams, a big special teams play or two may be the difference."


1. Miami enters Saturday's contest on a 2-game losing streak, having recently lost two of their top offensive weapons in WR Phillip Dorsett and RB Duke Johnson to season-ending injuries. Can this offense be as explosive without those two playmakers? What adjustments do you expect to see from QB Stephen Morris and the offensive staff?

"There's no question Miami's offense missed Duke Johnson last week against Virginia Tech. The Canes only ran for 28 yards on 24 attempts and could never really establish a running game, making them one dimensional. Stephen Morris actually played well against the Hokies. What hurt him were the drops by his receivers. They've actually had 11 combined drops in the last two weeks including a pair that would have gone for touchdowns. Allen Hurns has done a real nice job stepping up in Dorsett's absence. Freshman Stacy Coley has had his moments of brilliance. But there's no doubt this offense has missed Dorsett and Johnson and will miss them Saturday."

2. The Hurricanes' are holding opponents to just 23 points per game on the season, but are coming off a game where they allowed a struggling Virginia Tech team to put up 42 points and 549 yards of total offense. What is the source of their recent defensive struggles?

"I definitely feel like there was some carryover from the Florida State loss with Miami's defense. They can't afford to have any this week and know it. The biggest issues have been missed tackles and blown coverage assignments the last two weeks. Watch the film of the last six quarters and it's a horror show. The honest truth is this defense is average at best. What helped them mask their deficiencies for the first seven games of the season were turnovers and sacks. They also were much better on third down earlier this year. Over their last 3 games opponents are converting at a 60 percent clip against Miami. Over the first six games nobody did better than 40 percent against the Canes."

3. The Blue Devils have dropped 9 games in a row to the Hurricanes; entering this year's matchup, Duke and Miami both sit atop the ACC Coastal Division standings at 7-2. What do you expect to be the keys to victory on Saturday?

"Turnovers. Turnovers. Turnovers. It's quite obvious both of these teams live and die with them. Last week, the two fumbles by Miami on special teams completely changed the momentum of the game. If the Canes win the turnover battle they will win this game. If they don't, Duke is going to end that nine-game losing streak."


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So, Manny is saying we need to be better at third down, and try to get some turnovers.

Makes good common sense.

we will win this game big go canes.

Manny Navarro:

"Nee said Golden did a good job in his first three recruiting classes landing talented blue-chip recruits like running back Duke Johnson and Howard. But negative recruiting from the NCAA investigation by other programs “definitely hurt them,” and at times forced Canes coaches to take early commitments from players who otherwise probably wouldn’t be at Miami."

What the haters gonna say today?

Hmmm, an expert in the field confirms what most rational people have said all along.

The other dipshyt Gallo, master of nothing, seems to have a different opinion. Wonder why? Gallo loves the NAMBLA conventions. It allows him to be "real."

The 'Canes will look at this game as a Season Statement.

The top 10 rating was cool.
The buzz with the 'Gators was fine.
The press with the Semenholes was teriffic.

We got a lot of air time this year.

All good, but this is a STATEMENT game to the ACC, the fans, the critics. We have something to prove here.

This game is not only a step up and quiet the critics, but is a test for both our O and D to play well, by confirming and getting a top recruiting Class that are watching this game closely, as we continue rebuild.

The Plan is in place.

We just have to EXECUTE the plays, and stay with our assignments.
Morris continues to feel better, and has a Great game.

TO's, fumbles, inattention to positional play, Special team miscues, all go out the window, and we show the talent and determination to put Duke away, Rises to a good game.

Miami 48- Duke 24.
Go 'Canes

ChampCane, you claim Golden has had more transfers than Muschamp?

Sunny Dee made this list a little while back. Not even sure if it was a comprehensive list. But it sure looks like more than have transferred under Golden.

Jacoby Brissett
Chris Johnson
Jessaman Dunker
Matt Patchan
De-Ante Sanders
Willie Bailey
Josh Shaw
Lynden Trail
Chris Dunkley
Javares McRoy
Janoris Jenkins
Mike Blakely
Chris Martin
Michael McFarland
Dee Finley
Gerald Christian
Robert Clark

Not saying you are wrong, ChampCane, maybe we had 18, but just pointing out that it isn't like there is some big disparity in transfer counts between the two.

scUM ruffians r gonna be miffed come the end of this season eh what say? Golen everbeaverAGE is on his walking papers. Cane football be done for another decade. What a shame not even a few good years eh.

Ron Zook is an absolute dispshlt that harms UM football more than he helps. All he does is stir the pot of discontent. Fool.


It's inexplicable how Cane fans can continue to predict the Canes will win big in these ACC games. What is this nonsense based on. UM struggles in ACC games. What more evidence do you need. I think UM will win tomorrow, but only after a major struggle.

I pray the Canes win tomorrow...but I see another struggle in the midst. Our bend but don't break defensive scheme is reason to worry against Duke and all the remaining teams on the schedule. I would love a 10 win season but first you have to get number 8......

Welcome to the 'U'.

Another WR commit to the 'Canes.

We are building our 'Canes brick by brick.

Just like Randy Johnson you grew up a 'Cane. Now it is a dream come true.
Go 'Canes

This team has a ways to go to be back. Meaning national champ quality, The job golden has done with ncaa over his head for last 3 yrs is amazing. When u look at the talent drop miami had once coker took over through shannon. What golden has done is even more impressive. Everyone looking at what saban did at bama stop. First off shula recruited alot of great talent there and saban just built on that talent and of course was a much better coach so bama got back quickly. The fact is golden pretty much is building miami from ground up. Coach d is a good coach . Look at muhammed wilkerson a 2 star recruit at temple who is an nfl stud now. So please give these guys a chance to get this team back. Golden is the right coach to do that anyone who says otherwise is wrong.

Ron Zook is an absolute dispshlt that harms UM football more than he helps. All he does is stir the pot of discontent. Fool.
Posted by: Zook's delusions | November 15, 2013 at 12:21 PM
Meanwhile, I am sure your daily attacks of Canes fans on here and every other blog that hasn't banned you yet are menat to HELP UM football, right? When you joke that you can kill any Canes player and get away with it, you are not trying to scare off parents from having their son sign with Miami, right? And your constant, hatefilled rants from different IDs, calling canes fans fools, delusional, and whatever word dispshlt is supposed to be are meant to steady the "pot of discontent, right?

I have apologized for whatever your apparent slight is that you choose to attack obsessively, and the gatrs no longer play the Canes, so please move on with your life.

Jesus Christ...why do u even respond to these fools Five. U respond and they win. Why waste ur time w these fools Calvin,72 and so on. Let the haters talk to them selves. Go Canes!!

Because Five is a paranoid, hallucinating deluded fool.
He finds the so called "name changing troll" everyday on these threads. Even when the guy he is responding to never "joked about killing" anyone, but Five knows it is the same guy.
Probably will say I am that same guy.
Pretty sad.

New ID? Check.
Posted by: Get a Grip | November 15, 2013 at 05:27 PM

Attacks a Canes fan as his first post, using the same language that the murder joker uses daily? Check.
"Because Five is a paranoid, hallucinating deluded fool."

Defends the same name-changing fellow? Check.
"He finds the so called "name changing troll" everyday on these threads."

Claims to KNOW that his buddy has never joked about killing anyone, despite quotes being provided? Check.
"Even when the guy he is responding to never "joked about killing" anyone"

Gets defensive about the possibility that might be accused of being that person, the same way he gets defensive each time he whips out a new ID? Check.
"Probably will say I am that same guy."

Projects his own negative behavior, attacking Canes fans on a Canes blog, to those that he attacks daily? Check.
"Pretty sad."


pathetic, no pass rush vs duke!

Pitiful. Outcoached and outplayed by Duke!!! Don't care if they beat V-tech which stinks this year they're still Duke. We've hit rock bottom my friends.

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