There is something strange going on in Durham. The Duke Blue Devils are playing football and they are winning. Its true. Duke is winning football games. Three out of four to be exact. New head coach David Cutcliffe has this program looking solid with a 3-1 record after last Saturday’s 31-3 rout of a once proud Virginia program.
Many people, myself included, felt like that Duke could compete this year but not many outside of Durham thought it would translate into much success in the win column. Well, we were wrong. Duke not only wants to be competitive and build for the future, they want to win right now.
With quarterback Thaddeus Lewis tearing it up and his Blue Devil teammates playing with confidence, how far can this team go? Lets take a look at Duke’s remaining schedule.
After four straight home games to start the season, Duke hits the road on Saturday for its first road game against Georgia Tech in Atlanta. This game could be very telling for how the rest of the season is going to play out. If Duke can pass this road test, it would be a huge step in securing a bowl bid.
After a week off, Duke returns to Durham to take on Miami. Depending on the outcome of the Georgia Tech game, this could be a must win in terms of going to a bowl game.
After the Hurricanes blow through town, Duke goes on the road for back to back games at Vandy and Wake Forest. In the past, that would be a winnable stretch but now not as much. If Duke could steal one of these, it would be big.
NC State comes to town on November 8. This is a very winnable game for Duke.
On November 15, Duke travels to Clemson and on the 22nd to Virginia Tech. These are two of the toughest places to play in the conference if not the entire country. Duke will have a hard time winning in either of these environments.
The Blue Devils close out the season at home against arch rival UNC, who is playing well so far this season. If Duke could win two games between now and then, what a wild scene it would be for Duke to be playing a bowl eligibility against North Carolina.
It seems to me that as the schedule looks now, three more wins might be hard to find. The close loss on September 6 to Northwestern might be the difference maker in terms of a trip to a bowl game for the Blue Devils this season.
But its hard to say. I was wrong about these guys before and this team seems more than happy to prove me, and others, wrong again.
***Just a reminder, Football in Focus, the GreensboroSports.com football webcast is back tomorrow night at Shane’s Rib Shack. Come on out and join us for some good football and better food. That’s Shane’s on Westover Terr. tomorrow at 6 pm.***