August 23, 2004 The Big Picture
Only Steve Spurrier (20-13-1 in three years) has had a winning record at Duke since Bill Murray (93-51-9 in 15 years) retired in 1965. Eight others have tried and failed. Carl Franks was
7-45 before he was fired in midseason last fall, after falling behind historically mediocre Wake Forest 42-0 at halftime. Franks had two winless seasons and had lost 29 straight ACC games when he was dismissed. Interim coach Ted Roof lost by a touchdown to N.C. State in his first game, then trounced Georgia Tech and beat North Carolina for the first time since 1989. He starts his first full season as a head coach with a 2-3 record. Historical footnote: Had Franks not been fired until the end of last year, there's almost no chance Roof would have gotten the job. Roof always had the support of the players, but the five-game audition won over AD Joe Alleva.
Franks used "Airborne" as the theme for his first squad in 1999, but the Blue Devils never got off the ground in five years. Roof has made recruiting a stud quarterback his primary goal. Duke has received commitments from two top QBs and a third, Greg Paulus, is headed to Durham to play point guard for Mike Krzyzewski. (Paulus isn't expected to play football in college but said he isn't "closing the door," either.) Quarterbacks coach Tom Knotts, whose high school team didn't lose a game in four years, said: "We'll win, but it will take time. Last year was when Duke should have won. They had everybody back, but they didn't play hard (early)." That didn't happen under the fiery Roof, who has a linebacker's mentality.
Done For Me Lately
|1994||5-3 (3)||8-4||Hall Of Fame (L)|
ACC: 13-67 (.163); No. 9 in ACC
Overall: 26-87 (.230); No. 9 in ACC
If Duke has one position at which it is competitive with the rest of the ACC, it's tight end. Ben Patrick is as good as anybody, while Andy Roland and Calen Powell also are quality performers. The Blue Devils often will have two of them on the field at the same time. Besides double-tight end splits, Roland and Powell will line up in the fullback position at times. Versatile Curt Dukes, a Nebraska transfer who was an option QB in high school, still plays that position because Duke has just three quarterbacks. But he's too good to sit, so he will play mostly as a fullback or receiver out of the backfield.
Coming On Strong
Sophomore QB Mike Schneider has blossomed in the new offense, although unless the rebuilt line holds up, he'll have to scramble a lot. Brendan Dewan, Guiseppe Aguanno and Malcolm Ruff all have experience at linebacker, although they're small by ACC standards. Intriguing linebacker Codey Lowe also returns, after a one-year absence. Sophomore wideout Deon Adams looked very good in August.
Cause For Concern?
Picked to finish 11th in the expanded ACC, Duke has problems everywhere, including long snapper, where a four-year starter graduated. But nothing is more critical than the offensive line, where only tackle Christian Mitchell returns. Junior Jim Moravchik is the second-most experienced lineman, with 16 games and three starts. How will this team move the ball?
The Whole Truth
"An early win is critical. It gives you confidence, and you can bottle it up and sell it. We want true confidence as opposed to false confidence. Success breeds success. It takes a while to build a program. That's what we're doing, building a football program."
Duke coach Ted Roof
CHART BY: THE DUKE INSIDER
(4-8, 2-6 ACC)
|30||at North Carolina||22|
|Sept. 4||at Navy (8-5)|
|Sept. 11||at Connecticut (9-3)|
|Sept. 18||at Virginia Tech (8-5)|
|Sept. 25||Maryland (10-3)|
|Oct. 2||The Citadel (6-6)|
|Oct. 16||at Georgia Tech (7-6)|
|Oct. 23||Virginia (8-5)|
|Oct. 30||at Wake Forest (5-7)|
|Nov. 6||at Florida State (10-3)|
|Nov. 13||Clemson (9-4)|
|Nov. 20||North Carolina (2-10)|
Miami, N.C. State