On Saturday, the Duke Blue Devils football team can become bowl eligible with a victory over the Virginia Tech Hokies. If you think it’s been a long, long time since Duke played in a bowl game, well, you’re right. In fact, the drought has been going on since the 1994 season. Here’s a look at some of the major characters and moments associated with the last Duke football team to appear in a postseason game:
Bowl game: The Hall of Fame Bowl, 34-20 loss to Wisconsin Badgers. Confused as to where this bowl game disappeared to? Don’t be. It just acquired a title sponsorship the following season — Outback.
Season high point: An 8-1 start and #13 ranking in the polls. Duke was actually the toast of the ACC before losing their last two games by a combined two points to North Carolina State Wolfpack (24-23) and North Carolina Tar Heels (41-40).
Awards: Fred Goldsmith took home the Buddy Smith and ACC Coach of the Year Awards and Running back Robert Baldwin was named ACC Player of the Year.
To put this program’s resurrection into perspective; they aren’t a BCS contender, but becoming bowl eligible is just as impressive considering how far they have fallen. Now, take a second to have Fox Sports columnist Andrew Jones’ quote sink in:
“From 1994 to former coach Ted Roof’s last season at the helm in 2007, the Blue Devils were 22-125 with the average score opponents 33.6, Duke 18.2. In that span, Duke failed to score in double figures in 32 contests while getting shut out seven times.”
It’s not 1994 anymore in Durham, North Carolina, but there is something to cheer about on the football field once again.