Did you ever think that you would be hearing terms like physical in conversations about Duke Blue Devils football? Well, that may have been way out of the realm of possibility a few years ago, but they’ve hired the right coach by bringing in David Cutcliffe. The Blue Devils are enjoying a football renaissance of sorts, winning their first Coastal division title in 2013 with a win over their biggest rival, the North Carolina Tar Heels and appearing in the ACC Championship game that same year.
Last year, they took a step backwards and got throttled by those same Tar Heels in a game where they lost by five touchdowns. The traditional powers of the Coastal division have experienced down years recently, and unless the Miami Hurricanes experience a dramatic turnaround with new head coach Mark Richt, this side of the conference is probably going to come down to the Blue Devils and Tar Heels again.
Yes, you’re reading this correctly. This is an article on football and a possible race for the ACC crown, and Duke and North Carolina will both be factors. Duke’s got a problem though. As physical as this team has become, they’re going to have to figure out some kind of way to put up some points.
They’re not going to be able to run their quarterback over a linebacker several times a game, rely on solid defense and think that they have a shot. The Tar Heels have been doing their impersonation of what Chip Kelly did with the Oregon Ducks, and if they can figure out a way to stop opposing offenses two or three more times a game, Cutcliffe is going to have to think of some serious adjustments to his offensive strategy.