Duke has played Navy five times in the last five seasons, including Saturday’s noon game in Wallace Wade Stadium. But that number could be six by the end of this year if the Blue Devils meet head coach David Cutcliffe’s lofty expectations.
The EagleBank Bowl, slated for Dec. 20 at 11 a.m. in Washington D.C.’s new RFK Stadium, pits Navy against the ninth-best ACC team with at least a .500 record—and that could very well be Duke. Of course, the tough part (that seems understated) for the Blue Devils is actually qualifying for a bowl berth. If it does, however, Duke just might be ninth in the ACC.
And, somewhat ironically, Duke’s best bet to clinching another tilt with the Midshipmen would be beating them this weekend. Navy is one of the most winnable games remaining on the schedule—indeed, perhaps the most winnable game—and all bowl hopes would likely vanish with a loss Saturday. The task is more difficult than it sounds: Navy has beaten Duke in the teams’ last four games.
—by Ben Cohen