Tag Archives: Duke Football
Freshman wide receiver Johnny Williams, the team’s second-leading wideout, is doubtful for the Blue Devils’ Saturday matchup with Miami because of a dental abscess, the program released in its weekly injury report Thursday. Williams has hauled in 20 catches for 231 yards in five games, trailing only senior Eron Riley, who has 27 catches for 288 yards and six touchdowns. He caught 11 passes for 135 yards in Duke’s Sept. 6 24-20 loss to Northwestern.
Defensive end Wesley Oglesby and cornerback Leon Wright are both questionable with leg injuries.
Full injury report:
RB Re’quan Boyette (leg) — OUT
C Marcus Lind (shoulder) — OUT
WR Johnny Williams (dental abscess) — DOUBTFUL
DE Wesley Oglesby (leg) — QUESTIONABLE
CB Leon Wright (leg) — QUESTIONABLE
CB Lee Butler (shoulder) — WILL PLAY
WR Eron Riley (hand) — WILL PLAY
WR Austin Kelly (back) — WILL PLAY
Devin Hester has gone on to bigger and better things—the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl, to name two—but perhaps his most famous punt return came against Duke in 2005—sort of. Hester’s most-viewed YouTube clip depicts him criss-crossing and weaving through the Blue Devil special teams unit for a touchdown that was eventually negated by a holding call that barely affected the play.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, watch the video below and you will soon realize the fuss. And for those of you who have, it’s always worth watching again.
When Miami comes to Wallace Wade Stadium Saturday, Hurricanes quarterback Jacory Harris and Blue Devil signal-caller Thaddeus Lewis won’t just be looking to improve their teams’ ACC records. The two have a bit of shared history from their time as high school quarterbacks in Miami-Dade County, Fla.
Harris, a freshman who splits time with Robert Marve, and Lewis, now a junior and the solidified starter, grew up about 20 miles away from each other in South Florida.
After Miami’s 20-14 win Saturday against UCF, Harris was asked about playing Duke, and said he was excited to take on Lewis. In high school, the two occasionally worked out together in Opa Locka, close to Lewis’ hometown of Hialeah Lakes, and in the interview with radio station 560 WQAM, Harris credited his rival with “getting him into playing quarterback.”
Harris took the starting job at Northwestern High School in 2006, when Lewis was already getting settled in Durham, so the two never met on the gridiron in Florida. Nonetheless, Harris could have chosen to play another position or another sport altogether in 2004 and 2005, but stuck with quarterbacks thanks in part to Lewis’ guidance.
Lewis earned team MVP honors in his last three seasons at unheralded Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School, a school with no district championships since 1990. Harris, meanwhile, quarterbacked powerhouse Northwestern to state championships in 2006 and 2007; last season the Bulls also defeated Southlake Carroll High, one of the best teams in Texas and the school that produced Missouri star Chase Daniel, en route to an unofficial ranking as the nation’s best team.
For comparisons of the two schools’ pedigrees, just check out their records from last year. Northwestern went 15-0, including a 63-0 thrashing of Lewis’ alma mater, and a whopping seven Bulls received scholarships to Miami; in contrast, Hialeah-Miami Lakes went just 1-10 in 2007.
The recent differences between Miami and Duke are vast, but nowhere near as oceanic as that.
–by Gabe Starosta
Larry Coker was one disputed pass interference call away from leading Miami to back-to-back national championships in 2001 and 2002. Now, he’s the color analyst for ESPNU and has covered three of Duke’s games this year—its wins over Navy and Virginia and its loss to Georgia Tech. The Chronicle’s Ben Cohen caught up with Coker Tuesday to discuss his impressions of the Blue Devils, his recruitment of Duke defensive lineman Vince Oghobaase and his prediction for this weekend as Duke welcomes the Hurricanes.
How does this year’s Duke team compare to the teams that you coached against?
I think it’s probably the best that’s been around in a few years.
You’ve seen the pass-catch combination of Thaddeus Lewis and Eron Riley three times this year. What kind of potential do they have on the next level?
They have a lot of potential, they could be Sunday-type players, especially if Lewis can get some help with the running game—it’s going to make him a lot better. I know Harris is doing a pretty good job, Hollingsworth did a nice job the last time I saw him [against Virginia Sept. 27]. I think [Lewis and Riley] are both Sunday-type players.
Given linebacker Michael Tauiliili’s season so far, is he the favorite for ACC Defensive Player of the Year?
I don’t know that—I know he has all-league potential. Vince Oghobaase, too.
Were you surprised Oghobaase came to Duke instead of other highly touted programs?
Yes, I think it was a decision he and his family made for his eduaction and for the right reasons, but i was surpsirsed. I thought he would probably end up… it was Duke or [Miami]. I thought we were going to get him.
Can all the changes from this year’s team to those of the last few years be attributed to change at the top of the program, starting with Cutcliffe?
Well, it was the previous staff that recruited these players. Ted Roof did a really good job recruiting and this was kind of the year that he had built for. But the new staff and attitude of David Cutcliffe and the stamp he puts on this team and the staff he’s put around him—it just personifies those good players that have matured.
How difficult is it for Lewis to succeed if he doesn’t have a legitimate running threat?
It’s pretty hard. You’re going to get a lot of different pressure. If you can run the football, it makes a lot of difference how you put pressure on the passer. I think it’s pretty hard to just be a good passing team and not being able to run the ball.
What are your thoughts on this weekend’s Duke-Miami matchup?
Miami’s got a lot of talent. That’s going to be the key, whether Duke can protect the quarterback. If they can, they’ll have some chances in the passing game. Defensively, Duket is pretty good. Javaris James, the running back, will help Miami. Miami didn’t play well last week, so they’ll want to step out of the shell and play great. It’ll be a challenge for Duke—it’ll be a really good game. It’s kind of a tossup game.
When David Cutcliffe meets with students Wedneday to break down game film and sip Coca-Colas, he will be accompanied by the only coach more prominent than he is: Mike Krzyzewski.
Coach K himself will join Cutcliffe in the Great Hall for soda and nachos at 8 p.m. Both he and Cutcliffe will take questions from the gathered students (no word on whether Krzyzewski will analyze football film).
Krzyzewski’s squad tips its season Saturday with the annual Blue-White intrasquad scrimmage at 1 p.m. preceding Cutcliffe’s team’s home game against Miami at 3:30 p.m. Krzyzewski will open his practice to the public Friday at 5 p.m.
Duke’s Oct. 25 game at No. 22 Vanderbilt will begin at 3 p.m. and will not be televised, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced in its weekly schedule release Monday. It will be Duke’s second straight afternoon game, as the Blue Devils play Miami at 3:30 p.m. this Saturday in Wallace Wade Stadium.
The game, which falls on Parents and Family Weekend and will likely influence the time of the men’s basketball exhibition against Virginia Union, is the first non-televised game since Duke’s Sept. 6 loss to Northwestern. The Blue Devils have been featured on ESPNU for four straight games.
–by Ben Cohen