Tag Archives: Vincent Rey

Making The Grade: Duke-Georgia Tech

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Weekly Honors Pour In For Tauiliili, Blue Devils

When you’ve been as bad as Duke as has been over the last four seasons and then open 3-1 and win your first ACC game since 2004 in convincing fashion… well, expect lots of recognition. Especially when you’re the counterpart of perhaps the most famous team in the country, when you’ve hired an outspoken coach who has walked the walk and, more than anything, when you deserve it.

One game after Thaddeus Lewis and Vincent Rey were named ACC offensive and defensive players of the week, linebacker Michael Tauiliili was awarded ACC defensive lineman of the week after his career day against Virginia. The senior collected a team-high 16 tackles, forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and intercepted one of four Marc Verica picks on the day. He now leads the conference with 46 tackles. The ACC honor comes one day after he was named national defensive player of the week by the Walter Camp Foundation.

Not surprisingly, Duke head coach David Cutcliffe was effusive in his praise for Tauiliili Sunday, one day after proclaiming he would vote for Tauiliili and Rey as co-winners of the Butkus Award for the country’s best linebacker.

“He’s certainly improved his game,” Cutcliffe said Sunday. “He’s playing at a much faster pace. He’s a much better tackler. I think he’s grown as much as anybody on our team to this point, since we’ve been here.”

Cutcliffe paused. Perhaps prompted by a pause on the teleconference, he decided to continue.

“I think he’s playing like an All-American linebacker, personally.”

Cutcliffe has made some outlandish claims this year, chief among them the assertion that Duke’s student section is the best in the country. We know that’s not true—but this one about Tauiliili might be.

In her chat on ESPN.com, ACC blogger Heather Dinich hinted Tauiliili and Rey might be the frontrunners for ACC defensive player of the year right now. She also included Cutcliffe as the favorite for coach of the year—at least right now. Of course, reality will hit soon. Duke hasn’t played an away game and has only faced off with the worst team in the conference. Might be time to enjoy it while it lasts.

Then again, if the Blue Devils can, somehow, manage three more wins and become bowl-eligible… Jake from North Carolina on Dinich’s chat said it best: “…does Cutcliffe get pronounced coach of the year, king, and any other title he wants?”

—by Ben Cohen

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Duke-Virginia Set For Noon; Lewis, Rey Earn Honors

Duke announced its home matchup against Virginia Sept. 27 will be played at noon and televised by ESPNU. The Blue Devils (2-1) will be seeking their first ACC win since 2004, when a last-second field goal lifted them over Clemson. The Cavaliers (1-2) are licking the wounds following a 45-10 drubbing at the hands of Connecticut last weekend. So far, Virginia has been outscored 97-34. Both teams are idle this weekend.

In other news, the ACC announced its weekly honors, and Duke players received both the Offensive Back and Defensive Back Awards in quarterback Thaddeus Lewis and linebacker Vincent Rey. Lewis completed 25-of-35 pass attempts for 317 yards and three scores—all to wideout Eron Riley. He also extended the nation’s active streak for the most consecutive pass attempts without an interception to 206. Rey’s biggest play came on a 37-yard fumble return for a touchdown, the defense’s first score this season. But he also chipped in a 12 tackles, a team-high four tackles for a loss and one sack.

In the season’s first three weeks, already three Blue Devils have earned ACC Weekly Honors, with freshman wide receiver Johnny Williams garnering the Rookie of the Week award in his 11-catch, 135-yard effort against Northwestern Sept. 6.

–by Matthew Iles

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Football Captains Announced

The votes are in, and the results are hardly surprising.

The Blue Devil players picked running back Re’quan Boyette, tight end Tielor Robinson, and linebackers Michael Tauillili and Vincent Rey to captain their 2008 campaign.

Boyette, who injured his knee last week and is out indefinitely, led the team in rushing the last two seasons. Before he was hurt, Boyette was expected by head coach David Cutcliffe to be a major force on the offensive side of the ball. Although it’s still unknown when, or if, Boyette will return to the field, it’s clear his presence in the locker room is still as strong as ever.

Tauillili and Rey anchor a strong linebacking corps and should lead the defense with their speed, strength and leadership this season. Tauillili is the ACC’s active leader in both career tackles (294) and tackles for loss (33.0). Rey, the only junior among the captains selected, led the Blue Devils in tackles last year with 111.

Robinson, who transferred from Army two years ago, was granted a sixth season of eligibility earlier this year after an injury sidelined him for the vast majority of the 2008 season. In former head coach Ted Roof’s offense, Robinson displayed an impressive set of hands from his fullback position, hauling in 11 career touchdowns. This season, Cutcliffe, who rarely plays a two-running back set, has decided to move him to tight end most likely to take advantage of Robinson catching abilities.

“”We picked four guys who want to go out and lead on and off the field,” Boyette said in a team release. “We want to go out and do the right thing on and off the field. To take something from Coach Cutcliffe, leading and winning is an ‘all-the-time thing’.”

Duke’s season opener is just days away, as D-IAA James Madison comes to town Aug. 30. The Dukes (yes, that’s the school’s nickname) were ranked No. 7 and No. 8 in the two FCS preseason polls.

–by Matthew Iles

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