2. KEYS TO THE SEASON
Biggest Key To The Duke Offense
Get the ground game going on a consistent basis. The receiving corps is the team’s most inexperienced area, but the backfield is in place to carry the attack. It’s not going to happen in the opener against Alabama, but after that, the more QB Quentin Harris can get moving, and the more the O can rely on the veteran running backs, the better. Duke was 6-1 last season when running for just 120 yards or more, and it’s 12-3 over the last two years when it hits that mark.
Biggest Key To The Duke Defense
Start forcing a turnover or three. Duke has’t been great at forcing takeaways over the years, but the 13 in 2018 were paltry even by its own mediocre standards. The secondary might have taken a hit after it lost CB Mark Gilbert early on, but there’s still no excuse for only coming up with four interceptions on the year and just one over the last nine games. The fumble recoveries weren’t there, either, going eight games without one.
Key Player To A Successful Season
OT Robert Kraeling, Jr.
The interior of the Duke offensive front should e solid, but the tackles are a question mark. The pass protection was hit-or-miss, and there wasn’t enough of a push for the running game. On the outside, the 6-7, 310-pound Kraeling has to turn into a steady force at one of the tackle jobs. He was good last year – starting every game on the right side – but he has to stay healthy with little developed depth to rely on.
Key Game To The Duke Season
at Virginia Tech, Sept. 27
The Blue Devils should be 2-1 to start the season – if everything goes according to plan – and then the ACC campaign kicks in. After going to Virginia Tech, the next two games are at home, and the Blue Devils only leave the state of North Carolina once the rest of the way.
– Duke Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2018 Duke Fun Stats
– Duke 3rd Quarter Scoring: 122 – 4th Quarter Scoring: 61
– Time of Possession: Opponents 32:10 – Duke 27:50
– Rushing Yards Per Game: Opponents 209.3 – Duke 159.6