College Football News Preview 2020: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Duke Blue Devils season with what you need to know.
5. College Football News Preview 2020: Duke Blue Devils Offense 3 Things To Know
– The offense fizzled late in the year – bottoming out with a four-game stretch scoring a total of 44 points – to finish 94th in the nation in scoring and 114th in total offense.
That’s not how a David Cutcliffe attack is supposed to work.
Eight starters are expected back, but it’s still going to take a little work to make it all go, starting with finding the right quarterback.
Clemson transfer Chase Brice has the biggest upside – he chose Duke for a reason – with just enough experience to not be starting from scratch. Junior Chris Katrenick had the job for a little bit last year when Quentin Harris went down, but he only completed 3-of-13 passes for 49 yards with a touchdown and a pick, and he ran for a score.
It might be Brice or bust, which isn’t a bad thing for a passing game was 125th in the nation in yards per completion.
CFN in 60 Video: Duke Blue Devils Preview
– 6-0, 215-pound Deon Jackson is back after leading the team with 641 yards and six touchdowns, but the offense will likely be missing the rushing production of former QB Quentin Harris. Brittain Brown is transferring to UCLA, but junior Mataeo Durant is a more-than-fine No. 2 option.
The line was terrific at not allowing a whole lot of plays behind the line, and it wasn’t awful in pass protection. However, it has to be stronger for the ground attack – Brice isn’t the runner Harris was. Four starters return from a young group that used two freshmen tackles, and former top recruit Devery Hamilton is transferring over from Stanford.
– It’s a relatively untested receiving corps that has to rise up. It’ll be interesting to see if the downfield passing game is better with sharper quarterback play. A few more wideouts have to emerge, but top yardage guy Jalon Calhoun returns – he only averaged 9.1 yards per catch, though – and senior TE Noah Gray is back after leading the team with 51 grabs for 392 yards and three scores.