Duke Blue Devils Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

Duke Blue Devils Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

College Football Features

Duke Blue Devils Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

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Duke Blue Devils: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats

Duke Blue Devils: Key To The 2022 Offense

Score when you have the chance.

The running game will have its moments, and the passing game will be okay at times, and the offense as a whole should operate at a better pace with more efficiency. But it’s not going to be a dangerous enough attack to throw too much of a scare into the ACC.

That’s okay. What Duke’s offense can do to improve is come away with points off of deep drives. It only scored 72% of the time in the red zone – close to the worst in the nation.

Would it really have mattered in blowout after blowout?

The Blue Devils came away with two empty trips against Georgia Tech and lost by four. They couldn’t stop screwing up in the opener against Charlotte – including two fumbles – missed on one scoring chance, and lost by three.

That might not have been enough to change the season around, but 5-7 looks a lot better than 3-9.

Duke Blue Devils: Key To The 2022 Defense

Stop teams from bombing away so easily.

The run defense was hardly a prize – as we speak, Louisville just ripped off another 14 yards on the ground – but the pass defense was the real culprit on the nation’s worst defense.

The Blue Devils allowed 32 touchdown passes, picked off just eight – only one in the final six games – and gave up ten yards or more per pass seven times.

Northwestern couldn’t throw so much as a hissy fit last year, and even that miserable offense winged it around for 260 yards. Every FBS team threw at least two touchdown passes on this group, and the crazy part about it all was that few passers were sharp.

Duke allowed teams to convert fewer than 60% of their passes.

The secondary is starting from scratch, but the coaching staff is in place to fix the glitch fast.

Duke Blue Devils: Key Player To The 2022 Season

DT DeWayne Carter, Jr.
Go ahead and name about ten other players and positions that need to rise up for Duke to start improving, but it all starts with stronger play on the lines.

The offensive side has the experience to be better, but with Gary Smith off to UCLA, the interior of the defensive line needs the 6-3, 300-pound Carter to go from solid to great.

He made 37 tackles with 4.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss. Through all of the changes, he needs to be a constant.

Duke Blue Devils: Key Transfer

CB Datrone Young, Sr.
The pass defense got a veteran starting corner from Iowa State. The 5-9, 179-pound Young made 87 tackles with a pick and seven broken up passes in his first four seasons – he was with the program for five years. Now he’ll step into a cornerback spot and join Western Illinois transfer Darius Joiner to upgrade the secondary.

Duke Key Game To The 2022 Season

at Northwestern, Sept. 10
Even if everything comes together and starts to work, Duke might still be the 14th-best team in a 14-team league. However, Northwestern is trying to find its mojo, too.

If the Blue Devils can somehow pull off a win in Evanston – they won 30-23 last year – 4-0 is likely with Temple, North Carolina A&T, and at Kansas as the other parts of September.

Do that, find a way to come up with two ball-bounces-the-right-way wins in the ACC, and …

There’s realistically no shot at a bowl game with a loss to Northwestern.

Duke Blue Devils: 2021 Fun Stats

– Total Scoring: Opponents 477 – Duke 274
– Red Zone Scores: Opponents 51-of-55 (93%) – Duke 31-of-43 (72%)
– Passing TDs: Opponents 32 – Duke 9

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