Friday, February 11, 2011

Duke Blue Devils 2010 Review

2010 Record: 3-9 (1-7), 5th ACC Atlantic
2010 Bowl Game: None
2010 Schedule/Results
Elon, W 41-27
9/11, @ Wake Forest, L 54-48
Alabama, L 62-13
Army, L 35-21
@ Maryland, L 21-16
Miami, L 28-13
@ Virginia Tech, L 44-7
@ Navy, W 34-31
Virginia, W 55-48
Boston College, L 21-16
@ Georgia Tech, L 30-20
North Carolina, L 24-19

381.3 yards per game

The one thing that the Devils have always done, is pass the ball a ton. They did so again this year with some not so great results. Everyone knew that losing Thaddeus Lewis was going to be tough, but Sean Renfree gave it his all. Renfree did manage a solid 3131 yards passing, but his 14/17 TD to pick ratio was not so great. Even if he can invert those numbers, that would be a positive move for 2011. The Devils tossed 11 fewer TD passes than their opponents did in 2011, and that has to be fixed. Renfree will be a junior in 2011, so another year of development will be good. He is unmistakenly the only real QB option here.
When your leading rusher averages just over 44 yards per game, you are basically screwed. That's all that Desmond Scott was able to manage in 2010, and he only saw the endzone 3 times. Brandon Connette comes in at QB on short yardage and option plays, and he rushed for 8 scores. Nobody else registered numbers worth talking about. The good news is that the RB depth chart is very young.
The bright spot of the offense is in the receiving corps. There was plenty of production as Conner Vernon busted loose for 73 grabs and 973 yards on the season. Donovan Verner was also impressive as he grabbed 60 catches for 736 yards. Both return next fall. Austin Kelly departs, but Brandon Braxton showed enough flash as a freshman to make up for it.Cooper Helfet was the best TE in the ACC in 2010, and the good news is that he will return next season. The bad news is that everyone on the depth chart behind him is leaving.
OG Brandon Harper and Center Bryan Morgan both graduate, so there will be opportunities for more youngsters to move up. Joey Finison and Dave Harding, both sophomores in 2011, will compete to replace Harper, while Conor Irwin, a junior in the fall, will get first crack at the center job.

450.1 yards per game allowed

There is no doubt that this unit got punded in 2010. This defense gave up 30 or more points 7 times on the season, so obviously, there is building to be done here.
The line was rather senior in 2010, and that experience did not really pay off very well, as there was limited at best pressure on opposing backfields. Charlie Hatcher led all linemen with 7.5 TFLs on the season, which is not much to shout about. He will be the only returning starter on the line for 2011, which is huge cause for concern. Patrick Eboh was solid on standard tackles at DE with 62, but he moves on. Justin Knox, Sydney Sarmiento, and Kenny Anunike are the options to replace the DEs, but all lack big time experience.
Abraham Kromah was an animal at LB with 129 tackles this season, but once again, he graduates, leaving a hole that likely cannot be filled by one player. Damian Thornton and Adam Banks all graduate, so the experience factor will be null at LB as well.Kolby Brown did play big minutes as a freshman and recorded 63 tackles, so he will be expected to take a huge role as a sophomore.
The secondary hardly made plays at all last season, and the Devils finished at -11 in INT ratio. Ross Cockrell led the team with 3 picks as a freshman. He will return, obviously, but the other CB, Chris Rwabukamba will be departing. Johnny Williams and Garrett Patterson should compete for that spot. Lee Butler and Matt Daniels will return at the safety spots for next season. Daniels was second on the team with 93 tackles on the season.


Will Snyderwine was one of the few stars in Durham last season, as he nailed 19 of 22 FG attempts. He also nailed all 32 PATs on the season. Snyderwine wil return as the PK as a senior in 2011.
Alex King did everything that he was asked of at Punter last season, He averaged 5 punts per game, which is low for as bad as Duke was. He managed an average of 41.13 yards per punt, and will probably be asked more of in 2011. I hope that his leg doesn't fall off.
Josh Snead and a combo of Juwan Thompson and Desmond Scott handled kick returns this season, and with all three coming back, it looks to be the same in the fall.
Lee Butler was the primary punt return guy, and he likely won't be pushed in 2011. he averaged a solid 8.62 yards per return, but never broke one loose.


David Cutliffe looked to be on the verge of getting Duke on track in 2009, but it all fell apart in 2010. Cutliffe will be hitting the reset button in 2011, but these kids have to learn how to win, which is harder to do than learning how to lose. Bad habits must be broken, and leaders must be found. Cutliffe is a solid coach, but this may be a no win situation at Duke. More of the same can more than likely be expected in 2011.

9/3 Richmond, 9/10 Stanford, 9/24 Tulane, 10/1 @ Florida International

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