HEAD COACH: Ted Roof, 4-12 overall in two seasons at Duke.
KEY ADDITIONS: QB Zack Asack, RB Re'quan Boyette, QB Gene Delle Donne, DT Vince Oghobaase.
KEY LOSSES: RT Christian Mitchell, LB Giuseppe Aguanno, CB Kenneth Stanford, S Alex Green, DT Orrin Thompson.
OFFENSE: Quarterback Mike Schneider, who performed admirably last season, will find the going tough with such a young and inexperienced offensive line. It helps that starting running back Cedric Dargan returns, as does wide receiver Ronnie Elliott. But if Schneider can't get time to throw it or if Dargan can't find holes to run through, it really doesn't matter who returns. Roof has the Blue Devils on the right track, especially have their best recruiting class in years, but it will take a few more talented players before the offense becomes relatively consistent.
DEFENSE: This is the best part of the entire team. The line and the secondary are very respectable and are better than many teams in the conference. However whether or not defensive end Phillip Alexander, linebacker Brendan Dewan and cornerback John Talley can help the Blue Devils improve in wins remains to be seen. Last year, only four teams scored 40 points or more, which is still a lot but an improvement nonetheless. Look for that number to decrease even more so this year.
BY THE NUMBERS: 2-0 – Record against teams from South Carolina last year. The Blue Devils beat The Citadel 28-10 and Clemson 16-13, their only two wins of the season.
WHAT TO WATCH: If Roof, who played 14 freshmen last season to lead the nation, comes close to that number again this year. Even if he does, the Blue Devils could challenge for five wins next year, which would be akin to winning a bowl game in Durham.
PREDICTION: 3-8, 0-8 ACC (6th in Coastal).
Head coach Ted Roof
QB Mike Schneider
RB Cedric Dargan