Depth Chart Notes: Week 2

Just a week into the regular season the Blue Devils are already battling the injury bug which has rendered several players inactive. TDD runs down the depth chart heading into the big time matchup with Stanford.

Offense:

Junior Sean Renfree remains the starter despite taking some nasty hits a week ago. Backing up Renfree will be both Brandon Connette and Anthony Boone. Each player scored last week when Duke managed to get inside the 10 yard line on QB keepers. While Connette is listed as the primary back-up to Renfree, Boone will still take snaps and provides a bit more leeway in terms of passing ability.

Starting running back Desmond Scott will be sidelined this week with a leg injury suffered against Richmond in the season opener. With Scott out the starting assignment falls to Juwan Thompson, who rushed for nearly 90 yards a week ago before also taking some hits and cramping, which rendered him incapable of finishing the game. Sophomore speedster Josh Snead will also miss the game (his second consecutive) with a leg injury. With two of the top three backs in street clothes, the Blue Devils will lean heavily on senior Jay Hollingsworth and fourth year junior Patrick Kurunwune to mount a semblance of a running attack.

No changes to the wide receivers as freshmen Blair Holiday and Jamison Crowder will back up the starting trio of Conner Vernon, Brandon Braxton, and Donovan Varner.

In the trenches the Blue Devils remain without starting center Brian Moore who is expected to miss another three to five weeks with a broken right arm. In his place Duke will once again rely on David Harding and Conor Irwin at center. The starting tackles, Kyle Hill and Perry Simmons return ready to go as do the guards, John Coleman and Laken Tomlinson. Joey Finison and Jon Needham team with Takoby Cofield as the primary backups.

At tight end Duke will once again rely on Cooper Helfet and Danny Parker. No changes or injuries reported out of that group.

Defense:

The starting defensive line will feature Kenny Anunike and Justin Foxx on the ends with Charlie Hatcher and Sydney Sarmiento inside. Jamal Bruce will serve as a primary backup on the interior of the line while Jordan DeWalt-Ondijo and Jamal Wallace will back up the rush ends.

Austin Gamble and Kelby Brown are once again the linebackers listed in the starting lineup with Brown coming off a double-digit tackle performance in the opener. True freshman David Helton is expected to play behind Brown along with Kevin Rojas behind Gamble.

The cornerback rotation also remains static this week as Ross Cockrell and Johnny Williams get the starting nods. Zach Greene will serve as the primary backup with Tony Foster also in the mix. Converted WR Tony Foster will also take some snaps as Stanford attempts to isolate its receivers under the guidance of Luck.

Three safeties, August Campbell, Matt Daniels, and Walt Canty are all in line for their second straight start of the season, and good news was found on the injury report when Jordon Byas was listed as Questionable instead of Out. Still, expect Byas' foot injury to limit his ability to finish the game and look for Lee Butler to be the primary beneficiary of those missed plays.

Special teams:

Despite the horrific week in the kicking game against Richmond, there are no substantive changes to be made. Pre-season All-American Will Snyderwine remains the team's kicker and Alex King, who had a very good situational opening week, remains the punter. With Scott out and Thompson nursing last week's injury, Crowder and Kurunwune will be the team's primary kick off returners with Crowder and Lee Butler splitting the job on punt returns.


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