1. Jamison Crowder, SENIOR, RECEIVER
Last Week: 1
Crowder did encounter a pair of unforced drops in the season opener, something he’ll likely clean up this week against Troy. Still, Elon had nobody with a prayer of covering the Duke senior, and it’s unlikely that Troy will either. In short, Crowder is going to play on Sundays, and despite being keyed in on each week he’s going to continue to produce at a high level. Remember, he’s just 78 catches away from setting the all-time mark in the ACC.
2. Laken Tomlinson, SENIOR, OFFENSIVE LINEMAN
Last Week: 2
Tomlinson continued where he left off a season ago, directing an offensive line that wasn’t troubled by the Phoenix pass rush, and opened enough holes for the Duke backs to record nearly 300 yards on the ground. Overall the offensive line was a liability when Cutcliffe took over, but earning the commitment from Tomlinson and several subsequent players has transformed the unit into one of the strengths of the program. He’ll make his 41st straight start on Saturday.
3. Anthony Boone, SENIOR, QUARTERBACK
Last Week: 4
Boone was terrific in the season opener. The senior look poised and delivered all manner of catchable passes - short and long. He also valued the possession and really seemed to reduce the poor decisions which plagued him at times a season ago. The win over Elon ran Boone’s record as a starting quarterback to 11-2 overall with the two losses being to the last two Heisman winners. He’s also never lost an ACC game.
4. Jeremy Cash, JUNIOR, SAFETY
Last Week: 5
Cash began the season with a respectable three tackles including one tackle for loss. He also recorded a pass breakup. He will enter this week as the leading active ACC player in total tackles per game at 8.27 for his career. Troy promises to provide more defense tests than did Elon, and we look for the entire secondary’s numbers to inflate accordingly.
5. David Helton, SENIOR, LINEBACKER
Last Week: 3
Helton’s position change to fill in for the injured Kelby Brown went as well as could be expected, but there were things he missed. It’s been and will continue to be a focal point this week in practice according to Cutcliffe. He, along with Cash, remain the unquestioned leaders of the defensive unit and will be charged with improving the defense as the competition begins to be tougher.
6. Devon Edwards, SOPHOMORE, SAFETY
Last Week: 9
Well known for his kick return prowess, Edwards was also flying around the defensive backfield a week ago, leading the team in stops with seven total tackles including four solo stops, and one pass defended. In the return game Edwards was held in check, averaging just 19.0 yards per return - last year he averaged 30.2 yards per return. Over his last two games, Edwards has averaged eight tackles per.
7. JOSH SNEAD, SENIOR, RUNNING BACK
Last Week: NR
Snead and Shaquille Powell shared the top two spots on the depth chart, and were bolstered by freshman speedster Shaun Wilson. Snead was the the team leader in attempts (12) and yards (74), while also hauling in a pass. Snead has been the team leader in carries in each of the last two games dating back to last season, rushing 17 times against Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A bowl.
8. Thomas Sirk, SOPHOMORE, QUARTERBACK
Lask Week: NR
Talk about a big debut. The third year sophomore com- pleted five-of-seven passes for 40 yards and also scored two rushing touchdowns while gaining 54 yards on eight carries (6.75 yards per rush). With the departure of Brandon Connette, Duke fans got a look at Sirk (who was rated ahead of Connette before a knee injury robbed him of the 2013 season) in the open field, and the results speak for themselves. He’s a big, fast, and fairly accurate passing signal caller with a bright future in Durham.
9. Carlos Wray, JUNIOR, DEFENSIVE TACKLE
Lask Week: 6
Wray and the defensive line didn’t get tons of pressure on the Elon backs or passer, but he did register one of the team’s two sacks on the evening along with three tackles. Wray is powerful and has surprising quickness inside the line. He and the rest of his line mates will need to improve their disruption along the interior this week.
10. Issac Blakeney, SENIOR, WIDE RECEIVER
Last Week: NR
Duke needed a big target in the redzone after Braxton Deaver was lost for the year, and it appears as though Blakeney is capable of filling that need. Blakeney caught just four passes, but two of them were for touchdowns. Was it something he’s capable of maintaining, or just a flash in the pan? It’s a fair questions as the senior caught just four passes for 21 yards over the last four games of 2013. He caught the same number of passes against Elon and more than doubled that yardage total.
10+1. Ross Martin, JUNIOR, KICKER
Last Week: 9
Martin continued to convert his PAT attempts and has done so successfully 67 straight times. He needs 18 more successful conversions in a row to set the school record. He also converted his only attempted field goal - a 49 yard attempt - which moved him into fifth place on the Duke all-time list with 34. His seven PATs was tied for third most in Duke history for a single game.