The experts at College Football News and Scout.com have made some early ACC predictions for the 2015 football season. Here’s what they are saying about Duke’s chances for the upcoming season.
PRESEASON ALL-ACC HONORS
CFN certainly seems to recognize the upgraded talent in Durham by naming five Blue Devils to the top two preseason teams, beginning with Jeremy Cash being named as a first team all-league defensive back. Cash is considered the league’s fifth best overall player according to CFN.
Meanwhile, of Cash’s teammates were named to the second team preseason all-ACC team led by offensive lineman starter Matt Skura and kick returner Devon Edwards. Edwards was also named as a preseason second teamer at safety as well as the conference’s No. 19 overall player.
Also on the second team were Duke’s two specialists, K Ross Martin and P Will Monday.
Despite three straight bowl games and 19 wins over the last two seasons, the team at CFN believes that Duke will come back down to earth in 2015. They picked the Blue Devils to finish seventh in the ACC’s Coastal division. The reason for the lack of confidence appears to center around the transition on both sides of the ball.
Offensively the change under center concerns CFN, which notes: “Remaining on the rails in 2015, though, hinges squarely on the development of first-time starting QB Thomas Sirk, Duke’s version of BYU bulldozer Taysom Hill. Sirk was a change-of-pace runner in short-yardage a year ago, but he now assumes the reins of an attack looking to replace record-setting WR Jamison Crowder, elite OG Laken Tomlinson and veteran LT Takoby Cofield.”
Similarly on defense the focus is on change and the lack of anything proven along the defensive line, especially on the interior.
“Duke will again be vulnerable in the trenches and on the flanks after the graduation of three of last year’s starters,” wrote CFN. “After DT Carlos Wray, there’s a ton of uncertainty and inexperience. The back seven, though, is an entirely different story.”
PRESEASON SCHEDULE PREDICTIONS
If you believe CFN, the post-season streak stops at three seasons with Duke going just 5-7 in 2015. CFN predicts Duke will start strong with wins over NC Central and Tulane, but a three game stumble that includes losses to Northwestern, Georgia Tech, and Boston College will prove to be disastrous for Coach Cutcliffe’s program.
The remaining predicted victories come against Army, Miami, and Pittsburgh are counterbalanced by losses to Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wake Forest. Should the schedule play out like that, Duke would end the season with 5-7 overall record and a 2-6 ACC record.
Link: CollegeFootballNews.com on the Scout.com network
What are your predictions for the upcoming season?
CFN Predicts ACC; No Love For Duke
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