Takeaways: Duke 49, NC Central 6

Duke opened the season with a convincing victory against a clearly overmatched opponent. Here are the top takeaways seen from the press box.

Offensive Players of the Game

QB Daniel Jones 

Jones started the first game of his career in place of Thomas Sirk.  At times Jones filled the role Sirk would have shown last year not just throwing but also running the ball.  Jones was efficient passing the ball completing 10-15 passes for 189 yards and 2 touchdowns.  His longest completion was for 55 yards to Jonathan Lloyd for a TD in his first game as a WR for Duke.  Jones would rush for 28 yards on 2 attempts but one of those attempts was a 21 yard touchdown run.  His stats for the game were accomplished while sharing the playing time for much of the 2nd half with Boehme and Harris.

RB Jela Duncan

Coach David Cutcliffe mentioned in the preseason that Duke should be able to run the ball effectively in 2016.  In Game 1, no one was more effective than Duncan.  Duncan accounted for 115 of the Blue Devils 308 yards of rushing.  Duncan scored 2 touchdowns including the game’s first score on a 50 yard rumble down the field.  This was the 3rd game of Duncan’s career where he rushed for over 100 yards.

Defensive Player of the Game

DT A. J. Wolf

A. J. Wolf had more sacks in the game against NCCU than any one player for Duke had the entire 2015 season.  Wolf recorded 3 sacks on a 4 tackle night where the only non sack was on an assisted tackle.  New defensive line coach, Ben Albert, seems to have made an immediate impact on this group.

Honorable Mention

LB Joe Giles-Harris

Giles-Harris, a redshirt freshman, was the leading tackler for the Blue Devils against the Eagles.  He recorded 6 total tackles including 3 solo and 3 assisted tackles and 1 sack.

Plays of the Game

The first score of the game was a 50 yard run on Duke’s opening drive by Jela Duncan.  One of wildest plays of the night, was a run by QB Parker Boehme for 34 yards where it seemed several times he was either going to be tackled or forced out of bounds.  Boehme kept his legs and feet churning and would spin and bounce off would be tacklers for an exciting gain.


Next Week 

The Duke Blue Devils host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons to open the conference schedule for 2016 for both teams.  Wake Forest opened their season with a 7-3 victory over Tulane in Winston-Salem.  These teams closed the conference schedule at Wake Forest on the last regular season game in 2015 where Duke won 27-21.  The game is scheduled for a 3:30 pm kickoff and will be televised on ESPNU.

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