2004 Duke Blue Devils Football Season Preview

TheDevilsDen.com and TheInsiders.com debut our ACC conference capsule. Get all the preseason information on the Blue Devils and their ACC rivals.

Head Coach: Ted Roof (2-3)

Last Season's Record: 4-8 (2-6)

Last Bowl Appearance: 1995 (34-20 loss to Wisconsin)

Key matchup(s): Sept. 11 @Uconn, Oct. 30 @Wake Forest, Nov. 20 North Carolina. Star Power: Phillip Alexander DE 6-4 235 JR, Orrin Thompson DT 6-7 285 JR, Ben Patrick TE 6-4 250 RSFR

Notable Additions: WR Chancellor Young 6-2 210 O'Dea High Seattle, , TB Justin Boyle, 6-1 220 Kennesaw, GA (Harrison HS), WR Jomar Wright 6-1, 180, Duncan, SC (James F Byrnes HS).

Offensive Overview: The offensive unit promises to be one of the more exciting groups in recent years with the addition of new offensive coordinator Marty Galbraith. Sophomore quarterback Mike Schneider will fit well into the new schemes thanks to a powerful arm and decent mobility. The offensive line is reportedly one of the places where Duke may surprise this season. It'll have to as the Blue Devils will be relying on inexperienced backs to replace All-ACC performers Alex Wade and Chris Douglas. Duke is very deep at the tight end slot where Ben Patrick, Andy Roland, and Calen Powell are all highly regarded. With the loss of several top receivers for off the field issues, the Blue Devils will likely award a lot of playing time to true freshmen Chancellor Young and Jomar Wright.

2004 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
09/04/04@Navy
09/11/04@Connecticut
09/18/04@Virginia Tech
09/25/04Maryland
10/02/04The Citadel
10/16/04@Georgia Tech
10/23/04Virginia
10/30/04@Wake Forest
11/06/04@Florida State
11/13/04Clemson
11/20/04North Carolina
Defensive Overview: The team speed on the defensive unit may be among the best in Duke history. LBs Malcolm Ruff and Brendan Dewan are both big hitters who can get to opponents quickly. The secondary also shows speed. The Blue Devils lose one player from 2003, 2nd team all-ACC SS Terrell Smith. They will, however, return the rest of the depth chart, plus add a few more players who might figure into the mix. At one corner, 3-year starter Kenny Stanford returns. Stanford was among the conference leaders in passes defended, and provides speed in the secondary. 2-year starter Alex Green will once again line up at FS. He has good ball-hawking skills, and could be an all-conference type performer if he can improve his consistency. 2-year starting CB, Brian Greene, has moved into the vacant SS spot. He doesn¹t hit like Terrell Smith, but provides much more size and speed at the position, and is better in coverage. Sophomore John Talley will man the other CB spot.

Special Teams Overview: The Devils are more than solid in kickoff returns and punt coverage. Senterrio Landrum was 7th in the nation in kick return average, despite not having a return for a touchdown to his credit. Duke punter Trey McDonald gets good height on his punts and averages more than 40 yards per kick. Walk-on Matt Brooks is a solid ³pooch² punter, consistently pinning opponents inside their own 20. The big question marks for Duke are placekicking and punt returns. Duke made just over 60% of their field goal attempts in 2003, which must improve. Matt Brooks and Freshman Alex Feinberg will compete to replace departed senior Brent Garber.

Duke can improve on last year if... the new systems on both sides of the ball are implemented without a hitch. Also the linemen on both sides need to have better than expected seasons. The defense should be good, and the offense will be asked to operate efficiently and with a minimal amount of turnovers. Also the excitement surrounding the program needs to continue on that note with early season success.

TheInsiders.com 2004 College Football Preview
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