ROAD TRIP DURHAM: Weather Outlook: Rain could be a factor. Weather updates: 301-936-1212. Tickets are still available. Duke students are probably already camping out for basketball tickets. Jackets Headquarters Holiday Inn RDU Airport, 4810 Page Road, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, 919-941-6000.
Does Coack K know anything about football?
Bobby Dodd begat Ray Graves. Ray Graves begat Steve Spurrier. Steve Spurrier begat Carl Franks. Carl Franks begat this? Franks and his staff are recruiting hard but they're not "there yet" so the Jackets should roll on Saturday.
What Carl hath wrought is a team that went 0-11 last year and was dead last in the ACC in total defense, total offense, rushing offense, passing efficency defense, scoring offense, scoring defense, turnover margin, third down conversion percentage and first downs per game. Carl, by the way, serves as his own offensive coordinator.
Duke surrendered 458 yards a game on defense last year, good enough--I mean poor enough-- to rank 113th out of 114 schools. Last week they gave up 441 yards against Virginia, so they're still not reminding anyone of the '85 Chicago Bears.
But as far as I know the Dukies will show up on Saturday and they'll bring a few good athletes with them. Junior QB D. Bryant, who made mistakes by the dozen last year in his first year starting, will have a break-out game soon, but his team will probably still lose the game. Bryant was, by the way, named the squad's most improved player last spring. RB Chris Douglas has already rushed for 100 yards twice this year. The Devils, in fact, have moved the ball well between the 20s this year. What they've lacked are big plays and a tendency to close the deal in the Red Zone.
There are a couple of intriguing players on the Duke defense. LB Ryan Fowler could play for anyone and 24-year old freshman Jim Scharrer, a former Atlanta Braves minor-leaguer, was a highly-sought football recruit coming out of high school in 1995.
Duke's pass defense looks very vulnerable, which, of course, bodes well for Tech. It seems the Devils' best cover guys are too short and their tallest cover guys are too slow.
But keep in mind that the Jackets have beaten the Dukies consistently in recent years, but the games have been close in Durham.