The Duke football team enters Friday nights game against Louisville in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium with a 3-3 record but the Blue Devils have been hampered the entire season by injuries.
Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk was expected to be one of the top signal callers in the ACC but is out the entire season, while several other key players have been in and out of the lineup. All-American defensive back DeVeon Edwards had surgery for torn knee ligaments.
But U of L coach Bobby Petrino said the Blue Devils are still a formidable opponent.
“When you watch Duke on video, they are a good football team,” Petrino said. “They play good defense, they are very disciplined, they are very well coached, they run hard to the ball. Offensively, they have a young quarterback, they have some big wide receivers, and offensive line does a good job and understands what they are trying to do. So we are going to have to do a good job, and come out and play our game."
Cardinal Authority has you covered on all of the takes of the game. Here's a look at five players to watch for on Friday night when the Blue Devils play the Cardinals at 7 p.m.
1. Ben Humphreys, So., Linebacker - The 6-foot, 215-pound Humphreys replaced three-time All-American Jeremy Cash and is leading the Blue Devils with 48 tackles, including 5.5 tackles for a loss. He had 10 tackles in the first half last week against Army.
2. Casey Blaser, Sr., Right tackle - The 6-foot-5, 290-pound Blaser started all 13 games at right tackle the last two seasons and has been a mainstay at the spot this season. Yes, that's 32 straight games at the toughest spot on the line. He's projected as a lat-round NFL Draft pick and a tough, hard-nosed kid who will be going against Devonte Fields and James Hearns.
3. Deondre Singleton, Sr., Safety - The 5-11, 180-pound Singleton has 21 tackles on the season and plays a solid safety with most teams not challenging him in the passing game. Singleton is a playmaker on defense.
4. Tanner Stone, Sr., Right guard - The 6-foot-6, 300-pound Stone started all 13 games last season and has played in 25 games during his career. He had back surgery in April but has come back strong this season and teams with Blaser on a tough right side of the line.
5. Anthony Nash, Sr., Wide receiver - The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Nash is a senior and a tough matchup with his size, speed and strength. He is second on the team with 27 catches but leads the Blue Devils with 382 yards and two touchdowns.
One to watch - Redshirt freshman Daniel Jones has been thrown into the fire with the injury to Sirk. He has thrown for 1,455 yards and seven touchdowns but has also thrown eight interceptions.