2016-17 Football Previews – (ACC) – Blue Devils
Looking for 2016 Duke Blue Devils predictions? Known as a basketball school, the Duke football program has made a name for itself. However, they come into this year with not only a lot of questions, but also looking to forget their sloppy end to the season last year. Duke will return some marquee names, but the health issues have them wondering who will be starting come Week 1.
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2016-17 College Football Preview – Duke Blue Devils
Head Coach: David Cutcliffe
Duke Blue Devils Odds to win 2017 FBS Championship: 1000/1
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The Blue Devils lost 4 straight in the 2nd half of the season, a streak that lost them a shot at the ACC. However, thanks to their hot start they still managed to make a bowl game and actually win that game in overtime against Indiana.
The Blue Devils have a tough task ahead of them this year if they hope to find themselves back in a bowl game.
Duke Blue Devils Predictions: Team Strengths
Plenty of Backs
Duke did lose their top RB from last season, but they have plenty of options to build off.
It first starts with QB Thomas Sirk. He led the team with 860 yards on the ground, but that was helped out by him having the ability to use the option a lot with Shaquille Powell.
This season, he will be without Powell, but also have 6 backs that saw playing time last season to work with. Two of them were north of 400 yards and another one was at 200 plus yards.
Jela Duncan (479 yards) and Shaun Wilson (424 yards) will be the top two guys that Duke will use at the RB position. Look for both to be used in a variety of ways, which includes the pass game as they have the ability to act as receivers.
Duke Blue Devils Predictions: Team Weaknesses
There is one giant health concern for this team and it comes from Thomas Sirk.
The guy that they absolutely need at 100%, raptured his achilles back in February and it opened the door with many questions at the QB spot. Sirk is the biggest playmaker on this team and they won’t succeed with out him.
Recently Sirk did say he was practicing pain free, but time will tell how that turns in game situations.
Defensive Bottom Out
Duke’s season last year was a tale of two halves. The first half of the season saw the defense absolutely dominate the opposition. However, the 2nd half was disastrous.
The first 7 games saw the Blue Devils go 6-1 with Duke holding the opposition to just 4.0 yards per play.
The final 6 games became a completely different story. Duke allowed 6.9 yards per play, thus their fall off late.
That cannot happen this year, especially with so many questions with Sirk’s health.
Duke Blue Devils 2016 Prediction: 5-7
Duke is going to have a chance to sneak into a bowl game this season, but stealing a couple games they shouldn’t win is what it will take.
Although it’s a broken record, the health of Sirk is just too tough to overlook. He says he’s practicing pain free, but game situations he’s asked to run and throw. If that achilles gets hit or fallen on or anything along those lines, he could go down.
If he can remain healthy, the defense will determine whether this team has a postseason game or not.
The defense has a lot of questions and after last season’s fallout, they need to stay consistent throughout the entire season.
2016 Duke Blue Devils Football Schedule
- Sept. 3 N.C. Central
- Sept. 10 Wake Forest
- Sept. 17 at Northwestern
- Sept. 24 at Notre Dame
- Oct. 1 Virginia
- Oct. 8 Army
- Oct. 14 at Louisville
- Oct. 22 OPEN
- Oct. 29 at Georgia Tech
- Nov. 5 Virginia Tech
- Nov. 10 North Carolina
- Nov. 19 at Pittsburgh
- Nov. 26 at Miami
What do you think about our 2016 Duke Blue Devils predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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