2019 Football Preview – ACC – Blue Devils
Looking for 2019 Duke Blue Devils predictions? The Blue Devils are coming off a decent 2018 campaign where they went 7-5 in the regular season and defeated Temple in their bowl game. In what was poised to be a promising season the thing that really crippled Dukes season was the injuries.
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2019-20 College Football Preview – Duke Blue Devils
Head Coach: David Cutcliffe
2018 Record: 8-5
Duke Blue Devils Odds to win the 2019 FBS Championship: +50000
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The Blue Devils won their first 4 games on the trot, but when the injury bug hit they had pretty bad losses to Virginia, Virginia Tech and especially Wake Forrest. Duke will be looking to parlay their bowl game win over Temple into some momentum heading into the 2019 season.
The time is now for this Duke Blue Devils to win. Can David Cutcliffe deliver?
2019 Duke Blue Devils Predictions: Team Strengths
Strong Running Back Play: Losing a QB like Daniel Jones is never easy, so I expect the Blue Devils to lean more on the run this year. This is likely a good idea as they are hugely talented at the position with Deon Jackson and Brittain Brown likely splitting snaps.
Last year they combined for over 1500 yards and with the running volume expected this year you can bet these two will exceed that this year.
Surprisingly Good QB Play: The QB situation may not be as dire as some think as Duke have Quentin Harris, a 5th year senior who will take the reins after Jones’ departure.
Although Harris has not played a ton in his collegiate career, he excelled last year in Dukes redzone package. He also helped the Blue Devils to a road victory over Northwestern after Jones had gotten injured alongside his 2-0 overall record as a starter.
No, the QB play shouldn’t be as good as last year and no one expects it to be, but it may very well turn out to be far better then people think.
2019 Duke Blue Devils Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Whose Catchin’ The Balls Out Here?: Even if Quentin Harris turns out to be a baller it is hard to imagine who is going to catch all those passes.
The recruiting class from a wide receiver perspective has been less than stellar with only 2 nationally ranked recruits in Eli Pancol and Darrell Harding. That likely won’t cut it as projected starter Jake Bobo went down with a fractured right clavicle and is now out indefinitely.
Aaron Young, the projected WR #1 for Harris, missed most of last year with injury and will need to find his form fast if the Blue Devils are going to get off to a good start.
It certainly goes without saying that the new wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor has his work cut out for him this year.
Defensive Questions: Nobody really knows what we are going to get out of this defensive unit, not meaning they will be bad, but really no one knows. Likely, the front seven is a bit more secure with junior end Victor Dimukeje who ended up last season with 42 tackles with 8.5 of those being for a loss.
The real questions start in the secondary, which was absolutely ravaged by injury in 2018. The secondary is also incredibly young with the vast majority of them having around 100-150 career collegiate snaps.
They also lost a couple of starters who moved on in Joe Giles-Harris and Ben Humphreys. It is not all bad news for the Blue Devils secondary, though, as they do have Mark Gilbert, who is by far their best corner and if he comes off his injury well, he has a ton of potential.
Duke Blue Devils Prediction: 6-6
I am sure Blue Devils fans won’t be happy about a possible 6-6 season, but they will have to play pretty decently to even get there. They have a brutal schedule, including an opening day trip to Alabama, which should not be a game they have any chance to win.
One positive is that their tougher games later in the year are at home (Notre Dame, Syracuse, Miami).
The Blue Devils will also have to deal with packed boxes as they are projected to run the ball a ton and with an inexperienced wide receiver corps. they may end up struggling to move the ball and hit big plays with the play action.
Then there is the obvious problem of the defense who do not have a lot of time to mesh as they don’t have a lot of easy games to find their mojo.
If the defense does not get it going early the Blue Devils will find themselves in early holes and will be forced to throw the ball and not be able to implement their plan to mainly run the ball.
Once again, that will be putting additional pressure on a new quarterback and depleted wide receiver corps.
2019 Duke Blue Devils Football Schedule
Regular Season Date Time
- 8/31/19 3:30 PM ET @ALA
- 9/7/19 6:00 PM ET NCAT
- 9/14/19 7:00 PM ET @MTU
- 9/27/19 7:00 PM ET @VT
- 10/5/19 TBD PITT
- 10/12/19 TBD GT
- 10/19/19 TBD @UVA
- 10/26/19 TBD @UNC
- 11/9/19 TBD ND
- 11/16/19 TBD SYR
- 11/23/19 TBD @WAKE
- 11/30/19 TBD MIA
What do you think about our 2019 Duke Blue Devils predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2019!
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