Monday, August 2, 2010

Duke looks to run (and pass plenty)

Duke's football fortunes rose and fell last year on the arm of quarterback Thaddeus Lewis. The senior helped the Blue Devils rank No. 9 nationally as they averaged 305 yards per game.

But the Devils were dogged by an ineffective ground game. They ranked at the other end of the national rankings -- No. 120 -- by averaging just 63.5 rushing yards per game.

This season, with Lewis gone, coach David Cutcliffe and the Devils aim for more balance to their offense.

Cutcliffe and senior center Bryan Morgan both say last year's offense was so one-dimensional because they were playing to Lewis' strengths. But if Duke is to match or exceed last year's 5-win total, Duke will need Renfree to be a highly productive passer while getting strong contributions from running backs Jay Hollingsworth and Desmond Scott.

What we don't know is if Duke's offensive line can handle that much run blocking. Pass-blocking is a different skill because, if a quarterback has a quick release, he doesn't need his linemen to hold their blocks very long.

Run-blockers must pile-drive the defenders to clear holes that allow the running backs to get into the secondary for big gains.

This is an important season for Duke since they enter the start of practice with a lot of momentum. Cutcliffe's decision to say no to Tennessee was a boost to the Devils fortunes. Strong play from their offensive line, in both run and pass blocking, would be an even bigger boost.

1 comment:

  1. Where are all the Duke and Carolina bloggers
    Maybe, all the technical expert Wolfpack fans
    are the only ones that are computer literate.