Duke Blue Devils 2010-2011 Season Preview

2009 Total Offense Rank (yards per game): 69
2009 Total Defense Rank (yards per game): 61

The Duke Blue Devils are known as a basketball powerhouse. The football team, however, is starting to gain some traction in its efforts to rebuild. Losing starting quarterback Thaddeus Lewis will hurt, but the team still has enough talent to turn some heads in the ACC.

Sean Renfree will be taking over at quarterback for the Blue Devils, but it remains to be seen how effective he will be coming back from a torn ACL. He showed flashes of promise as a redshirt freshman, and Duke hopes he will be able to utilize his talented group of receivers. Wide receivers Donovan Varner, Connor Vernon and Austin Kelly became the first trio in school history to record 50 catches each in the same season. The group is led by Varner, a first team All-ACC pick, who had over 1,000 yards receiving and 8 touchdowns.

The running game desperately needs to improve this year to give Renfree a chance. Last season, the Blue Devils ranked 9th nationally in passing offense, but dead last in rushing. Leading rusher sophomore Desmond Scott, the Durham native, rushed for 262 yards with an average of 3.7 yards per carry. Some of these problems started up front with the offensive line. The line returns a majority of starters from 2009 and must improve if this team is to be successful.
Duke Blue Devils College Football Cheerleader

The defensive line will be the weakest unit on that side of the ball after losing four-year starter Vince Oghobaase and Ayanga Okpokowuruk. Also, John Drew was dismissed from the team for legal reasons after playing in every game as a freshman. Because of this lack of depth on the line, it is likely Duke will switch to a 3-4 system. The team has a very speedy secondary though, so they may make up for a weak pass rush.

Duke has some serious talent, especially on offense. The fate of the team will come down to the play in the trenches, on the offensive and defensive lines. If these units overachieve, the team has a chance to go .500. If they underperform though, this team will once again inhabit the cellar of the conference.

Duke’s odds to win the ACC: + 5000

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