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  1. #1

    Duke 37 - Tulane 7: Post-game thoughts

    Final: Duke 37, Tulane 7

    Could it have been a better night? Duke routs Tulane and the Cheaters lose to the Old Ball Coach?

    Hard to find fault with Duke in the opener. The Devils were a 9.5 favorite and won by 30 ... they were really more dominant than that. They didn't really cash in on their opportunities in the first three quarters. Duke finished with 530 yards total offense -- 324 passing and 206 rushing. That's almost 100 yards more than last year against Tulane at home. The defense held Tulane to 271 total yards -- that's 120 LESS than a year ago.

    And everybody in New Orleans said this Tulane team would be better this year. I hope they are right, because it means Duke is MUCH better.

    Sirk was outstanding in his debut as a starter -- 27 of 40 passing for 289 yards, 2 TDs and 0 ints. He had a beautiful 29-yard TD pass called back because of holding. Sirk also rushed 15 times for 68 yards -- that's 357 yards of total offense. I'm glad Boehme got that last drive. I thought he looked very shaky early, but redeemed himself with a great 75-yard TD drive in the closing minutes with some nice runs and one beautiful throw to Chris Taylor.

    Shaun Wilson was the RB star, while Rahming was the big receiver early and Barnes took over late. His final line -- 11 catches for 109 yards and 1 TD -- looks very much like a Jamison Crowder line.

    Our special teams were expected to be good -- they were SPECTACULAR. Edwards had the fifth kickoff return for a TD in his career. Ryan Smith had one highlight film punt return and caught about eight other kicks flawlessly (they were kicking high and short which didn't give him much room). Ross Martin was 3-of-3 on field goals and great on kickoffs -- four for touchvacks and two to the goal line (okay, he flubbed one late, kicking it out of bounds). Will Monday averaged 42 yards a punt and every one ended up inside the 20 (actually, one was downed at the 4, one was fair caught at the 8 and on one the receiver was tackled at the 10).

    I was a little surprised they didn't try to pound the middle of our line. That looked to be the gameplan when the opened with two runs up the middle for nine yards -- but on their first third down, Cash broke through to stop the runner for a loss and they seemed to give up on the run after that. Great job by the defense, although most of the pass rush was generated by the blitz. That put on corners on an island and except for one play -- when freshman Jeremy Duffie was right there, but got beat in the air -- the corners were very good -- Breon Borders was great. He's an All-ACC cover guy (BTW: his pass interference penalty was absolutely bogus).

    A lot of people played and played well. I saw five true freshmen out there -- Rahming, McDuffie, Boyce (who had a late sack and another hurry), Humphreys and Price (who I thought was the best looking DE out there). Among the redshirt freshmen, I saw Taylor (with one nice catch), Ferguson, Bere and Pierre, who got to play RB late. Zach Boden also got to play -- scoring the last TD with some tough running. I saw Zach Harmon at center late -- it's possible that Sanders and McNeill were out there with the second-team line ... I just can't confirm it. Didn't see Cerenord, but he may have played.

    All and all, a near perfect opener -- considering it was on the road with some young players in key positions. My only caveat is that Tulane -- better or not this year -- is almost certainly one of the three weakest teams we play this year. They are better than NCCU and maybe better than Army (maybe not). They're going to get killed next week against Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

    PS I thought Tulane was going to have a great crowd. It was just a 30,000 seat stadium and it looked almost empty on TV. Can anybody at the game clarify the crowd?

    PPS One final thing. I could be wrong, but I didn't see any Duke injuries -- that would be a great cherry on top of a delicious win.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    A note on Borders interference call. He kept bumping the receiver towards the sideline. I thought it wasn't a horrible call, but somebody else thought it should have been offensive interference. (I didn't see the Tulane receiver grab Borders, and of course there was no replay for that play. Only good Tulane plays, which meant very few replays overall.)

    Our impression was that we should have beaten them by fifty. A lot left on the field with a couple of missed plays.

    The Tulane fans mostly cleared out at halftime, which surprised us since it was only 13-0, two scores down. The side with the press box seemed mostly full, the other side pretty empty (I'm guessing that was the side shown on TV.). The single upper deck was pretty empty too. Their student section in the far end zone was mostly full to start, but only the bNd returned for the second half.

    I agree there was a good bit of swagger out on the field. Keep it up!

    One down, fourteen to go!

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Gretna, LA

    Crowd

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    Final: Duke 37, Tulane 7

    Could it have been a better night? Duke routs Tulane and the Cheaters lose to the Old Ball Coach?

    Hard to find fault with Duke in the opener. The Devils were a 9.5 favorite and won by 30 ... they were really more dominant than that. They didn't really cash in on their opportunities in the first three quarters. Duke finished with 530 yards total offense -- 324 passing and 206 rushing. That's almost 100 yards more than last year against Tulane at home. The defense held Tulane to 271 total yards -- that's 120 LESS than a year ago.

    And everybody in New Orleans said this Tulane team would be better this year. I hope they are right, because it means Duke is MUCH better.

    Sirk was outstanding in his debut as a starter -- 27 of 40 passing for 289 yards, 2 TDs and 0 ints. He had a beautiful 29-yard TD pass called back because of holding. Sirk also rushed 15 times for 68 yards -- that's 357 yards of total offense. I'm glad Boehme got that last drive. I thought he looked very shaky early, but redeemed himself with a great 75-yard TD drive in the closing minutes with some nice runs and one beautiful throw to Chris Taylor.

    Shaun Wilson was the RB star, while Rahming was the big receiver early and Barnes took over late. His final line -- 11 catches for 109 yards and 1 TD -- looks very much like a Jamison Crowder line.

    Our special teams were expected to be good -- they were SPECTACULAR. Edwards had the fifth kickoff return for a TD in his career. Ryan Smith had one highlight film punt return and caught about eight other kicks flawlessly (they were kicking high and short which didn't give him much room). Ross Martin was 3-of-3 on field goals and great on kickoffs -- four for touchvacks and two to the goal line (okay, he flubbed one late, kicking it out of bounds). Will Monday averaged 42 yards a punt and every one ended up inside the 20 (actually, one was downed at the 4, one was fair caught at the 8 and on one the receiver was tackled at the 10).

    I was a little surprised they didn't try to pound the middle of our line. That looked to be the gameplan when the opened with two runs up the middle for nine yards -- but on their first third down, Cash broke through to stop the runner for a loss and they seemed to give up on the run after that. Great job by the defense, although most of the pass rush was generated by the blitz. That put on corners on an island and except for one play -- when freshman Jeremy Duffie was right there, but got beat in the air -- the corners were very good -- Breon Borders was great. He's an All-ACC cover guy (BTW: his pass interference penalty was absolutely bogus).

    A lot of people played and played well. I saw five true freshmen out there -- Rahming, McDuffie, Boyce (who had a late sack and another hurry), Humphreys and Price (who I thought was the best looking DE out there). Among the redshirt freshmen, I saw Taylor (with one nice catch), Ferguson, Bere and Pierre, who got to play RB late. Zach Boden also got to play -- scoring the last TD with some tough running. I saw Zach Harmon at center late -- it's possible that Sanders and McNeill were out there with the second-team line ... I just can't confirm it. Didn't see Cerenord, but he may have played.

    All and all, a near perfect opener -- considering it was on the road with some young players in key positions. My only caveat is that Tulane -- better or not this year -- is almost certainly one of the three weakest teams we play this year. They are better than NCCU and maybe better than Army (maybe not). They're going to get killed next week against Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

    PS I thought Tulane was going to have a great crowd. It was just a 30,000 seat stadium and it looked almost empty on TV. Can anybody at the game clarify the crowd?

    PPS One final thing. I could be wrong, but I didn't see any Duke injuries -- that would be a great cherry on top of a delicious win.
    I'd say the real crowd was about 13,000. The 30,000 seats is a lie - the actual number is about 24,000, and they were about half full in the first half. Combine a late start with an uninspiring first half by Tulane and probably 3/4 of the student section and 1/3 of everyone else hit the exits. Believe it or not - this is better than Tulane ever drew in the Superdome. The best parts about Tulane football now are the pre-game tailgating on the main quad and alcohol being sold in the stadium. The games themselves have very little atmosphere.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by DU82 View Post
    A note on Borders interference call. He kept bumping the receiver towards the sideline. I thought it wasn't a horrible call, but somebody else thought it should have been offensive interference. (I didn't see the Tulane receiver grab Borders, and of course there was no replay for that play. Only good Tulane plays, which meant very few replays overall.)Our impression was that we should have beaten them by fifty. A lot left on the field with a couple of missed plays.

    The Tulane fans mostly cleared out at halftime, which surprised us since it was only 13-0, two scores down.

    I agree there was a good bit of swagger out on the field. Keep it up!
    I was watching on TV and got to see several replays in slow motion. Borders was inside the receiver and was blocking his path (which is perfectly legal for a defensive back). Finally, the receiver grabbed Borders by both shoulders and tried to pull him out of the way. Terrible call.

    I agree we missed a lot of scoring opportunities in the first three quarters. We COULD have scored a lot more. But I don't think that's a terrible flaw in the first game (especially on the road) for a young team.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    I was watching on TV and got to see several replays in slow motion. Borders was inside the receiver and was blocking his path (which is perfectly legal for a defensive back). Finally, the receiver grabbed Borders by both shoulders and tried to pull him out of the way. Terrible call.

    I agree we missed a lot of scoring opportunities in the first three quarters. We COULD have scored a lot more. But I don't think that's a terrible flaw in the first game (especially on the road) for a young team.
    Tulane is not a bad team. Local radio-heads had Duke coming home with an L because they had no idea what Sirk could do and Tulane had an experienced team coming back. I must admit- I thought this would be a rough game. But Duke and especially Sirk took control of the game and never let Tulane get confidence. Young team or old- that is how you win football games.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Thanks for the report, Olympic Fan.

    My two biggest concerns before last night were QB play and our defensive front 7 - especially their ability to pressure the opposing QB. I wasn't able to watch the game, but based on the write-ups and the numbers, Sirk looked solid in all phases save the long pass. I'm not ready to put my QB concern away, but this was a really good first step in doing so.

    As for the front seven, I haven't heard or read much yet about their performance. Apparently, though, we only really got to Tulane's QB when we blitzed, which is bad. On the good side, we limited Tulane's run game to a much less productive game than the one in Durham last year, which was good, although there are some indications that was as much due to inept play calling from the Tulane sideline as it was to anything Duke's defense was doing. If anyone has more insight here, I'd love to read it.

    All in all, it sure sounds like this was a solid first step in what could be yet another successful Duke football season.
    JBDuke

    Andre Dawkins: “People ask me if I can still shoot, and I ask them if they can still breathe. That’s kind of the same thing.”

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by dukelifer View Post
    Tulane is not a bad team. Local radio-heads had Duke coming home with an L because they had no idea what Sirk could do and Tulane had an experienced team coming back. I must admit- I thought this would be a rough game. But Duke and especially Sirk took control of the game and never let Tulane get confidence. Young team or old- that is how you win football games.
    Eh, they're pretty bad. 93rd best team in football last year and I doubt they've improved much.

    I'm less positive than the rest of you guys, but again this was still a good game and a good learning experience. Thoughts:

    Offensive Line: This started off poorly, although it played a little better in the 2nd half, presumably due to Tulane being exhausted. Sirk had a lot of pressure early on and a bunch of his runs were snuffed in the backfield because of this. The Left tackle position (I think we tried two players there tonight?) needs work. Tulane's D line was their strength the past two years, so some of this isn't surprising, but it's clearly an area of dropoff and that needs to improve quick against better competition. Obviously more experience will help here.

    Sirk: A very anthony boone-like performance. Mostly satisfactory play, but with a few brain dead decisions. Remember, there were 2 passes that should've been picked as they went right through defenders' hands (one was a bomb, which was meh, the other was a horrible overthrow) - if those are picked, like they're going to be in the future, we come off less positive about Sirk. The fumble on the first drive was also off a dumb pass by Sirk, where he threw the checkdown high to a really well covered Barnes, leaving him hung out to dry.

    Defense: McDuffie didn't look good obviously, although Alonzo Saxton wasn't very good either. Breon Borders was excellent as usual, so those two guys will have time to improve. I know we don't like doing this, but we should really shade a safety toward the inexperienced corners' way, just to be safe.

    plenty to work on vs Central - Tulane wasn't a good team, but they were good enough to expose some holes - now we have 2 weeks basically to fix them.
    <devildeac> anyone playing drinking games by now?
    7:49:36<Wander> drink every qb run?
    7:49:38<loran16> umm, drink every time asack rushes?
    7:49:38<wolfybeard> @devildeac: drink when Asack runs a keeper
    7:49:39 PM<CB&B> any time zack runs, drink

    Carolina Delenda Est

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Directing a read-option offense, Sirk hit 27 of 40 passes for 289 yards, rushed 15 times for 68 yards, was not sacked and did not throw an interception. Sirk converted nine of the 17 third-downs he faced as Duke racked up 530 yards to Tulane's 271.
    http://www.wralsportsfan.com/sirk-le...VGYfFDSDsqJ.99


    Nice stat.
    My thoughts...I thought Sirk played pretty smart throughout the game, although we were fortunate a couple of his misses did not turn into INTs. I thought his throws were really nice, and I got the feeling that the ones that were into coverage that were drops are going to turn more into completions as the season wears on.
    Wilson was beautiful to watch all night.
    How was it seeing our 2nd and 3rd string QBs in on the same plays? I was hoping to see at least one trick where Pierre threw the ball, but no luck. Still, was nice to see both get some action.
    I noted in chat that I think this was the longest time in years that I've seen Duke play a game with only one QB. I really enjoyed it being Sirk's team, and not him having to give up the ball on different yardage situations.
    Hats off to defense for a really great game, with the only breakdown being when it mattered little. (And for which Devon Edwards gave an immediate answer.)


    Looking forward to our first home game, but last night was a test passed with a definitive "A"
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    Wilson was beautiful to watch all night.
    If I had a nickel for every time I've heard that...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by noladevil View Post
    I'd say the real crowd was about 13,000. The 30,000 seats is a lie - the actual number is about 24,000, and they were about half full in the first half. Combine a late start with an uninspiring first half by Tulane and probably 3/4 of the student section and 1/3 of everyone else hit the exits. Believe it or not - this is better than Tulane ever drew in the Superdome. The best parts about Tulane football now are the pre-game tailgating on the main quad and alcohol being sold in the stadium. The games themselves have very little atmosphere.
    Back in the day, when I would occasionally drop by the Sugar Bowl to watch Tulane play, there was so much drinking in the stands that many of the students left before the game. I mean, this is New Orleans; it isn't like there's nothing else to do.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  11. #11
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    Anybody got a link to video of DeVon Edwards' TD kickoff return? I had already gone to bed, and I'd like to see it.

  12. #12
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    Highlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by wilson View Post
    Anybody got a link to video of DeVon Edwards' TD kickoff return? I had already gone to bed, and I'd like to see it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilson View Post
    Anybody got a link to video of DeVon Edwards' TD kickoff return? I had already gone to bed, and I'd like to see it.
    From GoDuke.com.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  14. #14
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    great sports night for my son, sam and me....

    cocks/panthers/blue devils...

    oh, and the icing...heels lose....

    awesome...
    "Either they're going down, or we are! Kirk out!"

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by loran16 View Post
    Sirk: A very anthony boone-like performance.
    Oh I disagree with this statement. Not once did I want to pull my hair out last night lol. He needs to work on his long throws, but I think it's more a matter of working on his chemistry with the receivers than anything (the only thing that reminded me of Boone). Most of his passes were crisp, didn't hang his receivers out to dry or throw them at his feet. The one really bad play was the pitch, but for a quarterback that isn't an option first quarterback to pitch with the left hand...I can forgive him. Everyone watching the game last night agreed he seemed like a combination of Renfree and Connette. A better passer than Connette, but a better runner than Renfree, not quite as good a runner as Connette, nor passer as Renfree, but better than either of the two as a result of the combination.

    Someone else mentioned it was nice to see Sirk play the whole game, but don't forget that Boehme came in on first and second down before Sirk through the shuffle pass on third for the touchdown.

  16. #16
    So as not to pick on any one poster, I'll just say I am tired of and frustrated by the continual put down of Anthony Boone.
    Do I wish we won a bowl with him at QB? Absolutely.
    I think he gave Duke all he had and deserves our respect.
    Maybe we could invoke "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't put it on the internet" as a guideline. :-)

    Second, to borrow from another Duke coach, let's enjoy watching Sirk run his own race. Did we get lucky on a couple possible INTs? Absolutely. Did he look in command of the offense and was he a beast? I think so.

    I don't know how the season will go, and I am excited about this Duke football team and what they can do.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuse View Post
    So as not to pick on any one poster, I'll just say I am tired of and frustrated by the continual put down of Anthony Boone.
    being honest about his abilities and shortcomings should be fine and acceptable...unneccesarily putting him down like loran did? bothers me as well.
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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    Final: Duke 37, Tulane 7

    Could it have been a better night? Duke routs Tulane and the Cheaters lose to the Old Ball Coach?

    Hard to find fault with Duke in the opener. The Devils were a 9.5 favorite and won by 30 ... they were really more dominant than that. They didn't really cash in on their opportunities in the first three quarters. Duke finished with 530 yards total offense -- 324 passing and 206 rushing. That's almost 100 yards more than last year against Tulane at home. The defense held Tulane to 271 total yards -- that's 120 LESS than a year ago.

    And everybody in New Orleans said this Tulane team would be better this year. I hope they are right, because it means Duke is MUCH better.

    Sirk was outstanding in his debut as a starter -- 27 of 40 passing for 289 yards, 2 TDs and 0 ints. He had a beautiful 29-yard TD pass called back because of holding. Sirk also rushed 15 times for 68 yards -- that's 357 yards of total offense. I'm glad Boehme got that last drive. I thought he looked very shaky early, but redeemed himself with a great 75-yard TD drive in the closing minutes with some nice runs and one beautiful throw to Chris Taylor.

    Shaun Wilson was the RB star, while Rahming was the big receiver early and Barnes took over late. His final line -- 11 catches for 109 yards and 1 TD -- looks very much like a Jamison Crowder line.

    Our special teams were expected to be good -- they were SPECTACULAR. Edwards had the fifth kickoff return for a TD in his career. Ryan Smith had one highlight film punt return and caught about eight other kicks flawlessly (they were kicking high and short which didn't give him much room). Ross Martin was 3-of-3 on field goals and great on kickoffs -- four for touchvacks and two to the goal line (okay, he flubbed one late, kicking it out of bounds). Will Monday averaged 42 yards a punt and every one ended up inside the 20 (actually, one was downed at the 4, one was fair caught at the 8 and on one the receiver was tackled at the 10).

    I was a little surprised they didn't try to pound the middle of our line. That looked to be the gameplan when the opened with two runs up the middle for nine yards -- but on their first third down, Cash broke through to stop the runner for a loss and they seemed to give up on the run after that. Great job by the defense, although most of the pass rush was generated by the blitz. That put on corners on an island and except for one play -- when freshman Jeremy Duffie was right there, but got beat in the air -- the corners were very good -- Breon Borders was great. He's an All-ACC cover guy (BTW: his pass interference penalty was absolutely bogus).

    A lot of people played and played well. I saw five true freshmen out there -- Rahming, McDuffie, Boyce (who had a late sack and another hurry), Humphreys and Price (who I thought was the best looking DE out there). Among the redshirt freshmen, I saw Taylor (with one nice catch), Ferguson, Bere and Pierre, who got to play RB late. Zach Boden also got to play -- scoring the last TD with some tough running. I saw Zach Harmon at center late -- it's possible that Sanders and McNeill were out there with the second-team line ... I just can't confirm it. Didn't see Cerenord, but he may have played.

    All and all, a near perfect opener -- considering it was on the road with some young players in key positions. My only caveat is that Tulane -- better or not this year -- is almost certainly one of the three weakest teams we play this year. They are better than NCCU and maybe better than Army (maybe not). They're going to get killed next week against Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

    PS I thought Tulane was going to have a great crowd. It was just a 30,000 seat stadium and it looked almost empty on TV. Can anybody at the game clarify the crowd?

    PPS One final thing. I could be wrong, but I didn't see any Duke injuries -- that would be a great cherry on top of a delicious win.
    Thanks for the summary OF.

    Our team played a good controlled first game of the season. Mistakes were made but I think a lot of questions were satisfactorily answered. Tulane is not LSU, but I think we will play well when the better teams on our schedule come up. Next week against NCCU will allow our guys to work on timing and gain more experience in game conditions (McDuffie will not let someone pick the ball out from him again - just a freshman mistake).

    I like Sirk. The shovel pass was terrific as was the TD that got called back. Some bad throws downfield but I expect that will improve with game experience.


    I too was surprised about how few people seemed to be in the stands on the Tulane side, but it was a late game. Nice Duke presence anyway.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by loran16 View Post
    Sirk: A very anthony boone-like performance. Mostly satisfactory play, but with a few brain dead decisions. Remember, there were 2 passes that should've been picked as they went right through defenders' hands (one was a bomb, which was meh, the other was a horrible overthrow) - if those are picked, like they're going to be in the future, we come off less positive about Sirk. The fumble on the first drive was also off a dumb pass by Sirk, where he threw the checkdown high to a really well covered Barnes, leaving him hung out to dry.
    Don't forget the very poor pitch on the option in the 2nd half that led to Tulane recovering the fumble. Still, I thought Sirk was largely better than Boone was a year ago and, considering this was his first game at QB, I think he will continue to improve. Everyone has pointed out that Sirk seemed inaccurate on deep throws (and Duke's receivers were rarely open on long routes) but Jim Sumner told me (on the podcast) that the coaches have been raving about Sirk's deep arm. That leaves me optimistic he will improve that portion of his game too.

    I suspect there may have been some jitters and inexperience that kept Sirk from having an "A" performance, but I see plenty of reasons to think he can take this team to some pretty special places this season.

    -Jason "double-digit wins is very doable for this club" Evans
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by fuse View Post
    So as not to pick on any one poster, I'll just say I am tired of and frustrated by the continual put down of Anthony Boone.
    Do I wish we won a bowl with him at QB? Absolutely.
    I think he gave Duke all he had and deserves our respect.
    Maybe we could invoke "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't put it on the internet" as a guideline. :-)

    Second, to borrow from another Duke coach, let's enjoy watching Sirk run his own race. Did we get lucky on a couple possible INTs? Absolutely. Did he look in command of the offense and was he a beast? I think so.

    I don't know how the season will go, and I am excited about this Duke football team and what they can do.
    I'm with you on Boone. Was he inconsistent? Yes. But he was a great leader of the past two teams. Last night, the announcers said that Duke was 18 and 3 the last 2 seasons in regular season games. We lost three postseason games - to the National Champion and 2 top ten teams (I think ASU wound up there) - and were competitive in all 3. How many teams would have liked those results?

    This is a new team, but last night showed that we now have a program (new guys are stepping up and the "old" guys are showing them the way to get it done). I anticipate a good season.

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