Blue Devils Case Study

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This season, Duke head coach David Cutcliffe’s squad has relied heavily on the dual threat ability of quarterback Thomas Sirk, as well as the legs of running back Shaquille Powell. The battle tested Blue Devils have had several close finishes this season, including a quadruple overtime 45-43 victory over Virginia Tech and a controversial 30-27 loss to the Miami Hurricanes that ended with an eight-lateral walk-off touchdown as time expired. Duke’s offensive talent should be enough to earn a victory over Indiana, but whether the Blue Devils show up or lay an egg after a disappointing 7-5 campaign remains to be seen. Indiana Hoosiers The Hoosiers are no stranger to close games either. Indiana blew second half leads in three of their six losses this season, including a double…show more content…
If Indiana can establish a consistent running game against the Blue Devils, the Hoosiers have a pair of speedy receivers that will likely see one-on-one coverage throughout the game. Jones and Cobbs Jr. should be tasked with plenty of short crossing routes, wide receiver screens and occasional deep shots to keep Duke’s linebackers and safeties from cheating up to stop the run. The dynamic duo has accounted for more than 1,700 receiving yards with nine scores this season. Indiana offensive coordinator Kevin Johns should utilize the Hoosiers’ speed, forcing Duke’s defense to cover the entire field. Duke: Quarterback Thomas Sirk The Blue Devils have endured a roller coaster ride of a season. Despite the ups and downs, Duke’s running game has kept the team afloat this season. Sirk has rushed for more than 600 yards, averaging almost five yards per carry this season. Against Indiana, the junior quarterback’s ability to take off from the pocket on passing downs could prove crucial for the Blue Devils on third down.

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