Show off your holiday lights and you could win an iPad! Enter your photo by December 13. Winner will be selected by popular vote.
The Blue Devils are 4-1 against the Cavaliers and 5-39 against the rest of the league in their last 49 ACC games.
Duke quarterback Anthony Boone (7) threw for four touchdowns in the Blue Devils’ win over UVa last season.
Duke’s Josh Snead is tackled by Navy’s Chris Johnson (46) and Parrish Gaines (2) last Saturday. The Blue Devils improved to 4-2 by thrashing the Middies 35-7 in Durham, N.C.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Nobody has contributed more to Duke’s push for ACC football respectability than its Coastal Division counterpart, Virginia.
A 25-point victory over the Cavaliers last year was a major step toward six victories and Duke’s first postseason appearance since 1994.
The Blue Devils (4-2, 0-2 ACC) are hoping for a similar boost when they visit Virginia (2-4, 0-2) at 3:30 p.m. at Scott Stadium.
Once, the Cavaliers owned the Blue Devils, going 22-4 against Duke between 1983-2007. That included eight straight victories from 2000-2007.
David Cutcliffe was named Duke head coach prior to the 2008 season and, since then, the Blue Devils have beaten Virginia four times.
The turnaround against the rest of the ACC hasn’t been as pronounced.
In fact, it’s been nonexistent.
Following a 24-13 loss to UVa in the second week of the 2007 season under Cutcliffe predecessor Ted Roof, Duke is 4-1 against Virginia and 5-39 against the rest of the conference in its last 49 ACC games.
The Cavaliers enter today’s game as a three-point favorite, but they’ve been favored against the Blue Devils before.
Fourth-year UVa coach Mike London noted earlier this week that Duke has benefitted from having been in Cutcliffe’s system for five full seasons and parts of a sixth.
Offensive coordinator Kurt Roper has been with Cutcliffe since the beginning and defensive coordinator Jim Knowles joined the staff in 2009.
Virginia offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild, defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta and special-teams coordinator Larry Lewis all are in their first season on London’s staff.
“Our focus is to start our own tradition or start our own win streak,” said London in answer to a question about recent Duke-UVa competition.
The Blue Devils come to Scott Stadium with some momentum after beating Navy 35-7 last week in Durham, N.C., where junior Anthony Boone learned 30 minutes before game time that he would be replacing regular quarterback Brandon Connette.
Boone, who had not played since breaking his collarbone Sept. 7 in a 28-14 win at Memphis, went 31-of-38 for 295 yards and three touchdowns.
The Cavaliers remember Boone, a 6-foot-2, 230-pounder, from their meeting last year in Durham, N.C., where Boone was 18-of-31 for 212 yards and four TDs.
Boone also carried seven times for 41 yards in that game.
“He really understands our offense,” said Cutcliffe, a quarterback guru who has been a mentor for Peyton and Eli Manning. “He can run our offense from the line of scrimmage exceptionally well. He’s a good decision-maker, and then Anthony is a threat with his feet.”
Wide receiver Jamison Crowder is second in the ACC in receptions (47) and first in punt returns, two of which he has returned for a touchdown. Max McCaffrey, whose father, Ed, played in the NFL, has touchdown receptions in three straight games.
Duke and UVa have had one common opponent, with widely varying results. One week after outlasting Duke 58-55 in Durham, Pittsburgh shut down Virginia 14-3 at Heinz Stadium.
Virginia’s first-year starter at quarterback, David Watford, struggled against Pittsburgh and had been plagued by turnovers until the Cavaliers went to Maryland last Saturday, where Watford had 297 yards in offense — and no turnovers — in a 27-26 UVa loss.
“That wasn’t a breakout game for me because, statistically, it wasn’t anything spectacular,” Watford said, “but I feel like, week to week, my confidence is rising. I’m reading defenses. The game is slowing down for me.
“It was a tough game, but we’re still throwing punches. I’d take the effort from that Maryland game any time.”
For most of the season, UVa’s defense has been trying to save the offense. At Maryland, it was the defense that was victimized, particularly a secondary that offered little run support and was frequently beaten on jump-ball passes.
“Stats don’t lie,” linebacker Henry Coley said. “We have to eliminate the big plays, especially on third and long.”
Maryland’s go-ahead touchdown, with just over five minutes remaining, followed a 47-yard completion on third-and-22.
“You can go back and look at what happened and didn’t happen,” London said. “You can go back and look at those things and you can wring your hands about them, or you can turn and focus your energies on what’s ahead.”
Weather Journal7 wintry scenarios for Sunday