I know, I know, it sounds more like a Final Four match-up than a football bowl game but it is what it is. Dave Cutliff has done a great job earning the ACC COTY this season. He didn’t finish the way he would have liked but his team from that basketball school is pretty happy to still be playing this time of year. Let’s look at the match-ups.
Here’s what I said about the Blue Devils during my ACC Preview.
The general consensus is that the Duke Blue Devils are and always will be the worst team in the conference and they will struggle to win a conference game this year with a crazy cross over schedule traveling to Wake Forrest and FSU. However; head coach Dave Cutcliffe has done an admirable job trying to make it more than just a basketball school (yeah right) and returns 17 starters. They will put a better product on the field than the Maryland Terrapins’ and the BC Eagles.
I went on to say they would only win one game and they made a liar out of me by finishing 5th in the Coastal Division ahead of Virginia and ahead of Maryland and BC both overall. Lets look at this team.
Playmakers: On offense the big playmaker and the difference maker for the Blue Devils has been QB Sean Renfree. The 6’5″ 225lb senior from Notre Dame Prep in Scotsdale, AZ has been sensational this season completing 66% of his passes (260-392) for 2,755 yards with 18 touchdowns against only 8 INT’s. He has escapability but isn’t a runner, he will stand in the pocket and take it on the chin and make a play. His two favorite targets were close to both being over 1,000 yards. Jamison Crowder (1,025-8td’s) and Conner Vernon (955-7TD’s) give Renfree the help on the edge.
Defensively, the Blue Devils have relied heavily on CB Ross Cockrell, the 6’5″ 180lb junior leads the team and the ACC with 5 INT’s this season and is high on the team with 63 tackles. Picked on early in his career he has turned things around and has become a headhunter of sorts as well. The hard-hitting cornerback has made play after play down the stretch for the Blue Devils and will be important in run stopping support against the Bearcats. Read More