Can Duke Football Make a Bowl Game in Mike Elko’s Year One?

Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Elko pays tribute to his team during the second half of the Dukes' game against North Carolina A&T at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina on Saturday, September 17, 2022.

Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Elko pays tribute to his workforce in the course of the second half of the Dukes’ sport towards North Carolina A&T at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina on Saturday, September 17, 2022.

kmckeown@newsobserver.com

5 wins within the final two seasons and no ball video games up to now three are explanation why Mike Elko is Duke’s coach and David Cutcliffe is not.

The transfer was made with the purpose of getting again to the place Duke had been for the previous decade, when Cutcliffe led the Blue Devils to 6 video games over the pot in seven seasons from 2012-18.

Effectively, Elko has Dukes (3-0) midway to offer eligibility simply three video games in his first main teaching job.

It is a fantastic begin however, after all, Duke’s competitors ought to mood it up to now. Temple, Northwestern, and NC A&T mixed 2-7. So the timetable will get stricter from right here.

A 12 months in the past, Duke began 3-1 earlier than shedding all eight ACC video games.

Nonetheless, the outlook is best this season. ESPN’s Soccer Energy Index places Duke’s possibilities of attaining ball eligibility at 79%. Professional Soccer Focus scores have a 76% probability of the Blue Devils anticipating a season of seven wins.

For comparability, three ACC groups on Duke’s schedule — Virginia Tech (39%), Virginia (38%) and Boston Faculty (4%) — have considerably worse prognosis in keeping with ESPN’s FPI.

With that in thoughts, here is a take a look at the remainder of Duke’s schedule with a take a look at how the opponents have carried out up to now and the doubtless Blue Devils to win.

Saturday, in Kansas

register: 3-0

Till now: The Jayhawks, who’re chasing this system’s first successful file since 2008, look like headed towards a historic season. They’ve already received street video games in West Virginia and Houston because of a robust assault.

Duke’s Success Scale: is unlikely. Duke’s protection, though higher than the final two years, nonetheless confirmed some holes as he beat Northwestern. KS is provided to place factors on the board. The Blue Devils will discover it arduous to maintain up.

October. 1, Virginia

register: 2-1

Till now: Each faculties interviewed Tony Elliott, the offensive coordinator at Clemson, to be their head coach final December. Elliot headed to Virginia and employed Duke Elko. However regardless of having a proficient midfielder in Brennan Armstrong, the Cavaliers do not play like a workforce coached by somebody with a stable background in assault. The Cavaliers common simply 17.7 factors per sport. They flipped it eight instances in three video games.

Duke’s Success Scale: A win seems extra doubtless now than it was a month in the past. Duke misplaced seven consecutive video games to Virginia. Bronco Mendenhall had a quantity as an project. However each coaches left after final season.

October. 8, IN GEORGIA TECH

register: 1-2, 0-1 ACC

Till now: Evidently Jeff Collins’ period at Georgia Institute of Know-how is coming to an finish. Sure, the Yellow Jackets’ loss was to each ranked groups, however they misplaced each instances – 41-10 by Clemson, 42-0 by Mississippi. Georgia Tech’s third-place switch success (28.9%) is an enormous motive why he was the final ACC to attain (15 factors per sport).

Duke’s Success Scale: Though this sport is in Atlanta, it’s a sport that Duke should win to achieve pot eligibility. The Blue Devils are able to get this for positive.

October. 15, North Carolina

register: 3-0

Till now: Drake Maye proved to be an over-the-top quarterback for Sam Howell, who led the Tar Heels to victory the final thrice they performed Duke. It will be tough for the blue demons to cope with Maye. UNC protection is giving up yards and factors in giant chunks, one thing that Protection Coordinator Gene Chasik has to handle. However the Tar Heels rating quite a bit with two freshmen – operating again Omion Hampton and huge receiver Kobe Paysour.

Duke’s Success Scale: Looks as if a loss. Sure, Duke has to maneuver the ball and rating within the UNC protection. However the Tar Heels have a lot expertise in assault that they need to get out of Wallace Wade to retain the Victory Bell Cup.

October. 22, in Miami

register: 2-1

Till now: New coach Mario Cristobal has reinvigorated the Hurricanes, spawning a lot of “The U is Again” work. 17-9 at Texas A&M misplaced this one. Nonetheless, Miami has a robust quarterback in Tyler Van Dyck and a extra succesful operating sport with Henry Parrish. Miami’s protection has appeared good as far as nicely, awarding solely 12.3 factors per sport.

Duke’s Success Scale: A tough street sport for blue devils is right here. Duke received Miami in 2018 to clinch pot eligibility that season, so there are good emotions for the Blue Devils. However Miami will likely be an enormous favorite this 12 months.

November. 4, at Boston Faculty

register: 1-2, 0-1 ACC

Till now: The Eagles stumbled out of the gate this season, shedding 22-21 at house to Rutgers earlier than shedding a sport 27-10 at Virginia Tech. Whipping Maine, 38-17, final Saturday didn’t enhance Boston Faculty’s expectations. With three interceptions already plus a 59.4% completion charge, primary quarterback Phil Jurkovec does not appear to be a part of the skilled captain. Offensive Kevin Klein and Christian Mahogany are lacking this season with ACL tears. The Eagles began a well-liked gait into the left sort out towards Maine.

Duke’s Success Scale: It appears doubtless. Late fall on a Friday evening within the Boston suburbs could be chilly. The Blue Devils have to win right here to spice up their operating probabilities.

November. 12, Virginia Tech

register: 2-1, 1-0 ACC

Till now: Hockey inflicted ache on themselves of their 20-17 loss at Previous Dominion on September 2 by fumbling and fouling with penalty kicks and turnovers. They recovered by beating Boston Faculty and Wofford. Nonetheless, there are nonetheless many questions on Brent Bray’s teaching period. That is not good within the subsequent 5 video games towards West Virginia, UNC, Pittsburgh, Miami, NC State.

Duke’s Success Scale: There’s nothing fallacious. Virginia Tech’s season could also be within the rubbish by the point the flight involves Durham in November. Or the Hokies might enhance rapidly and want a Duke win for pot eligibility. Very quickly to seek out out.

November. 19, in Pittsburgh

register: 2-1

Till now: The ACC title-holders Panthers stay among the many high 25 within the nationwide rankings as they solely misplaced a 34-27 setback in extra time to Tennessee State. That is regardless of the unstable quarterback state of affairs as a result of accidents to Kevin Sloves and Nick Batty. Nonetheless, Pete is averaging 33 factors per sport because of operating again Israel Abanikanda (100.6 yards per sport) and a robust offensive streak. Pete’s protection allowed 26 factors per sport and compelled seven independents to assist in assault.

Duke’s Success Scale: not good. Like Virginia, the Pittsburgh Duke has not been defeated since 2014. The Blue Devils are 1-7 towards the Panthers within the ACC play. The Duke’s home paid largely.

November. 26, awakening the forest

register: 3-0

Till now: Damon Deacons struggled with a daunting well being situation involving Sam Hartmann (thrombosis) and the season is beginning to appear like a contender from the Atlantic as soon as once more. Wake’s assault yields 434 yards and 42 factors a sport with Hartmann’s throw for large sport receivers AT Perry, Donavon Greene and Jahmal Banks. Wake’s protection solely allowed 23.7 factors per sport.

Duke’s Success Scale: I can not see a win coming from this. Wake has a successful streak of three straight video games with wins in 4 of his final 5 video games. Elko is constructing the Duke in direction of this degree however the Blue Devils aren’t there but.

This story was initially printed September 20, 2022 6:15 am.

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Steve Wiseman has lined Duke Athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald Solar and Rally Information & Observer. He positioned second in each information writing and breaking information within the 2019 Nationwide Related Press Sports activities Editors Competitors. Steve has beforehand labored for The State (Columbia, SC), Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, SC), The Solar Herald (Biloxi, Miss.), Charlotte Observer and Hickory (NC) Day by day Document protecting tunes together with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, College of South Carolina Athletics and Supreme Committee Basic Meeting. He has received a number of statewide press union awards. Steve graduated from Illinois State College in 1989.