DURHAM — One look at Duke QB Thaddeus Lewis tells you what kind of job the Duke offensive line —LT Cameron Goldberg, LG Kyle Hill, C Bryan Morgan, RG Rob Schirmann, and RT Fred Roland — is doing in 2008. Lewis looks fresh as a daisy.
Duke quarterbacks, namely Lewis in all but a portion of one game, had been sacked 85 times in 24 games the past two seasons.
In 2006, it was average of 3.3 times per game at a loss of 5.87 yards per sack. In 2007, it was an average of 3.75 times per game for an average loss of 6.2 yards, In 2008, so far, it's down to twice per game at an average loss of 4.6 yards.
You can explain that a couple of ways. Duke is running no-huddle offense with an emphasis on getting rid of the ball. The line has better athletes. Lewis is running more often (35 carries, 95 yards). He's playing with more bulk to withstand hits. He is also a third-year starter, which helps to execute regardless of the system.
Avoiding sacks has enabled the Blue Devils to sustain drives, even without a reliable running game, and enabled Lewis to continue his assault on the Duke record books. He currently ranks fifth in career completions (463) and touchdowns (39) and sixth in passing yards (5,438).