After a surprising two weeks, what's next for the ACC? Tudor says Duke will provide the ultimate surprise. (Staff video)
DURHAM — Duke (3-1) got a vote in this week's USA Today Top 25 Coaches' Poll.
Normally, we'd point straight at South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, former Duke coach with a lot of affection for the program, as the culprit. But before the season began, Spurrier was told not to give his annual preseason nod to his former team.
DURHAM — Duke coach David Cutcliffe definitively proclamied his profound distate for yellow jackets during his weekly press conference on Tuesday. But it's personal, not professional. He wasn't talking about Duke's Saturday opponent in Georgia Tech.
Just listen to the retelling of the story about getting stung by a nest of nasty yellow jackets as a young boy growing up in Birmingham, Ala.
DURHAM — Duke went 3-1 in four home dates to start the season. It's leaving home for its first road game, at Georgia Tech, with more good news. Season ticket sales are up 58 percent at this point compared to 2007, Duke coach David Cutcliffe said on Tuesday.
The Blue Devils (3-1, 1-0 ACC), who received a vote in the Coaches' Top 25 Poll this week, have home dates remaining with Miami (Oct. 18), N.C. State (Nov. 8) and North Carolina (Nov. 29).
"I couldn't help but think about what can be," Cutcliffe said. "It's another opportunity for the Duke faithful to step up and buy tickets and be a part of a great happening in Wallace Wade Stadium."
At least according to Kenneth Massey's computer, which claims Duke is the seventh-best team in the country.
Here's the scary part: Massey's rankings are one of six computer polls used in the Bowl Championship Series formula.
According to Massey's web site:
The Meineke Car Care Bowl is holding its first team selection committee meeting tonight (Monday).
One of the teams likely to get mentioned is Duke. The Blue Devils (3-1) haven't played in a bowl since the Hall of Fame Bowl on Jan. 2, 1995, but are halfway to the number of wins they need to get bowl eligible.
"I think Duke would be intriguing," said bowl executive director Will Webb. "I think their fans would show up. They're on our radar."
Maryland: Faithful Late Hits readers (both of 'em) demanded an up arrow for Maryland after its big win over Cal on Sept. 13. Given Maryland's propensity to win one, lose one, the arrow judiciary board preached patience.
The wait is over.
DURHAM — It's unclear if Duke is deeper this season in the defensive secondary or if Duke coach David Cutcliffe is just more willing to put his fastest players on the field come what way.
Either way Cutcliffe is letting fresehmen defensive backs Matt Daniels, who made his first career start at safety in the win over Virginia on Saturday, and Lee Butler learn on the field.
It is according to Duke nose guard Clifford Respress. The senior was one of 17 Blue Devils senior scholarship players who hadn't won an ACC game until they beat Virginia 31-3 at Wallace Wade on Saturday.
Sixteen of those actually contributed to the victory on the field. Only injured running Re'quan Boyette did not play.
DURHAM — Duke kind of outed Virginia on Saturday during a 31-3 win, no more so than when quarterback Thad Lewis and receiver Eron Riley hooked up for a 30-yard touchdown in third quarter.
On the rare play when Riley was facing single coverage, Duke's offense caught Virginia napping. Duke coach David Cutcliffe said after the game that he was so eager for center Brian Morgan to snap the ball and start the play that he eventually started running with Riley down the sideline.