Duke's Desmond Scott (33) and Jamison Crowder (3) celebrate Crowder's second-quarter touchdown. Credit: CHRIS SEWARDfirstname.lastname@example.org
While I was off in Scotland and Ireland, it was quite a busy week back in Durham. A quick rundown of what I missed, just in case you missed something, too:
*Duke basketball lost one of its all-time greats when Art Heyman died Monday. Heyman, one of only 13 Blue Devils to have their number retired, was a fierce competitor on and off the court and fought against both childhood buddy Larry Brwn and his alma mater, Andrew Carter wrote in his obituary. Caulton Tudor also recalled Heyman's competitiveness with all of the Triangle-area schools.
*Tuesday, I took a look at how Miami-native Conner Vernon, within shouting distance of the ACC's all-time records for career catches and yards, ended up at Duke, and made my official prediction for the Blue Devils' 2012 record. Best case scenario? In my opinion, 7-5. Worst case? A third consecutive 3-9 affair. My prediction? Click here to find out.
*On Wednesday, Marcus Stroman, who became the first Duke baseball player to be taken in the first round of the MLB first-year players draft this June, received a 50-game suspension for taking a banned stimulant.
*And, of course, the Blue Devils earned a season-opening victory against an FBS opponent for the first time since 2002 with an impressive 46-26 win over Florida International.
One of the major highlights for Duke was the performance of WR Jamison Crowder, who, with six catches for 102 yards and a touchdown, proved to be a legitimate No. 2 threat to Conner Vernon. But Crowder's performance was more notable for the way he filled in for injured teammate Blair Holliday, who suffered serious head trauma when he and Crowder were in a jet ski collision July 4. Luke DeCock wrote about how the Holliday family's support has helped Crowder heal.
Speaking of Holliday, who is moving from inpatient to outpatient care at the Atlanta Sheppard Center, he received a visit from an NC State contingency including head coach Tom O'Brien before the Wolfpack took on Tennessee. A great act of kindness from the folks at NC State.