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Duke Now is your place for Blue Devil hoops and football. Beat writer Laura Keeley has up-to-the-minute news and analysis. Columnist Luke DeCock also contributes. Follow us on Twitter at @laurakeeley or @accnow.

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Cutcliffe on FIU, freshmen debuts and travel advice from Peyton Manning

 

Duke redshirt freshman Kyler Brown (56) picks off a pass in the fourth quarter. Credit: CHRIS SEWARD-cseward@newsobserver.com

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe holds weekly Sunday teleconferences during the season in which he looks back at the previous game and will talk a bit about the game to come. Here are a few highlights from today’s look at the 46-26 win over Florida International and a few thoughts on Stanford. Duke is currently a 14.5 underdog for its road game against the Cardinal.

Duke Athletics: The Week That Was

 

Duke's Desmond Scott (33) and Jamison Crowder (3) celebrate Crowder's second-quarter touchdown. Credit: CHRIS SEWARD-cseward@newsobserver.com 

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 gets an emphatic 46-26 win over FIU in season opener

 

Updated 11:45 p.m.

DURHAM - The first play from scrimmage of 2012 could not have gone much better for Duke’s defense.

 
The Blue Devils swarmed Florida International’s Kedrick Rhodes immediately after he caught quarterback Jake Medlock’s pass, throwing him for a loss of 3 yards.
 
The second play from scrimmage of 2012 could not have gone much worse for Duke’s defense.
 
Medlock barely avoided the Blue Devils’ pass rush and again dumped the ball off to Rhodes. This time, Rhodes had nothing but green space ahead of him. He covered the 67 yards between him and the end zone with relative ease, giving the Panthers a quick seven-point lead a mere 42 seconds into Saturday’s season opener at Wallace Wade Stadium.
 
Just when it looked like Duke was positioning itself for another disappointing result against a program with little football pedigree, a curious thing happened over the final 59 minutes and 18 seconds. Shrugging off FIU's early touchdown, Duke responded with an inspired second quarter that provided the impetus for an emphatic 46-26 win

MLB suspends former Duke pitcher Stroman 50 games

Tags: Duke Now

 

Former Duke pitcher Marcus Stroman was suspended 50 games for violating Major League Baseball’s Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program by testing positive for a banned substance, the Toronto Blue Jays announced Tuesday.

Stroman tested positive for Methylhexaneamine while playing for the minor league Vancouver Canadians, the team said.

Stroman became the first Blue Devils player to be taken in the first round of the MLB draft when the Toronto Blue Jays picked him with the 22nd overall pick in June. He finished his junior season with a 2.39 ERA while striking out the second-highest number of batters in the NCAA (136).

Tudor: Heyman enjoyed the give and take of Triangle rivalries

Tags: ACC Now | Duke Now

 

There was no gray area when it came to Art Heyman. Which was just fine with him.

The former Duke basketball star died Monday night in Florida after—no doubt— putting up a fight.

In the early 1960s, Heyman became a lightning rod for emotions in the Triangle.

“I didn’t like them, and they didn’t like me,” Heyman told me during a conversation in the late 1970s.

“Who is ‘them’?” I asked.

Remembering Art Heyman

 

Art Heyman personally brought the Duke-North Carolina rivalry into the modern era.

One of the greatest Duke basketball players of all time, Art Heyman, died last night at age 71, according to a tweet from the Blue Devils' official team account. Heyman, the National Player of the Year in 1963, was recently named one of the five greatest Blue Devils of the past 50 years in ESPN's coutdown of the top 50 programs over that span (Duke came in at No. 4). In addition to those honors and the No. 25 that hangs in Cameron Indoor's rafters, Heyman holds a special place in Duke lore for one other notable reason.

Duke football: closing out camp

First, a programming note: I'll be on vacation, without a working phone, for the next week. The rest of the staff will handle the Duke football duties leading up to and including the game against FIU, so be sure to check the site's main Duke page throughout the week and follow me on twitter (@laurakeeley), as I've rigged my feed to automatically post new stories as they appear on the site.

My season preview, complete with a lengthy look at how, exactly, Conner Vernon ended up at Duke will run in Tuesday's paper, so look for that to appear online Monday night. 

See you next Sunday.

Switching directions, we are officially seven days from the start of Duke's college football season. I wrote a camp wrap-up for today's paper focusing on Brandon Connette's new role, the possibility of a stronger run game, and, of course, all of the injuries.

With Jordon Byas joining the list of starters lost for the season Friday, I actually went and revised my prediction for Duke's record. There are just so many missing players, and the schedule is just so unfavorable. I'm not sure the Blue Devils have caught a lucky break in the five years David Cutcliffe has been in Durham. But that's football.

Know one thing, though, in case it isn't obvious: Cutcliffe and his staff work incredibly hard. They're fully committed to turning the program around and are constantly looking for any type of advantage. Case in point: the Blue Devils ditched their old, paper playbooks and have become one of the first teams to go completely digital. In case you missed the story earlier in the week, give it a read. It's pretty intriguing technology. 

Starting S Jordon Byas out indefinitely

Tags: Duke Now

And then there were five.

With the Friday afternoon announcement that S Jordon Byas had undergone surgery to repair a torn left meniscus, Duke has now lost five projected starters. The first indication that Byas was injured came Tuesday, when he did not play in the Blue Devils' final scrimmage.

In Byas's place was Jeremy Cash, the Ohio State transfer whose transfer waiver to play this year was denied Tuesday.

Earlier this week, Duke announced that Taylor Sowell, who sandwiched Byas and Cash on the depth chart, was out for the year as well with a ruptured Achillies tendon.

To review, here is the list of Blue Devils out indefinitely:

WR Blair Holliday (head), TE Braxton Deaver (fractured left kneecap), NG Jamal Bruce (right foot) and LB Kelby Brown (right ACL) were all projected to start. And key backups including LG Lucas Patrick (fractured left ankle), Jared Boyd (ACL) and DE Jordan DeWalt-Ondijo (ankle) are all still recovering from offseason injuries and also do not have timetables for their returns.

Which team does Mike Krzyzewski NOT want to play on his birthday?

 

Here at the N&O, we were all ready to go for the first Duke vs. UNC Valentine’s Day date since 1945. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, but Mike Krzyzewski will, for the first time in his life, get to spend his birthday coaching against the Tar Heels.

While at Duke, Krzyzewski has coached on his birthday 11 times. Considering that Feb. 13 is in the middle of conference play, I would have expected it to happen more often.  Anyway, Duke is 7-4 on that date, and all of the Blue Devils struggles have come courtesy of one team.

A look at Duke's ACC basketball schedule

Tags: Duke Now

Many late nights await Mason Plumlee and the rest of the Blue Devils this season. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY-cliddy@newsobserver.com

Mark your calendars for these ACC matchups, which were released by the league office Wednesday: