Matt Skura (62) is the new anchor of Duke's offensive line. Credit: LIZ CONDO
With football season just around the corner (practice starts Aug. 5), it’s time to turn some focus to the gridiron and what lies ahead for the 2013 Blue Devils. There are two major goals that need to be checked off the list to further separate Duke’s present and future from it’s disastrous past: clinch the program’s first winning season since 1994 and make back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time…ever.
To do that, Duke will need some players to step into new roles and others to take on larger ones. With that in mind, here’s a look at the 10 most important players for the upcoming season. Be sure to check back daily for the unveiling of the full list.
No. 9: Center Matt Skura
Age: redshirt sophomore
Last year’s stats: Appeared in 10 games, taking 125 snaps
Skura is the lone newcomer to a veteran offensive line, replacing graduated four-year starter Brian Moore. At 6-foot-4, 290 pounds, Skura is the smallest offensive lineman, but he his surrounded by plenty of experience (left guard Dave Harding has played 2,315 career snaps with 28 starts, and right guard Laken Tomlinson has 25 career starts and 1,974 snaps).
Skura also has plenty of repetitions with new starting quarterback Anthony Boone—both were on the 2nd unit together last year, so there is no shortage of familiarity there. For the offense to go, the center-quarterback exchange must be clean, and the Blue Devils are counting on Skura to step into that role just fine.