Boone and Crowder pushed the Duke offense to previously unseen heights. While the defense, and more specifically the defensive line, was inconsistent last year, the offense always seemed to keep the Blue Devils a chance by finding ways to put points on the board. The Boone Crowder tandem connected for a total of 86 receptions. Similarly, despite taking a step back from his junior campaign Boone still totaled 2,700 yards through the air and 19 touchdowns coupled with 5 touchdowns and 466 yards on the ground.
On the other hand, Duke holds on to its leading rusher Shaquille Powell who shared the load with quarterback Anthony Boone and others last season. Powell rushed for 618 yards on 134 carries to go along with two touchdowns and no fumbles. For this reason, Duke fans can expect to see an increased trust placed in Powell with the passing game experiencing a few adjustments to new started Thomas Sirk. Sirk, a junior, should have a relatively smooth transition to the starting job after seeing a few opportunities to get his feet wet in the offense last season. The bigger problem for the offense will possibly be finding a way to replace multi-threat wide out, Jamison Crowder.
On the other side of the ball there are few things more reliable heading into the 2015 campaign than the Blue Devil secondary lead by returning safeties DeVon Edwards and Jeremy Cash. Meanwhile, the defensive line has multiple issues to address from last year after struggling time after time again to put any kind of halt to running attacks.
If Duke can easily transition into a new starting quarterback and get its receiving core up to speed after losing its top two threats from last year Duke can expect to be competitive week in and week out within the ACC.
Duke has several difficult opponents throughout the ACC including North Carolina, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech. A lot will ride on how Duke handles the transition away from last year’s senior class. Nonetheless, there will without a doubt be bumps in the road for this Blue Devil team.
A variety of adjustment to Duke’s bread and butter in previous years, the aerial attack, will result in some ones against the likes of Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, but expect Duke football to prove they are in fact rebuilt as a program. Duke will finish the regular season 9-3.