Duke football Tuesday update
Notes from David Cutcliffe's Tuesday press conference
Status quo on quarterbacks – Cutcliffe said Anthony Boone (broken collarbone) and Thomas Sirk (Achilles’ tendon injury), projected as the No. 1 and No. 2 quarterbacks, both remain unavailable with injuries.
That’s not breaking news, of course. Boone remains listed as out indefinitely and isn’t expected back until late next month, at the earliest. He could be out longer.
Sirk, who had surgery in February after rupturing his Achilles’ tendon, hasn’t been cleared to resume football activities.
Cutcliffe did clarify that Brandon Connette, who had a sub-par performance in a 38-14 loss to Georgia Tech last Saturday, will remain the starting quarterback with freshman Parker Boehme as the No. 2. Walk-on Robert Collins was mentioned as the best bet for the No. 3 position.
“We’ll go into, the game for the most part, getting Brandon Connette and Parker Boehme ready,” Cutcliffe said. “That’s just where we are. It’s a week-to-week circumstance until we hear anything different from the medical people.”
Boehme still hasn’t appeared in a game for Duke but Cutcliffe said that’s not an indication that the coaching staff doesn’t trust him.
“I think Parker has the right stuff,” Cutcliffe said. “I have no doubt about that.”
Ironman Simmons – Duke starting right tackle Perry Simmons, a redshirt senior, has started 40 consecutive games for the Blue Devils. During last Saturday’s game with Georgia Tech, he surpassed the 3,000-snap plateau.
He’s now played in 3,012 career snaps at Duke.
“That is an amazing stat, an accomplishment beyond a lot of what we keep stats about with skill players,” Cutcliffe said. “An extremely unselfish young man and we are very proud that Perry has done that while majoring in engineering at Duke University. That’s pretty cool.”
Louisville for Maryland? Cutcliffe likes that swap – Maryland is playing its last season of ACC football before departing for the Big 10 next year. ACC Commissioner John Swofford acted quickly last fall to line up Louisville as a replacement beginning July 1, 2014.
The addition of NCAA champion Louisville in men’s basketball is seen as a boon to the already strong ACC brand. But Cutcliffe is happy with the move for football as well.
“I think we made a great trade,” Cutcliffe said. “I think we came out way ahead. We already have a solid footprint in the east. And we’re the winner in that trade, regardless of what other people may think.”
Pitt returns to Wallace Wade Stadium – Duke and Pittsburgh begin their ACC football series on Saturday. While this is the first time the Panthers meet the Devils in a league game, the series does have some series history behind it.
Pitt was the opponent in the first game at Wallace Wade Stadium (known as Duke Stadium at the time) on Oct. 5, 1929. The Panthers won 52-7.
“I have a sense of history and I like that,” Cutcliffe said. “You can feel the ghosts out there sometimes. All that concrete out there is original. It’s pretty neat the way that thing sits and how well-built it was.”
On Nov. 26, 1938 in Durham, No. 3 Duke beat No. 4 Pitt 7-0 as the Blue Devils completed their unbeaten, untied and unscored upon regular season.
The schools also played on NBC’s first nationally televised football game on Sept. 29, 1951 when Duke won 19-14 at Pitt.
The last Duke-Pitt game at Wallace Wade Stadium was during the Panthers’ national championship season in 1976. With Tony Dorsett rushing for 129 yards on 31 carries, Pitt topped Duke 44-31.