Extra points from Duke's win over NCCU
Some extra notes from Duke’s 45-0 win over N.C. Central on Saturday….
Youth is served – The Blue Devils saw 20 of their players make their college football debuts against NCCU. Of them, five were true freshmen: wide receiver Johnell Barnes, cornerback Breon Borders, cornerback Bryon Fields, safety Deondre Singleton and wide receiver Ryan Smith.
“We played a lot of people in the first half, which is what we wanted to do,” Cutcliffe said. “I can speak first hand for Breon, Bryon Fields and Deondre, I watched them close and they were easy to see. I thought they were where they were supposed to be.”
Freshmen highlights – The freshmen did more than simply take up space on the field. Four put their names on the statistics sheet: Borders (interception), Barnes (one catch, 21 yards), Smith (one catch, 39 yards), Fields (solo tackle).
“I thought they all made plays,” Cutcliffe said. “Breon gets the interception, Bryon gets the tackle in the open field. That’s been one of his fortes since he’s been here. Offensively, Johnell gets his hands on a ball. We’re bringing him along. Ryan Smith is a little banged up. He didn’t get to play as much as we wanted. But you saw the play he made along the sidelines.”
Secondary newbies – Duke started three players in the defensive secondary who had never started a college game before Saturday. They were safeties Jeremy Cash and Corbin McCarthy along with cornerback Garett Patterson.
Welcome back – Tight end Braxton Deaver scored Duke’s first touchdown of the season, catching at 3-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Connette.
Deaver missed all of last season after suffering two offseason injuries. He had surgery on June 14, 2012 to repair a left thumb fracture and on July 10, 2012 to repair fracture of his left patella.
The 6-5, 240-pound redshirt junior hadn’t played since the 2011 season when he made five catches (of his season total of eight) over the last four weeks.
Deaver caught three passes for 16 yards against NCCU
Bull City series – After playing, and beating, NCCU in each of the last two seasons, Duke takes a year off from playing the Eagles next season. Duke’s 2014 game against a Football Championship Subdivision team will be against Elon.
Duke and NCCU resume the Bull City Gridiron Classic in 2015 and will play also play in 2016 and 2017. All games are at Wallace Wade Stadium.