Duke-Georgia Tech post-game notes
Post-game notes from Duke’s 38-14 loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday at Wallace Wade Stadium.
Cut on cut-blocking – Teams that run the triple-option offense, like Georgia Tech and Navy (Duke’s Oct. 12 opponent) make cut-blocking a staple of their offensive line coaching. Blocking defenders low with quick rolls fit in with the timing of the run-oriented attack.
Although it remains legal in college football and the NFL, the technique has been banned at the high school. Count Duke coach David Cutcliffe as one who would like to see a similar ban in college.
He points out that some players on the field are allowed to cut-block while others aren’t. It depends upon where they line up when the play starts.
Also, with rules being changed aimed toward improving player safety, Cutcliffe said the time has come to do away with cut blocking.
“It’s complex and ridiculous,” Cutcliffe said. “The rules are so hard to understand the officials can’t officiate it. That’s why I’m a proponent for just taking it out of the game.”
To prepare for Saturday’s Georgia Tech game, Duke’s defensive players trained with coaches throwing large red rubber balls at their feet during practice to simulate the agility needed to stay on their feet.
“It hate it,” said Duke defensive end Kenny Anunike, who has lost two college seasons to knee injuries. “One bad cut-block could end your career.”
Boehme prepping to play – Duke didn’t use freshman Parker Boehme on Saturday even though the game was lopsided for the majority of the second half.
Duke coach David Cutcliffe said that wasn’t a sign the staff is hesitant to use Boehme, who is No. 2 on the depth chart since Brandon Connette has replaced the injured Anthony Boone as the starting quarterback.
“We were actually ready, if we needed him,” Cutcliffe said. “I wasn't going to situationally play him in a game where we were only going to have maybe nine or 10 possessions. ... We’re not going to be afraid to play him. We’re ready to move forward with Parker. We'll get him a week further down the road this week in practice.”
The Blue Devils play Pittsburgh this Saturday (12:30 p.m., WRAL). Boehme will continue to get practice repetitions as the No. 2 quarterback. Redshirt freshman Thomas Sirk, who was expected to be the No. 2 this season, is still recovering from the ruptured Achilles’ tendon he suffered in February.
Cutcliffe said last week that, while Sirk has yet to be cleared to practice or participate in football activities, hope remains strong that he’ll be able to play this season.
France in action – Duke linebacker C.J. France saw his first action of the season on Saturday.
France missed Duke’s first two games while recovering from an ankle injury he suffered last month during training camp. David Helton and Kelby Brown were Duke’s starting linebackers, but France came off the bench to record eight tackles.
Quick hitters – True freshman Johnell Barnes has emerged as a major special-teams player for the Blue Devils. A wide receiver, Barnes returned five kickoffs on Saturday, averaging 19.8 yards per attempt. His longest return was for 28 yards….Senior running back Juwan Thompson surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in rushing for his career on Saturday. Thompson gained 19 yards on six carries against the Yellow Jackets, giving him 1,015 yards. He is the 40th player in Duke history to rush for at least 1,000 yards…Senior cornerback Ross Cockrell’s interception against Georgia Tech was the 10th of his Duke career and first this season. The All-ACC selection is tied for No. 6 on Duke’s all-time list.