Duke's Crowder, Cash honored for big games against Troy

Sep. 30, 2013 @ 09:51 PM

Another week, another ACC honor for Duke’s Jamison Crowder.

Named the ACC’s Specialist of the Week for his Sept.21 performance in a loss to Pittsburgh, the Blue Devils’ junior was named the ACC’s Receiver of the Week on Monday for his play in Saturday’s 38-31 win over Troy.

Crowder was joined on the ACC’s honor list this week by teammate Jeremy Cash, the Duke redshirt sophomore safety who was named the ACC’s Defensive Back of the Week.

While Crowder has twice been named the ACC’s Specialist of the Week this season, this is his first Receiver of the Week award.

He received it after catching seven passes for 149 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown reception, against Troy. He also returned two punts for 31 yards.

Crowder has two touchdown catches this season for Duke (3-2, 0-2 in ACC) and is averaging 106 receiving yards per game.

Cash, playing his first season for Duke after transferring from Ohio State, recorded 14 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss, against Troy. He sealed the Duke win by intercepting Troy’s final pass as the game clock expired. That interception was the first of his college career.

Cash leads the ACC in tackles per game (10.2) and has recorded double-digit sacks in three consecutive games.

The Blue Devils took Sunday and Monday off from practice following the win over Troy, which ended their two-game losing streak. With no game this Saturday due to the first open weekend of the season, Duke will practice today, Wednesday and Thursday before taking Friday and Saturday off.

Duke coach David Cutcliffe said, after the first five games, he’s happy with the effort the team is displaying. After reviewing game film of the win over Troy, he said it was “another game where our guys laid it on the line.”

The idea now, he said, is to maintain that high level of effort while ironing out some wrinkles in execution.

“We’ve been a little more erratic than we’ve been in the past,” Cutcliffe said Monday, “but we have a lot of big things and good things happening. A lot of build on.”

Duke played against Troy without two defensive starters — linebacker Kelby Brown and safety Dwayne Norman. Both were sidelined with leg injuries.

Their availability for Duke’s next game, at home with Navy on Oct. 12 (12:30 p.m., WRAL), is not yet known, Cutcliffe said.

Linebacker Kyler Brown, Kelby’s younger brother, started against Troy but left with a knee injury.

“Kyler Brown doesn’t look good right now with that sprained knee,” Cutcliffe said.

Sophomore running back Jela Duncan left the Troy game with what Cutcliffe said Monday was injuries to both shoulders. But Cutcliffe said Duncan was feeling better on Sunday and the expectation is he’ll be ready for the Navy game.

Duncan being ready would only add to a Duke offense that has put up impressive production this season. The Blue Devils are averaging 451.6 total yards per game, which is No. 46 in the country and No. 6 in the ACC.

In scoring offense, Duke’s 36-point average is No. 40 in the country and No. 7 in the ACC.

“Our offense is, really, rarely stopped unless we put ourselves in a bad down and distance,” Cutcliffe said.