FRESHMAN LINEBACKERS STEP INTO DUKE INJURY BREACH, EXCEL
When Zavier Carmichael realized he’d be playing in major college football games less than four months after his high school graduation, someone in his own Duke locker room was there with calming words.
“I remember talking to him the first week or so,” Duke linebacker David Helton said. “Man, you are going to have to play.’ I was in the same position where…I had to play a little sooner than I thought I would as a freshman. It’s definitely something that’s scary but the more you get into it, it’s fun.”
Now a senior, Helton survived and thrived his freshman season in 2011 enough that, by last season, he led the ACC in tackles with 133.
This season, Carmichael is an important reserve behind redshirt freshman Chris Holmes at weak-side linebacker for the Blue Devils, who will carry an unbeaten record in a game with Tulane on Saturday (12:30 p.m., Fox Sports Carolinas).
Carmichael (19 snaps) and Holmes (35) both saw playing time as reserves in Duke’s season-opening win over Elon on Aug. 30.
Sporting a 3-0 record for the first time since 1994, Duke will welcome Tulane to Wallace Wade Stadium on Saturday with the Blue Devils wearing throwback uniforms, including helmets, to honor the 1989 team that shared the ACC championship with Virginia.
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Injury updates, the walk-ons have their moment and the turnovers finally come
WILSON SETS DUKE SINGLE-GAME RUSHING MARK IN 41-3 ROUT OF KANSAS
On an easy day of football for Duke, freshman Shaun Wilson introduced himself to the rest of the ACC in a big way on Saturday.
The freshman running back ran for a 245 yards and three touchdowns, setting three Duke records along the way, as the Blue Devils routed Kansas 41-3 at Wallace Wade Stadium.
Wilson set the Duke single-game rushing record and became the first Duke freshman to rush for three touchdowns in game. He broke the previous single-game rushing record total of 238, set by Robert Baldwin against Maryland in 1994.
A Charlotte native, Wilson scored on runs covering 69, 68 and 45 yards.
The win gives Duke (3-0) an unbeaten record after three games for the first time since the Blue Devils started 7-0 in 1994.
Quarterback Anthony Boone and wide receiver Max McCaffrey also contributed to the blowout, connecting for touchdowns covering 36 yards in the first quarter and 10 yards in the third quarter.
Two years ago, half a world away, Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones helped win gold for USA Basketball. While that made the trip to Lithuania successful, it also set the stage for where the three are beginning their college basketball careers.
Duke’s coaches point to the team’s play on first down as an area in need of improvement.
After a few weeks of troubling news on the injury front, Duke has a good health vibe this week. Linebacker C.J. France, who missed the 34-17 win over Troy with a leg injury last week, practiced this week and will available for the Blue Devils’ game with Kansas on Saturday (3:30 p.m., Fox Sports Carolinas). Also available will be defensive tackles Jamal Bruce and Jamal Wallace, both hurt at Troy on Saturday.
The Americans moved within a victory of repeating as world champions for the first time with a 96-68 victory over Lithuania on Thursday night.
David Cutcliffe is getting ready to coach Saturday against a man he never really got the chance to work with — Charlie Weis. Cutcliffe spent only a few months on Weis’ first staff at Notre Dame in 2005 and resigned without ever coaching a game there because he had complications following open heart surgery.
Junior forward had been recovering from hip injury all summer
Last season, Duke proved to be the better team the later it got in games. Opponents averaged scoring just 4.64 points per game in the fourth quarter, which made Duke among the 25 stingiest fourth-quarter teams. In the second half last season, teams averaged scoring only 12.29 points. “I hope it continues, because it allows you to win football games,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said.