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Next Up - Navy

Duke gets Navy Saturday at noon. Last year's game was electrifying.  This year, both teams have new coaches, and it's hard to know exactly what to expect.  Well, actually, we have a pretty good idea what to expect of Duke at this point.

They're going to play hard, odds are the offense will be potent, and the defense stout.  It's hard to say when the rather dramatic improvement will show up in the record, but it's undeniable at this point: Duke is becoming a real football team.  But they're going to have to cut down on mistakes.  But for mistakes, they'd be playing for a 3-0 record.

David Cutcliffe clearly knows what he is doing, but we'd like to offer one small suggestion:  there are still players around from the Wade era and certainly from the 50s and the 60s.  It would be nice to bring that tradition back and to tie it to the current team. Our guess is that while they all know about the bowls and the Iron Dukes, they may not know just how solid the program was then.

Saturday is also Military Appreciation Day, and anyone who serves or has served can have four free tickets (with I.D. of course).

And on that note, playing Navy is a great privilege.  Unlike a lot of schools on Duke's schedule, Navy, like Northwestern, doesn't cut corners and does things the right way.  Honor is still a valued concept there, and competing with the Naval Academy is an honor in and of itself.  People don't really understand what extraordinary institutions the U.S. military academies are. They've produced leaders since the beginning of the country, and they've shown an ability to study, to learn, and to adapt.  Duke could probably learn a lot from them, on the field and off.