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Army Leaves Devils Blue Again, 21-16

As Duke falls to 4-6

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NCAA Football: Duke at Army
Nov 11, 2017; West Point, NY, USA; Duke Blue Devils quarterback Daniel Jones (17) rushes the ball against the Army Black Knights during the first half at Michie Stadium. 
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

One of the things that has characterized Duke football since David Cutcliffe arrived is playing smart.

That has been a flaw this season and that trend continued at Navy.

Whether it was a blocked punt, a mishandled snap or avoidable penalties, Duke hurt itself as much as Army did.

Take away the touchdown Army got on that blocked punt and Army’s lead at that point would have been 7-3 instead of 14-3. The final score might have been 16-14.

Obviously there are a lot of maybes there but Army, a triple-option team and last in passing in the nation, threw just one pass against Duke: it was caught and turned into a 42 yard gain. Two plays later Army scored.

It’s a bit of a mystery to us why Duke, after several years of being an exceptionally smart football team, is making so many self-destructive mistakes. Duke could have won this game, as it might have also beaten Virginia, Florida State and Pitt.

As Fred Goldsmith used to say, if ifs and buts were wishes and nuts oh what a Christmas we’d see.

Something like that anyway.

Look, it hasn’t been a great football season obviously. However, there is still a lot to be proud of. Our team is competing hard and our coach is an honorable and ethical man who has done more for Duke football than anyone since probably Bill Murray. We wish things were going better but we’re still lucky to have David Cutcliffe coaching our team and representing our university. You don’t have to look too far to see other possibilities. Look one way and you have UNLV-CH, talking out of one side of its mouth to SACS and out of the other to the NCAA. Look the other way and you see dour Dave Doeren complaining about officiating and laptops.

No thanks. David Cutcliffe could have bailed on us when Tennessee came calling but he proved that he is a loyal man and loyalty given deserves it back. We hope Coach Cut is Duke’s coach for just as long as he wants to be. He’s a damn good man and a good coach going through a tough stretch. This is the time to return the loyalty he has shown to all of us.

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