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Duke-UNC In September Still Seems Wrong

Ready or not, here it comes.

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NCAA Football: Baylor at Duke
Sep 16, 2017; Durham, NC, USA; (Editors Notes: Caption Correction) Duke Blue Devils fan Jackson Grady, 6, encourages the Blue Devils during a third down in the second half against the Baylor Bears at Wallace Wade Stadium. Duke beat Baylor 34-20. 
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Duke and UNC are playing very early this year, and at least to Duke coach David Cutcliffe, it seems a bit odd.

Odd or not, the heated rivals will tangle Saturday. It’ll be the first time the schools have ever opened ACC play against each other.

After his humorous comments above, Cutcliffe said this about the game: “Let’s face it. It’s Duke-North Carolina. That carries weight. It carries weight for a year. There’s a bell that says it does.

“But when I was at Tennessee we played Florida early. It’s a very difficult thing when you don’t win that game early in that setting. And sometimes it was more difficult when you won that game in that setting. So I think what we have to do is focus on how well we play moreso than the result, because it’s still about getting better as a football team when you have eight games remaining after this one.’’

To us the theme of this game is going to be offensive line play. UNC’s had a lot of injuries and Larry Fedora has fretted about chemistry with so many problems. Meanwhile, Duke’s line has on occasion left star quarterback Daniel Jones vulnerable.

We hope the ACC moves this game back to the end of the season. TV is in charge now so don’t count on it, but it really seems like one of those games that should end the season.

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