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Spring Football: Duke Passing Game, Defense Very Promising

Kicking still a challenge.

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Duke v Northern Illinois
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 26: Shaun Wilson #29 of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates his first half touchdown with teammates while playing the Northern Illinois Huskies during the Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field on December 26, 2017 in Detroit Michigan.
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Duke football had its spring game Saturday and the N&O’s Steve Wiseman says there are three things to focus on:

  • The tight ends are going to be good
  • The defense could be really, really good.
  • Kicking is still a problem.

Daniel Jones, who was injured and erratic much of last year, completed eight of 15 passes for 83 yards. Assuming he’s improved and healthy, he’ll be a big factor and should have a number of targets. Remember when he was a skinny freshman? Not anymore.

It’s strange to have special teams issues under David Cutcliffe. One of the ways Duke began to be competitive was simply doing the little things right. Field goals and PATs have been consistent, punting has mostly been good, and both offense and defense on kickoffs and punts have been generally superior.

Speaking of kickoffs, Cutcliffe is in favor of getting rid of them. Here’s how he’d do it and also his plan to replace the offsides kick.

It’s weird to imagine football without kickoffs - it’s such an iconic part of the game. But concussions are real and the long-term issues have to be dealt with.

By the way, speaking of Duke football, there’s a new Singler in town: Mitch Singler, cousin of former basketball standout Kyle, is now a grad assistant. He’ll be helping out on defense.

As you may remember, the Singlers are a highly athletic family and it’s not just one branch. Mitch’s dad coaches high school football at Kyle and Mitch’s alma mater, South Medford.

Check out how Mitch made his way to Durham. It’s pretty interesting and a nice exploitation of the positive sides of social media.

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