Date 11/11 || Time 8:00 PM || Venue Kenan Stadium || Video ACCN
Duke plays at UNC on Saturday and that means a trip to Kenan Stadium. And since Saturday’s game comes on the 11th, and since 11 comes after 10, this is a good time to remind you of what happened 105 years ago on November 10th, 1898, in Wilmington.
On that day, White men in Wilmington violently overthrew the democratically elected government which was a coalition between Black voters and Fusionists, which was a coalition of Republicans and Progressives.
Egged on by state newspapers like the News & Observer, the violent insurrection may have killed up to 300 Black citizens. Among the weapons used was a Gatling gun, which was manned by William “Buck” Kenan, Sr. The stadium was funded by his son, William Jr., who requested that it be named for Dear Old Dad.
When the history became more widely known, UNC finessed the issue by changing one letter: instead of being named for Kenan Sr., it was changed to Kenan Jr.
That’s also a bit of a dodge because there is controversy over Jr.’s awareness of what happened and how old he was when it happened. You can look it up if you’re interested, but it’s a load of hooey.
So anyway, until UNC either lifts the moratorium on renaming buildings or makes an exception, Carolina’s football stadium is essentially Mass Murder Stadium and Duke will play there Saturday.
It won’t be an easy game, particularly since Duke will start true freshman Grayson Loftis. Starter Riley Leonard and backup Henry Belin are both out with injuries, so Loftis gets the nod by default.
It’s asking a lot of a freshman. Quarterback is an unbelievably difficult position. You have to memorize an insane amount of information, run the offense on the field, and combine the system information you have committed to memory with an ability to improvise as circumstances dictate. You also have to do all this calmly, and without rushing despite the fact that very large, agile defenders are doing their best to add you to the injury list.
Loftis took a bit to steady himself against Wake Forest, but ultimately he got the job done. It may be a bit easier than it might be for two reasons: first, Duke has a solid running game, which reduces the need to pass, and second, UNC’s defense has at times just melted down.
Our Blue Intuition, not to mention common sense, would normally say that down two quarterbacks, Duke faces very long odds, but UNC’s erratic and occasionally inexplicable defense gives the Blue Devils a shot.
Speaking of quarterbacks Drake Maye has had a great career in
Chapel Capel Hill. He’s a really dangerous weapon who’s putting up over 500 yards per game. Duke’s going to have a tough time containing him.
Given the nature and intensity of the rivalry, the standard comment is always that anything can happen, which is basically true, but it’s never entirely about offense.
This is a game where Duke’s defense, already outstanding, could really stake a claim.
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