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Duke’s Win Over Clemson - The Fallout Has Been Pretty Entertaining

The game is over but the celebration continues - just not south of the North Carolina border.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 04 Clemson at Duke
 DURHAM, NC - SEPTEMBER 04: Duke Blue Devils fans cheer as they score against the Clemson Tigers during a football game at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina on Sep 4, 2023.
Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Duke football’s win over Clemson Monday night has really resonated. But to be clear, it has resonated one way for Duke - positive - and one way for Clemson - negative.

For Duke, the payoff was quick: the Blue Devils entered the polls at 21 (AP) and 24 (Coaches).

Clemson, by contrast, fell to #25 (AP) and #21 (Coaches).

For Duke, Riley Leonard is being celebrated as a gifted quarterback. This was posted on Twitter, which is a great look for the rising star QB even though he didn’t get an extension, and plays like this are opening people’s eyes.

Even his mom came off looking pretty good (assuming the story here is true). Even Duke alum Daniel Jones is impressed.

Things aren’t going as well in Tigertown.

Paul Feinebaum, the SEC’s low-rent, bald version of Howard Cosell, says that Dabo Swinney’s dynasty is over, which would be premature at best and frankly idiotic in the portal era.

For his part, Swinney is auditioning new kickers. He says that freshman kicker Robert Gunn - great name for a kicker - “is incredibly gifted and incredibly talented.”

Isn’t that kind of the same thing?

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley is really getting some heat, as is quarterback Cade Klubnik. So are special teams.

Part of it of course is that Clemson didn't play as well as it might have. That’s fair. But you can’t take anything from Duke because the Blue Devils showed up, played hard, and were ready. And that’s really the essence of competition.