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Next Up For Duke Football: Lafayette

Duke is favored, but it’s a classic trap game scenario

Clemson v Duke
 DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 04: Riley Leonard #13 of the Duke Blue Devils passes against the Clemson Tigers at Wallace Wade Stadium on September 4, 2023 in Durham, North Carolina. Duke won 28-7.
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Date 9/9 || Time 6:00 || Venue Wallace Wade || Video ACCNX

Duke fans have spent the week exulting about the win over Clemson and almost no one that we have seen has said a word about Lafayette.

And we really hope the team is more focused than the fans are.

Lafayette could be a classic trap game. A member of the Patriot League, power conference teams may not have much awareness of Lafayette, but the school has a distinguished history. It was the first non-Ivy League team to win a national championship (1896) and Lafayette was where the huddle was invented and was the first school to try to protect player’s heads.

And, impressively, Lafayette is third best in student-athlete graduation success rate, and that’s deeply admirable.

Obviously we’d hate to see Duke lose, but that makes Lafayette a worthy and respectable opponent.

The Tigers had a solid debut against Sacred Heart, winning 19-14.

Obviously there’s a big difference between Sacred Heart and ACC schools, and Duke had a spectacular start against the ACC’s version of Tigers.

That could work against Duke here, as we said. A letdown after a huge win would be only too human.

Duke is obviously favored here and if the Blue Devils move to 2-0, they’ll get Northwestern and UConn next. And if they win those, they’ll go into the game with Notre Dame at 4-0. And that could make things very interesting indeed.