Miami Hurricanes Schedule Preview: Traveling back to Durham

Stephen Morris is poised to lead the charge in the Hurricanes-Blue Devils ACC matchup. - USA TODAY Sports

The SOTU 2013 Hurricane schedule preview continues with the Duke Blue Devils. With Duke having a favorable schedule this year, the match up may provide more implications than previously thought if the Blue Devil's new starting quarterback can keep the pace left behind by Sean Renfree.

As part of the dwindling off season, SOTU will preview each game on the Canes' schedule. During the season there will be more in-depth previews before each matchup, but consider this the ‘amuse bouche' to a season that's just around the corner. Enjoy!

They said it couldn't be done! And yet it has... We're concerned about Duke. I'm sure you won't find this bit of info in your guide to Miami Hurricane fandom (The U: 30 for 30), but the day and age is here where the Duke University Blue Devils are ruffling some feathers. Or it might not be; get back to me if the defense improves.

Recent History

In stunning fashion the Miami Hurricanes went on to upset the top ranked Duke Blue Devils with a powerful showing from the defense and an overwhelming offense. &^%!!! - I apologize, that was our ACC regular season and tournament champion men's basketball team. Blame Jerry Steinberg for the confusion.

Miami Hurricanes vs Duke (not Johnson) University.

The 52-45 win against the Blue Devils last season echoes the atrocities our defense allowed. And while 52 points on Duke may not impress, it was at least fun to see Duke Johnson and Mike James scamper down the field for an abundance of scores. Fortunately for the defense, the game had begun strong for the future ACC Coastal co-Champion (#ACCCCC) Hurricanes. The tone was set in the 1st quarter with two early touchdowns credited to Clive Walford and Duke Johnson, ushering the ‘Canes into an early 14-3 lead going into the 2nd quarter. The ‘Canes would seem to keep Duke at bay for the first half of the game but who are the Hurricanes to leave a 2012 ACC matchup quietly? With Miami holding a 21 point lead in the third, the Blue Devils began to drive into the ‘Canes lead. AGAIN, with Miami holding another 21 point lead going into the 4th, Duke's efforts forced me to blast innocent bystanders with obscenities once more.

To keep our wits, let's run through the 4th quarter quickly. Shall we?

A 99-yard Blue Devil touchdown pass from the depths of their own end zone. In short, this play never bares repeating. Penalties and bad Hurricane decision making led to two additional Duke scores for the quarter. However, when the buzzer finally sounded, it was Miami who retained the lead, 52-45.


Team Overview

While Duke doesn't make waves on the national scale their recent success has had more ACC teams taking them seriously. Their offense is primarily built around the passing game with trick plays liberally dashed to and fro. Duke's run game is basically non-existent but there has been clamoring from Duke football fans (no such thing) that Jela Duncan may make a name for himself on the offense and is easily the most talented of the running backs. The Blue Devils were expected to have big shoes to fill with the departure of Sean Renfree and Conner Vernon but starting quarterback Anthony Boone and wide receiver Jamison Crowder will quickly look to ease those concerns. Crowder will be a key target for Boone, who himself will be bringing a new wrinkle to the offense this year as he is considered a mobile quarterback. The Blue Devil defense is said to have improved as last year saw many of the young guys contributing. Ross Crockrell, a senior defensive back, was named to the Jim Thorpe Award watch list but expect Miami to have no problems matching up against Duke's defenders.

Players to Watch

For Duke:

WR Jamison Crowder

As you'll find below, Jamison Crowder is an explosive cog to the Blue Devil's offensive machine. With the departure of QB Sean Renfree and WR Conner Vernon, incumbent quarterback Anthony Brown will be relying heavily on the sophomore receiver. The ‘Canes defense might have their hands full yet again if this high-flying bunch takes off like they did last year. Whether the combination of Brown-Crowder can reach the levels set by Crowder's time with Sean Renfree still remains to be seen. Although, as Duke's offensive is almost exclusively passing, our defensive will be focusing primarily on the wideouts, Jamison Crowder especially.

Season

REC

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

2012

76

1074

14.1

99

8

2011

14

163

11.6

45

1


2012 vs OPP

REC

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

Stanford

10

112

11.2

51

0

Virginia Tech

8

127

15.9

62

1

Clemson

7

167

23.9

77

1

Miami

8

203

25.4

99

2



QB Anthony Boone

Entering his junior year after appearing in 22 games as a Blue Devil, Anthony Boone looks to emerge from the far stretched shadow that Duke University record setter Sean Renfree left behind. Rumored to have a strong arm Boone brings a new aspect to the Blue Devil offensive that Renfree had lacked: we got a runner. As Miami fans now cringe at the thought of their horrendous defense adding another scrambling QB to the schedule, Duke - on the other hand - continues to plot and scheme their circus act of an offense.

For Miami:


Why two members of the secondary? Because the burn still stings from last year, that's why. Duke may have a new scrambling quarterback to play with, but their main focus will remain on the passing game. If Deon Bush, Tracy Howard, and the rest of the secondary can lay some hard hits and tight coverage, we'll be looking at turnovers galore.

Overall Impression

This matchup should be a solid Miami victory. Watch for the Blue Devil defense to remain many steps behind Duke Johnson along with any given player of the wide receiving corps. Despite the current state of affairs with the Miami defense, I still don't see this game reaching the disappointing standard set by last year's squads. Prediction: Miami 45, Duke 17.
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