The Duke Blue Devils continued their winning ways Saturday.
The reigning ACC Coastal champions are 4-0 after a 47-13 victory over the Tulane Green Wave in Durham, North Carolina. It’s the program’s first four-game winning streak since the 1994 campaign.
To put Duke’s accomplishment into perspective — the last time the Blue Devils started the season 4-0 Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love to You” was the No. 1 single on Billboard’s Top 100.
And the Blue Devils have won in an impressive fashion. The combined score of Duke’s four victories is 174-46.
Despite the impressive start to the season, Tulane exposed a major weakness for Duke as the team prepares for ACC play next weekend.
The Blue Devils front seven didn’t hold up against Tulane’s massive offensive line and rushing attack. The Green Wave gained 215 yards on the ground. Duke was simply overwhelmed at the point of attack, and it’s clear the team sorely misses the presence of defensive captain and starting middle linebacker Kelby Brown, who tore an ACL during fall camp.
Green Wave receivers also dropped a pair of touchdowns, which could have made the game much closer than the final score indicated.
Even with these concerns, the Blue Devils are dynamic at the skill positions and physical along the offensive line. Senior Laken Tomlinson is one of the top guards in the nation, and wide receiver Jamison Crowder is undersized but impossible to cover in short areas.
How the team performs on a weekly basis usually falls on quarterback Anthony Boone. The senior signal-caller is a strong running threat, but he’s an inconsistent passer. Against Tulane, Boone was 15-of-27 passing for 181 yards and an interception.
A 4-0 start is yet another feather in coach David Cutcliffe‘s cap as he continues to build a strong foundation at Duke. Yet those four wins came against Elon, Troy, Kansas and now Tulane. Next week will be very different when Duke enters ACC play against the Miami Hurricanes and their dynamic running back Duke Johnson.
Watching Lazedrick Thompson rumble through the Duke defense has me wondering how they stop Duke Johnson, James Conner & Georgia Tech
— Laura Keeley (@laurakeeley) September 20, 2014
The schedule won’t get any easier for the Blue Devils this season, but Duke’s players can enjoy their unblemished start and the fact they accomplished something that hasn’t occurred in 20 years.