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Duke QB Daniel Jones declares for 2019 NFL Draft

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NFL franchises in need of a quarterback now have one more name to consider. Duke quarterback Daniel Jones is leaving the Blue Devils for a shot at the NFL. Duke announced the news with a statement from Jones on Monday afternoon.

“Growing up in Charlotte, I watched Coach Cutcliffe transform the Duke Football program into a true force within the ACC with annual bowl eligibility and championship expectations,” Jones said in his statement. “It became my dream to play for him and the Duke program, and these last four years have surpassed my every expectation. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to graduate from one of the most respected academic institutions in the world while growing and maturing through a football experience that taught me far more than the game itself.”

“Without a doubt, we are excited for Daniel and his decision to enter the upcoming NFL Draft and could not be happier for him and his family,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said in a released statement. “Daniel has been a cornerstone of our program and leaves with our full support. It has been a privilege to coach him, but the best part about Daniel is he’s an even better young man than he is a football player.  The bottom line is he’s a special person and we’ll miss him greatly.”

Jones is leaving Duke a winner after leading the Blue Devils past Temple in the Independence Bowl last week. He also leaves Duke as the career record holder for touchdown-to-interception ratio, pass completion-to-interception ratio and is among the all-time school leaders for pass completion percentage, pass completions, and games with multiple touchdown passes among other passing categories.

Jones had been mentioned by some NFL Draft scouts as one of the top quarterbacks potentially to be on the big board for the upcoming draft. With Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert opting to return for another year with the Ducks despite being perceived as the top passer available, Jones may be stepping into a favorable spot as a quarterback in the draft process. It could be a relatively light year for quarterback options to begin with so this could be a quarterback’s market for the draft.

Daniel Jones has record performance as Duke clobbers Temple in Independence Bowl

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It sure did not feel as though the Temple Owls (8-5) were playing with an interim head coach in the first half of the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl, but the second half proved there was a decided coaching advantage for Duke (8-5). Duke outscored Temple 35-0 in the second half en route to a 56-27 victory. The victory gave Duke the first back-to-back bowl victories in consecutive seasons for the first time in school history.

Temple simply had no answers for Duke, led by quarterback Daniel Jones. After going up 20-7 in the second quarter, Temple allowed Duke to score touchdowns on seven straight offensive possessions as Duke blew by the Owls in all facets of the game. Miscues by Duke helped give Temple a lead at halftime but the inability to move or control the football in the second half did Temple absolutely no favors.

Jones passed for 423 yards and five touchdowns in his final game in a Duke uniform. Both were Independence Bowl records, and Jones also scored a rushing touchdown. T.J. Rahming was a monster in the passing game with 240 receiving yards on 12 receptions as Temple simply could not stop him.

The Blue Devils now have six all-time bowl victories, and David Cutcliffe has won three of them, all since 2015.

Temple was playing the game under interim head coach Ed Foley. Foley generated some buzz with his press conferences leading up to the game and his enthusiasm for leading the Owls in the game following the departure of Geoff Collins to Georgia Tech, but he was no match against Cutcliffe in the second half as Temple just crumbled. Incoming Temple head coach Manny Diaz checked in on the game form New York as he was preparing to coach his final game as defensive coordinator for the Miami Hurricanes. That game was next on the bowl schedule on Thursday. This game alone should not suggest Temple is a complete disaster for Diaz to take over, because Temple was competitive in the second half of the season and showed some good promise down the stretch and almost made a push to potentially play for the AAC title. But this loss will give Diaz something to either completely ignore with a clean slate or offer as a reminder of how much Temple still has to do to move forward.

The loss by Temple was yet another disaster of a bowl result for the American Athletic Conference, a conference who is having a difficult time convincing anyone this bowl season they are truly a power conference. The conference’s only win to date was Tulane’s victory over Louisiana in the Cure Bowl at the beginning of the bowl season. Since then, South Florida was defeated by 18 points in their own stadium by Marshall and Houston gave up 70 points to Army. Memphis also lost to Wake Forest, although that was at least a close game.

Next up for Duke? Alabama in Atlanta to open the 2019 season on Aug. 31, 2019. The countdown is on for the Blue Devils.

Two Duke turnovers help give Temple halftime lead in Independence Bowl

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Despite playing a bowl game with an interim head coach, the Temple Owls have a lead in the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl against the Duke Blue Devils. Temple’s defense has picked off a pair of passes that have led to 13 points for Temple as the Owls lead Duke 27-21 at halftime in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Duke starting quarterback Daniel Jones has plenty of NFL eyes on him in this game, and an early 62-yard pass on the first offensive series certainly racked up some yardage early on. But Jones left the game on that first series and was replaced by Quentin Harris, who ended the drive with a two-yard touchdown run. After the Owls tied the game with a touchdown run from quarterback Anthony Russo, Harris continued to lead the Duke offense on the ensuing possession after Jones took the first few snaps. Harris was intercepted on the drive by Delvon Randall, who returned the pick 52 yards for a go-ahead touchdown for the Owls.

Jones did return to the game and has passed for 199 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Blue Devils. That includes a perfectly placed ball into the hands of T.J. Rahming for a late touchdown in the second quarter. It was the fourth straight offensive possession for a touchdown between the two teams.

After a rough day of bowl action on Wednesday, we could be getting our Thursday schedule off to a fun start in the Independence Bowl.

Duke QB Daniel Jones to start three weeks after breaking clavicle

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As previously discussed, there was a chance Duke quarterback Daniel Jones could get a chance to return to the football field tonight when the Blue Devils host Virginia Tech. On Saturday morning, Duke made it official; Jones will start for Duke just three weeks after breaking his left clavicle.

Jones missed Duke’s last two games after going down with the injury in a game at Northwestern in Week 2. Duke says Jones underwent surgery the day after the Northwestern game.

The injury was to Johnson’s non-throwing arm, but to be able to come back from such an injury so quickly is still amazing to those of us who sit and watch the games at home and in front of a computer.

ACC announces player representatives for ACC Football Kickoff

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Believe it or not, the summer is just about over for college football fans. Hardcore fans will begin basking in the glory of the sport of college football in two weeks when the conference media day circuit officially opens for the 2018 season. On Wednesday, July 18, the ACC will get in on the fun with the annual ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte, North Carolina. On Friday, the conference confirmed the list of players expected to attend from each of the conference’s 14 members.

Among the players listed as player representatives include Duke quarterback Daniel Jones and Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey, the only players making a second-straight media event appearance according to the ACC. Players scheduled to appear that received All-American honors last season include Clemson offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt and defensive end Clelin Ferrell, Duke linebacker Joe Giles-Harris, and Miami linebacker Jaquan Johnson.

Some other notable names that will be in attendance include NC State quarterback Ryan Finley, Virginia Tech quarterback Josh Jackson, Louisville wide receiver Jaylen Smith, and Florida State running back Cam Akers.

Here is the full list of players announced by the ACC.

Boston College
Tommy Sweeney, TE, Gr., Ramsey, N.J.
Zach Allen, DE, Sr., New Canaan, Conn.

Clemson
Mitch Hyatt, OT, Sr., Suwanee, Ga.
Clelin Ferrell, DE, Jr., Richmond, Va.

Duke
Daniel Jones, QB, Jr., Charlotte, N.C.
Joe Giles-Harris, LB, Jr., Nyack, N.Y.

Florida State
Cam Akers, RB, So., Clinton, Miss.
Brian Burns, DE, Jr., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Georgia Tech
TaQuon Marshall, QB, Sr., Hamilton, Ga.
Brant Mitchell, LB, Sr., Knoxville, Tenn.

Louisville
Jaylen Smith, WR, Sr., Pascagoula, Miss.
Jonathan Greenard, LB, Jr., Hiram, Ga.

Miami
Ahmmon Richards, WR, Jr., Wellington, Fla.
Jaquan Johnson, S, Sr., Miami, Fla.

North Carolina
Anthony Ratliff-Williams, WR, Jr., Matthews, N.C.
Aaron Crawford, DT, Jr., Ashburn, Va.

NC State
Ryan Finley, QB, Gr., Phoenix, Ariz.
Germaine Pratt, LB, Gr., High Point, N.C.

Pitt
Alex Bookser, OT, Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.
Oluwaseun Idowu, LB, Sr., Wexford, Pa.

Syracuse
Eric Dungey, QB, Sr., Lake Oswego, Ore.
Chris Slayton, DT, Sr., University Park, Ill.

Virginia
Olamide Zaccheaus, HB, Sr., Plainfield, N.J.
Chris Peace, OLB, Sr., Newport News, Va.

Virginia Tech
Josh Jackson, QB, So., Ann Arbor, Mich.
Ricky Walker, DT, Sr., Hampton, Va.

Wake Forest
Phil Haynes, OG, Sr., Raleigh, N.C.
Willie Yarbary, DT, Sr., Augusta, Ga.