Since the turn of the century, the Jackets are one of three ACC teams to lose to Duke and have the unfortunate tag of being the first conference team to lose to Duke this century. Other than 2003, the Jackets have not lost to Duke since the 1994 season.
Several current Jackets have experience against Duke. Senior defensive tackles Vance Walker and Darryl Richard have played against them each of the past two years, and sophomore defensive end Derrick Morgan and senior corner back Jahi Word-Daniels also played against them last year. Offensively, sophomore B-Back Jonathan Dwyer had 23 yards on 10 carries, red shirt sophomore wide receiver Correy Earls had 86 yards receiving and a touchdown and red shirt sophomore wide receiver Demariyus Thomas had 46 yards and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.
The Jackets will get a little help from Head Coach Paul Johnson’s old team as they will have had a chance to see how Duke defended Navy’s triple option earlier this season.
The Jackets have started their year with at least three wins in their first four games for the third time in the last four years and look to win four out of their first five for the first time since their Coastal Division winning season in 2006.
Three coaches have come and gone since the last time Duke had a winning record in the ACC. In 1994, Fred Goldsmith led the Blue Devils to a win over Maryland before winning six more in a row. The Devils finished 8-4 that year with a loss to Wisconsin in the Hall of Fame Bowl. After Goldsmith was fired, Carl Franks led his alma matter to a grand total of seven wins in his five year tenure from 1998-2003. Following Franks was former Tech defensive coordinator Ted Roof. Roof took over mid-season in 2003 and led the Devils to a 2-3 record the rest of the way. Roof was promoted to head coach in 2004. From 2004-07 the Devils won four games and one conference game. Roof was promptly fired and the Devils, with the promise of upgrading their facilities, hired David Cutcliffe.
Following Cutcliffe’s hire, the Devils quickly turned around a 1-11 team to a three game winner in their first four, including wins over Navy and Virginia. The Devils have also won against James Madison this year. Their lone loss came against Northwestern. Duke took the lead against the Wildcats with 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter, but failed to hold on when Omar Conteh of Northwestern scored on a 2-yard run giving Northwestern the victory.