Oct 2 / Todd

Dukes Win 17th Straight, Beat Delaware

The Good

Tyler Gray – What can we say. Whatever else happened, Tyler iced this game in the final three minutes with a 48 yard bomb. He may make us nervous when it doesn’t matter, but he turns into Robert Horry when it matters. Money!

Raven Greene – The Human Turnover was back to work this week picking off one and forcing another fumble.

Welcome Back Brandon Hereford! – Even rotating frequently at LB, Hereford picked up where he left off back in last year’s Soft Houston game by leading the beastly defense with 11 tackles and a sack.

Winning Ugly – Yes it was ugly. Yes, the Dukes needed a massive UD botch to put any distance between the teams. But they’re 5-0 (2-0 CAA) heading into their bye week and exactly where they need to be. As we said last week, this stuff is hard, especially when you’re the hunted every week, and winning a road game at a place the Dukes haven’t had much success should still not be taken for granting. No phase was consistent, but grinding out an ugly win is just as important a skill and running out of streamers.

USC losing to Wazzu Friday Night – It’s almost impossible to believe, but there is a legit chance at this point that our beloved James Madison University could end up hosting College Gameday AGAIN in two weeks. Who knows, but it’s still stunning to even discuss.

The Bad

The Running Game – Look, Trai Sharp had a stat line that covers up a lot of inconsistency, but make no mistake, there is still inconsistency. We hope it’s still just an issue of needing to gel with lots of new faces and not a reflection of losing Cardon Johnson and Tyree Chavious early, but the running game is just not quite there yet. The Dukes got back Nick Edwards who rotated in on the right side and that may become a plus, but it’s unclear if all the shuffling on the right side has help or hurt the group. On the bright side, while we’re by no means giving up hope that Marcus Marshall can be a stud, one great thing from this outcome was the aforementioned Trai Sharp. After busting out for a career-high 185 yards in a game where they were all needed, he has likely seized the #1 job at about the same point this season as Abdullah really locked it in last year and hopefully he goes on a similar tear.

Intensity – This is a hard thing to gauge from a fan’s perspective. And the Dukes have brought enough intensity to win 17 straight and be on the verge of breaking the record for longest-ever CAA Football winning streak. But one thing that this year’s team still needs to figure out is how to match opponents who are consistently fired up to be playing the National Champs, the #1 team, and clearly each of their biggest game of the year. Even with the garbage broadcast (more on this later), it was apparent that UD’s players and coaches were fired up to a Super-Bowl-esque level from the opening kick.

The Ugly

Comcast SportsNet Plus – Now that was a horrendous broadcast. Not sure where you were watching, but that thing had to be refocused every other play. Supposedly it was windy. Well it was windy at other games and that’s still one of the worst broadcast qualities we’ve ever seen. Get us back to MASN or Madizone!

7 Comments

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  1. maddukes98 / Oct 2 2017

    Completely agree – it wasn’t pretty but its a win. Most championship runs, even those by FBS teams like ‘Bama or Clemson have games along the way that were close or had to be won with grit, especially on the road. Its what defines a champion and separates them from all the pretenders. Even as good as I think we really are, we are not going win them all by 30+ or put up 50+ points on offense all the time. We have to improve on things for sure, but it was a game that if we WEREN’T good, would have lost.

  2. Roll Dukes / Oct 2 2017

    Watching the U-Delavision stream made me really miss and appreciate how good Madizone is. From the direction to the announcers, just an all-around garbage production.

  3. Drake / Oct 2 2017

    The big thing I’ve noticed from this team and teams of old is defense. From Withers until now, our offense has been potent, but we found out that we can’t expect to just outscore everyone. I’m thinking specifically to the Richmond game on Gameday Saturday. Last year, throughout the first half of the season, we had a good team but games were still a shootout for the most part (minus the crappy out of conference games). We didn’t become a title contender until our defense stepped up. That title run doesn’t happen without them. That’s what our upside is now. The offense doesn’t have to run at 100mph every game. If they can use the bye week to clean up penalties and work with the O-line, I think we’re fine. The Elon game to close the year is actually looking like it may mean something!

  4. Jr / Oct 2 2017

    Todd, couldn’t agree with you more, as that broadcast was horrendous!! Go Dukes!

  5. KB / Oct 2 2017

    Need to remember the last two teams have really good defenses. Delaware held Virginia Tech to 27 points, 10 of which came in the fourth quarter. One more good defensive team left on the schedule versus Villanova before the offense will look like the powerhouse it was late last year.
    These games are good to have under your belt come playoff time. They know how to win big and they know how to win small when the defense takes away certain things.

  6. Herb / Oct 3 2017

    the challenge is to keep the team on edge and not get caught in a trap game. I think they are good, but will be much better. Good coaching will sustain them I think.

    I wish the students wouldn’t leave at half time.

    Hey Dithers, hows it going in Texas?

  7. Daddy Q / Oct 6 2017

    Great Summary ! On several levels, this game was hard to watch …

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