Duke (4-8, 2-6 ACC)

The Acc

September 03, 2004|By KEVIN VAN VALKENBURG | KEVIN VAN VALKENBURG,SUN STAFF

Duke (4-8, 2-6 ACC)

Strengths: Duke returns eight starters on its defense, which could help the rebuilding process. Coach Ted Roof, who took over after Carl Franks was fired with five games left last year, had the interim tag removed after a strong finish, and his players love him. Roof's positive attitude will be essential if the Blue Devils want to become competitive in the ACC.

Weaknesses: The Blue Devils could always rely on their running game the past few years, but that's no longer the case. Chris Douglas and Alex Wade combined to rush for 1,390 yards last year, but both graduated. Duke also has to replace four starters on the offensive line, and find some playmakers.

Key game: at Navy, tomorrow. If the Blue Devils can't defeat the Midshipmen, they don't stand much of a chance against Florida State, Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Extra point: Duke has had just one winning season since Steve Spurrier decided to leave in 1989.

2004 schedule

9-4 at Navy 6

9-11 at Connecticut Noon

9-18 at Virginia Tech Noon

9-25 Maryland TBA

10-2 The Citadel 2

10-16 at Georgia Tech TBA

10-23 Virginia TBA

10-30 at Wake Forest TBA

11-6 at Florida State TBA

11-13 Clemson TBA

11-20 North Carolina TBA

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