2012 ACC Preview - Day 1
Montel Harris was the focal point of the BC offense for the past few seasons, how will his transfer to Temple effect the Eagles gameplan in 2012?
2011 Record (ACC): 4-8 (3-5)
Returning Starters (Off/Def/ST): 19 (10/8/1)
Experience will be on this Eagle’s side this season, returning 19 starters from their 2011 campaign. Linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis has terrific size and range, and should help fill some of the void left by top-10 draft pick Luke Kuechly’s departure. The return of Kaleb Ramsey, who was among the top-five on the team in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks in 2010, should provide a significant boost to the defensive front alongside fellow tackle Dillon Quinn. Senior safety Jim Noel will lead a young group of sophomores in the secondary who have the chance to develop into an incredibly deep and talented group. New offensive coordinator Doug Martin will have an experienced quarterback in junior Chase Rettig, along with a receiving corps that returns all four of their top pass catchers from last season. Emmett Cleary anchors a young offensive line that should blossom along with the three-headed run game of Rolandan Finsh, Tahj Kimble and Andre Williams. After missing out on a bowl berth play for the first time in 12 years last year, the pieces are in place for the Eagles to get back to postseason play.
THE ROAD TO SOUTH BEACH
A tough schedule lies ahead for BC as the Eagles will play nine bowl-eligible teams from 2011. They’ll need to take care of business in home matchups against Miami, Clemson and Virginia Tech if they have hopes of making their second Orange Bowl and first visit since 1943. Like most teams in the ACC Atlantic, the Eagles’ road to South Beach will run right through Tallahassee and the Florida State Seminoles.
2011 Record (ACC): 3-9 (1-7)
Returning Starters (Off/Def/ST): 13 (7/6/0)
The Blue Devils find themselves on the cusp of a break-out season in 2012. The combo of quarterback Sean Renfree and receiver Conner Vernon are as potent as any in the ACC and head coach David Cutcliffe knows how to build an offense around an established quarterback. Duke also returns an offensive line that has a combined 90 career starts. If former four-star recruit Desmond Scott and incoming freshman Shaquille Powell can revitalize the ground game, Duke’s offense could be very potent. On the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Jim Knowles has an experienced secondary and linebacking corps to build around. The defense will be bolstered with healthy versions of Kenny Anunike and Kelby Brown, who expect to play at high levels following injury-ridden 2011 campaigns. If the right pieces fall into place, Duke will finally be able to end their 18 year bowl drought.
THE ROAD TO SOUTH BEACH
Duke’s path to their first Orange Bowl in over 50 years sports a slew of bowl-eligible teams. The Blue Devils will head to Stanford September 8th for a tough non-conference matchup against the Cardinal and will travel to conference rivals Virginia Tech and Florida State in October. Duke must win one of these games and take care of business against UNC and Clemson at home if they have hopes of taking their talents to South Beach.
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