As we prepare for the 2013 college football season, many writers, panelists, and fans are predicting how they think their favorite team will perform. The projections for the Duke football team are all over the board. Some have the Blue Devils returning to another bowl game while others expect the team to regress to the bottom of the ACC.
As a fun series for this football season, I will be featuring how the Blue Devils perform in a simulated season on NCAA Football 14 on my XBOX 360. I commit to being a neutral observer and resisting the urge to take over the controller when I want a different result. I’ll simulate each Duke football game and post about it during each week leading up to the actual game on the field. I look forward to seeing how the results in XBOX world compare to real results.
Here’s a preview of the NCAA Football 14 Duke Blue Devils with some brief analysis.
ACC: 9th Place
Coastal Division: 6th Place
The NCAA Football 14 computer must not think too highly of the Blue Devils in the upcoming season. The game projects to Duke to finish in 6th place in the coastal division and their record would put them at 9th overall in the ACC. With no players listed on the Preseason All-ACC teams and such a low ranking, the video game version of David Cutcliffe can hopefully use this as motivation for his team.
The game projects both units to be rather mediocre. The offense and defense suffer from a lack of highly-rated star players, which has an impact on how the overall units are rated. I was a bit surprised to see the offense only rated one point higher than the defense, as I figured the team’s recent success over the past few years would have given the game a little more confidence in Duke’s ability to put points on the board.
#3 Jamison Crowder, Wide Receiver – Overall: 85 | Speed: 89 | Catching: 86
Jamison Crowder returns as the team’s best player after a monster 2012 season. His speed makes him a dangerous weapon, particularly on deep routes.
#6 Ross Cockrell, Cornerback – Overall: 81 | Speed: 91 | Coverage: 88
Cockrell will be counted on as the team’s shut-down corner and a senior leader. Yes, I just mentioned leadership in reference to a video game.
#7 Anthony Boone, Quarterback – Overall: 81 | Throwing Power: 89 | Throwing Accuracy: 82
Boone steps in at QB for the Blue Devils with a big arm and big shoes to fill as he takes over for Sean Renfree.
#41 Will Monday, Punter – Overall: 85 | Kick Power – 88 | Kick Accuracy: 82
As ESPN’s Rece Davis reminds us every year, “You must be sound in the kicking game!” Will Monday gives the Blue Devils a great chance at doing that.
10/26 – @ Virginia – The Blue Devils catch a favorable break in the schedule this season as they won’t play their first conference road game until they face Virginia on October 26. A win would be Duke’s fifth in the last six years over the Cavaliers.
11/9 – N.C. State – The game against N.C. State is sandwiched in a critical period of the season for Duke. Getting a victory over the Wolfpack between two very difficult games against Virginia Tech and Miami would be huge.
11/30 – @ North Carolina – It’s the final game of the regular season and it could determine whether or not the Blue Devils are bowl eligible. It’s also an opportunity for Duke to get back-to-back victories over the hated Heels.
Upset Alert: 9/28 vs. Troy – Troy seems to sneak up on an opponent every year and the Trojans are fully capable of pulling the upset in Durham.