Alabama Football: In Durham, they understand Crimson Tide football


Blue Devils’ fans understand Alabama football and it is not because Duke head coach, David Cutcliffe is a University of Alabama alum.

Two campuses and two programs arguably at the top of men’s college sports understand each other. Alabama football and Duke men’s basketball are made from the same cloth. In Tuscaloosa and in Durham, every season is measured by winning or failing to win a national championship.

There is just so much similarity. Alabama football head coach, Nick Saban and Mike Krzyzewski of Duke are the top coaches in their respective sports. Alabama men’s basketball aspires to achieve Duke’s success. Duke football dreams of becoming a perennial national championship contender like the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Knowing the Wallace Wade history at both schools, the exciting explosion made by Steve Spurrier as Duke’s head coach many years ago – and, of course, understanding David Cutcliffe first learned about championship programs being a student worker for Alabama football, it is hard to have any ill will for the Blue Devils.

That was our take going into this week. We reached out to our counterpart at Ball Durham to see if any Blue Devils’ fans felt the same. Kevin Connelly was kind to reinforce our opinions and add some insider knowledge of Duke football.

In discussing the Duke offense in the post-Daniel Jones era, Kevin said,

"Duke will be at its best when it can establish the run. The Blue Devils have a preseason All-ACC running back in Deon Jackson and he forms a deadly duo with Brittain Brown, when the two are healthy. Although David Cutcliffe hasn’t really shown an option or triple-option look in the past, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some triple-option played with Harris, Jackson, and Brown."

Speaking of the new QB starter for the Blue Devils, Kevin said,

"Quentin Harris has some big shoes to fill replacing Daniel Jones, but he’s not a stranger to playing time. Harris played in two games last year with completing 50% of his passes and finding the end zone seven different times. He’s at his best when he’s on the move and using his legs as a weapon instead of just his arm as he’s not the most accurate passer."

Kevin also commented on the strength and weaknesses of the Duke defense.

"Duke lost its startling linebackers after last season, Joe Giles-Harris and Ben Humphreys, and still won’t have All-ACC cornerback Mark Gilbert who sustained a hip injury last season. While Duke is inexperienced at linebacker and in the secondary, the defensive line is expected to take a major step forward this season led by Victor Dimukeje and Edgar Cerenord."

Next. A healthy Tua will have a record-breaking season. dark

According to Kevin, Duke fans realistically view the game as a mismatch. As such, it will not define the Duke season. Bama Hammer wishes them success after Saturday.