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College Football Week 2: Duke At #25 Stanford

(credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) Stepfan Taylor (credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) Stepfan Taylor (credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Duke

#25 Stanford

David Cutliffe is in his fifth season as Duke’s head coach. With the win last week, his overall record improved to 16-33. Nothing to brag about, but remember, this is Duke football. Coaching David Shaw will earn his money this season without a future No. 1 pick running his offense. It should also be noted that offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton is officially known as Stanford’s Andrew Luck Director of Offense.
Quarterback Sean Renfree is now a senior and will be counted on to reduce his interceptions. He won’t be as good as the Mannings—whom Cutliffe coached at Tennessee and Ole Miss—but he is a talented player with some dynamic athletes around him. Offense Life without Andrew Luck may be more difficult than originally anticipated, and we all knew it wouldn’t easy. Josh Nunes struggled to get the offense going against San Jose State. But with an all-conference candidate at running back, the Cardinal should get back on track sooner rather than later.
Eight Duke starters return on defense, but the unit allowed more than 500 yards to Florida International, out of the Sun Belt, last week. Kelby Brown did return an interception 98 yards for a score. Defense Stanford started two new safeties last week and their inexperience showed, even against a weak opponent. The Cardinal did force two critical turnovers to help protect the narrow victory.
The Blue Devils have a pair of freshmen handling their kicking duties in punter Will Monday and placekicker Ross Martin. Special Teams Jordan Williamson had the entire summer to think about his performance in the Fiesta Bowl. It only took one game to wipe away the bad memories. Williamson hit a career-long 46-yard field goal as well as the game-winner last Saturday.

The winner is

Stepfan Taylor (credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
#25 Stanford
4 out of 4

These are two fine academic institutions whose basketball programs each boast multiple trips to the Final Four. In football, this season at least, it shouldn’t be too exciting. Stanford gets the edge though it will have to play better than it did last week.

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