Nov 27, 2021; Durham, North Carolina, USA;  Duke Blue Devils head coach David Cutcliffe runs out during the first half of the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Wallace Wade Stadium. at Wallace Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

Duke parts ways with coach David Cutcliffe after 14 seasons

Duke and longtime head coach David Cutcliffe agreed to a mutual parting on Sunday.

The decision was announced one day after Duke finished its season by losing 47-10 to Miami. The Blue Devils went 3-9 and closed the season with eight straight setbacks.

Cutcliffe went 77-97 in 14 seasons at Duke, topped by a 10-4 mark in 2013. The Blue Devils played in six bowl games during his tenure.

“We are extremely grateful for David’s leadership over the past 14 seasons,” Duke athletic director Nina King said in a statement. “He lifted our program to unprecedented heights, both on and off the field, while maintaining the core values of the University and we could not be more appreciative of his mentorship of every student-athlete who played for Duke during his tenure.”

Cutcliffe guided the Blue Devils to five winning campaigns in a six-year span from 2013-18. But things disintegrated quickly and Duke went 10-25 over the past three seasons.

This season, Duke went 0-8 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, its first winless season in league play since 2007. The Blue Devils lost the eight games by an average of 31.8 points.

“Duke University will always hold a special place in our hearts,” Cutcliffe said in a statement. “To our current and former players please know how much joy you’ve brought to our lives. To all of our coaches and staff, many who have been with us for 14 years, you will always have our love and respect. …

“I’m not sure just yet what the future will look like, but I am looking forward to some family time to reflect a bit on the past and see what the future holds.”

Associate head coach Trooper Taylor will serve as interim head coach while Duke conducts its search.

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2021; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) with the ball during the first half of the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Wallace Wade Stadium. at Wallace Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Van Dyke breaks records as Miami cruises past Duke

Tyler Van Dyke threw for 381 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Miami Hurricanes to a 47-10 win over the host Duke Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon in an ACC game at Durham, N.C.

Miami (7-5, 5-3) has won five of its past six games, and Van Dyke has passed for more than 300 yards and at least 3 TDs in six consecutive contests, a Canes record.

The Canes subdued Duke with 44 consecutive points, overcoming a brief 10-3 deficit.

Van Dyke completed 34-of-49 passes, hitting targets such as Charleston Rambo (eight catches, 101 yards, two TDs) and Mike Harley (13 catches, 96 yards).

Rambo broke the Miami single-season reception and yards records with 79 receptions and 1,183 yards. Harley broke the Hurricanes career receptions record with 182 catches.

Previously, those records were held by Leonard Hankerson (72 catches), Allen Hurns (1,162 yards) and Reggie Wayne (172 catches).

Duke (3-9, 0-8) failed on two fake punts and lost its eighth straight game.

Blue Devils running back Mataeo Durant rushed 22 times for 68 yards and finished with 1,241 yards this season. He broke Duke’s single-season rushing record of 1,236, set by Steve Jones in 1972.

Jaylen Stinson had Duke’s only TD, going untouched on a 94-yard kickoff return.

The game started with Stinson’s 37-yard kickoff return, which helped lead to Charlie Ham’s 40-yard field goal. An interception by Miami’s DJ Ivey on that drive was negated by an offsides penalty.

Miami tied the score 3-3 on Andres Borregales’ 35-yard field goal, but Stinson took the ensuing kickoff all the way for a 10-3 Duke lead.

Van Dyke threw TD passes on Miami’s next two possessions: a 21-yard bullet down the middle to Xavier Restrepo and a 12-yard lob to Rambo in the back-right corner of the end zone, which gave Miami its first lead of the day at 17-10.

Miami ended the first half with a 30-10 lead as Jaylan Knighton ran for a two-yard touchdown, and Borregales added field goals of 29 and 25 yards.

The Canes outgained the Devils 356-85 in the first half, including Van Dyke’s 290 passing yards.

In the third quarter, Miami went up 47-10 on Borregales’ 43-yard field goal; Rambo’s 14-yard, one-handed reception in the end zone; and Thad Franklin Jr.’s nine-yard run.

With the lead secure, Miami put in its backups early in the fourth.

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Mike Harley (3) runs for a touchdown after a catch against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Miami chases strong finish at skidding Duke

The Miami Hurricanes are winding down a disappointing season with a 6-5 overall record and a 4-3 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Coach Manny Diaz’s job reportedly is in jeopardy in advance of Miami’s trip to Duke (3-8, 0-7) on Saturday for the regular-season finale.

Even so, the Hurricanes are bowl-eligible, and they’re having fun.

Just ask Mike Harley.

In Miami’s 38-26 win over Virginia Tech last week, the senior wide receiver caught a 55-yard touchdown to put the game away with 10:39 left in the fourth quarter. The Hurricanes had just a five-point lead before that play.

“I was smiling the whole time,” Harley said of his joy even while the ball was in flight. “It was crazy.”

That’s the thing about the Hurricanes this season. They have five losses, but two of them came against opponents that rank among the nation’s elite, Alabama and Michigan State.

Miami also has two wins against teams that were Top 25 at the time, and the Hurricanes’ three ACC losses were by two, three and three points.

The Hurricanes are three plays away from an unbeaten ACC record, and they have developed a star quarterback in Tyler Van Dyke. The redshirt freshman has passed for more than 300 yards and at least three touchdowns in five consecutive games. He has been selected the ACC Rookie of the Week four times.

Miami has overcome season-ending injuries to five of its starters: quarterback D’Eriq King, safety Bubba Bolden, running back Cam’Ron Harris and offensive linemen Jalen Rivers and Corey Gaynor.

Yet, Harley is five catches away from breaking Reggie Wayne’s career record for receptions by a Hurricane (173 from 1997 to 2000).

Miami’s other star wide receiver, Charleston Rambo, has 71 catches this season for 1,071 yards. He needs two catches to break Leonard Hankerson’s single-season program record set in 2010. Rambo needs 92 yards to break Allen Hurns’ program record for single-season yardage.

Miami also has tight end Will Mallory, who has caught four TD passes in the past five games.

The Hurricanes, who have won four of their past five games, had no turnovers against Virginia Tech despite heavy rain. Miami’s defense also had 10 tackles for loss and four sacks against the Hokies.

Meanwhile, the Blue Devils have been hammered the past five weeks in a losing streak that is now at seven games. Duke hasn’t had a margin of defeat smaller than 25 points since Oct. 9.

Miami drilled Duke 48-0 last season. Two years ago, however, the host Blue Devils entered their matchup with the Hurricanes on a five-game losing streak before shocking Miami 27-17.

“I’ve heard some of our guys mention (that upset),” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. “Everybody looks for hope, and I wouldn’t discourage that. But this is a different Miami team and a totally different Duke team.”

Cutcliffe said Duke plans on using three quarterbacks against Miami: Jordan Moore, Gunnar Holmberg and Riley Leonard.

The Blue Devils hope that causes some Miami confusion, and Duke also has running back Mataeo Durant, who has rushed for 1,173 yards. Steve Jones set the Duke rushing record in 1972 with 1,236 yards.

Look for Miami to stack the box against Durant, who has a total of just 23 carries for 111 yards the past two games.

Cutcliffe, who is 67 and could retire after this season if the rumors are true, said Durant has been banged up lately.

Durant has 258 touches from scrimmage this season, including 233 carries. He has taken a pounding.

“An individual record is always secondary to winning,” Cutcliffe said. “But we’re aware of it, and we would love to win (and get Durant the mark).

“Wouldn’t that be fun?”

–Field Level Media

Nov 18, 2021; Durham, North Carolina, USA;  Louisville Cardinals quarterback Malik Cunningham (3) runs with the ball during the 1st half of the game against the Louisville Cardinals at Wallace Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

Malik Cunningham’s seven TDs help Louisville dominate Duke

Malik Cunningham had 527 total yards and seven touchdowns as Louisville drilled Duke 62-22 on Thursday night in Durham, N.C.

Cunningham threw five touchdown passes and ran for two to help the Cardinals (6-5, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) clinch bowl eligibility.

Cunningham rushed for 224 yards on 11 carries and threw for 303.

He completed 18 of 25 passes. His TD passes went to five different teammates.

Cunningham, a redshirt junior, eclipsed the 10,000-yard mark of total offense for his career.

Duke (3-8, 0-7) has lost seven games in a row, all except one of those by wide margins. The Blue Devils will finish last in the ACC’s Coastal Division despite one game to go.

The Cardinals have won back-to-back ACC games for the first time since November 2019. This came just five days after cruising past Syracuse 41-3.

Louisville opened the scoring on Cunningham’s 48-yard pass play to Trevion Cooley. The next touchdown came on a 20-yard pass to Marshon Ford.

Cunningham ran for touchdowns on plays of 44 and 72 yards in the second quarter. Jalen Mitchell added an 11-yard touchdown run.

Duke’s Charlie Ham booted field goals of 22, 28 and 26 yards in the first half. It was the fourth time in the last five games that the Blue Devils didn’t score a first-half touchdown.

Louisville was 6-for-9 on third downs and 2-for-2 on fourth downs through three quarters.

The Blue Devils have surrendered at least 45 points in five consecutive games.

Duke had Gunnar Holmberg back at quarterback after he missed the past 1 1/2 games because of an injury. He threw for 176 yards and an interception before being replaced after the first possession of the third quarter.

The Blue Devils reached the end zone at the 5:06 mark of the third quarter on Jalon Calhoun’s 6-yard run.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2021; Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Louisville Cardinals head coach Scott Satterfield walks the sideline in a timeout during the second half against the Syracuse Orange at Cardinal Stadium. Louisville defeated Syracuse 41-3. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

UL tries to clinch bowl Thursday night at struggling Duke

A Thursday night trip to nose-diving Duke is next up for the Louisville, which might not seem overly significant to outsiders, but don’t try telling that to the Cardinals.

Louisville’s past six opponents held winning records, and now they face a team that has lost six in a row. Yet Cardinals coach Scott Satterfield said it’s time to build on momentum after several hard-to-digest results.

“We have a lot riding on this game,” said Satterfield, who grew up about 15 miles from Duke’s Wallace Wade Stadium. “It’s an opportunity to get bowl eligible and that’s huge for our players.”

Louisville (5-5, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) is coming off its most lopsided victory against a Football Bowl Subdivision team in four years with a 41-3 romp past visiting Syracuse. The Cardinals haven’t committed a turnover in their last two games.

It was an ideal recipe given the timing. Louisville now travels for a quick turnaround for a test against a program that hasn’t won a game in nearly two months.

“(It) was awesome to be able to relax in the second half and play a lot of players,” Satterfield said. “That is one thing we haven’t been able to do. We played a lot of players but now we got to play a lot of players – unload the bench so to speak on those last two drives.”

There’s a good vibe for the Cardinals despite the busy few days going into the Duke game.

“A win like this helps the mental part of it,” Satterfield said.

Duke (3-7, 0-6) will miss out on a bowl game for the third consecutive season.

“We’ve got to put ourselves into position to be successful regardless of what anybody thinks or says or does, it doesn’t matter,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. “It’s all whatever is inside of us and we have to find the very best part of us.”

Riley Leonard became the first true freshman to start at quarterback for Duke in 15 years in Saturday’s 48-17 loss at Virginia Tech. But he didn’t finish because Jordan Moore was summoned for much of the second half, throwing for a touchdown and rushing for a score.

That leaves a question at quarterback for the Blue Devils, particularly if first-stringer Gunnar Holmberg remains out with an injury.

“We’ve got to find the mix of where we are,” Cutcliffe said, noting that he felt Leonard had been shaken up a bit and wasn’t throwing the ball like he normally does.

Holmberg, who was injured Nov. 6 vs. Pittsburgh, was closer to being ready for the Virginia Tech game than anticipated, Cutcliffe said.

“We’re all rooting for each other’s success,” Moore said, “so when it is our turn to go, we give our best.”

Louisville should have no questions about the quarterback spot. Malik Cunningham has been stellar at times and he ought to be filled with bravado after throwing for four touchdowns and running for another in the Syracuse game.

“That is definitely a confidence booster going into Thursday’s game against Duke,” Cunningham said.

If Louisville fails to reach the six-win mark this week, its final chance would be in the regular-season finale at home against rival Kentucky.

–Field Level Media

Oct 16, 2021; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA;  Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) drops to throw a pass during the second half against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt aims to bounce back against struggling Duke

The goal of appearing in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game is as realistic for Pittsburgh as it was going into last week, but the Panthers’ margin of error has become smaller.

Ahead of a home matchup with Miami last week, Pitt was rolling with a No. 17 ranking and a four-game winning streak. However, the Panthers got humbled in a 38-34 home loss, and now they have to overcome some adversity entering their final four games of the year, starting with a contest against Duke on Saturday in Durham, N.C.

Pitt (6-2, 3-1 ACC) is still in first place in the ACC Coastal division, but instead of a two-game cushion, it’s now just one game.

“It’s a tough one to swallow,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said, “but we’ll bounce back. All of our goals are still in front of us.”

Pitt will head to Duke led by one of the nation’s top quarterbacks, Kenny Pickett, who continued his brilliant play this season even in defeat against the Hurricanes.

Pickett threw for 519 yards and three touchdowns, though he was intercepted twice. He ranks sixth in the country with 2,755 passing yards and is tied for fourth with 26 TD passes.

Odds are good Pickett will rack up even more yards going up against a Duke defense that is giving up 294.5 yards of passing and 33.3 points per game.

After a 3-1 start, the Blue Devils (3-5, 0-4) are reeling, entering on a four-game losing streak.

Duke has done little right in league play, giving up 40.5 points per game and scoring seven or fewer points in three of the four defeats.

In road losses the last two weeks to Virginia and Wake Forest, Duke has been outscored 93-7.

“No one is quitting,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. “Nobody is not enthusiastic. I keep hearing that a lot. Our kids are not doing that. When you are fighting, you have to fight with technique, and you have to fight at a higher level from an execution standpoint.”

Pitt is looking to win its sixth straight over Duke in the rivalry. The Panthers have won nine of the past 10 matchups, including the most recent contest, 33-30 at Durham in 2019.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2021; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA;  Wake Forest Demon Deacons tight end Blake Whiteheart (85) run s with the ball after his catch during the first half against the Duke Blue Devils at Truist Field. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

No. 13 Wake Forest wallops Duke to stay undefeated

Sam Hartman threw three touchdown passes and ran for two scores in another huge offensive performance as No. 13 Wake Forest drubbed visiting Duke 45-7 on Saturday in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Demon Deacons are 8-0 for the first time in program history.

Hartman completed 24-of-37 passes for 402 yards without an interception. A.T. Perry caught seven passes for 116 yards.

Those numbers were part of Wake Forest’s 677 yards of total offense. Christian Turner was the team’s top rusher with 75 yards on 10 carries, with Hartman next with 61 yards on six rushing attempts.

Wake Forest (5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) led 28-0 at halftime. This was the Demon Deacons’ lone conference game across a four-week period, and it came on homecoming.

Duke (3-5, 0-4), which lost its fourth game in a row, nearly went two full games without scoring. The Blue Devils were shut out two weeks earlier at Virginia in their most recent game.

Wake Forest lost its shutout bid when Duke’s Riley Leonard scored on a 2-yard run with 7:17 to play.

Running back Mataeo Durant gained 103 yards on 20 carries for Duke. Quarterback Gunnar Holmberg was 10-for-18 for 110 yards.

The Demon Deacons seemed to pick up where they left off from a 70-56 victory a week earlier at Army. It took just 91 seconds for the Demon Deacons to go 75 yards, with Hartman connecting with Jaquarii Roberson for a 38-yard scoring play.

Hartman then scored on runs of 26 and 4 yards before a 3-yard pass to Ke’Shawn Williams.

About the only thing that went wrong for Wake Forest was that Nick Sciba, who’s bidding to become the all-time most accurate kicker in NCAA history, missed a field goal on a 26-yard attempt. He later was good from 26 yards out.

Duke moved into Wake Forest territory on three of its first four possessions, but came up empty each time.

–Field Level Media

Oct 9, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons head coach Dave Clawson leads his team on the field prior to the game against the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Duke has history, running game to worry No. 13 Wake Forest

It’s not about producing an encore performance for No. 13 Wake Forest’s offense, but a repeat would be a plus for the Demon Deacons.

More pressing matters await Wake in attempting to stay atop the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Atlantic Division. Wake Forest will play its lone conference game across a four-week period when Duke arrives Saturday for the homecoming game in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Wake Forest (7-0, 4-0 ACC) has been 7-0 just once before. That came in 1944, when Duke was the next opponent and ended the Demon Deacons’ bid for an unbeaten season.

“We’re 7-0, but that wasn’t the goal for the season,” Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman said. “It’s to do bigger things.”

The Demon Deacons haven’t been ranked this high since 1947 (at No. 11).

“It’s a huge challenge, but with huge challenges come huge opportunities,” coach David Cutcliffe said. “Wake is not going to give you anything. What it means is that you’re going to have to go get it done. I hope that’s the impact it has on our team. Don’t sit back and wait on anybody to give you anything. You have to go get the job done.”

The chatter this week is bound to be on Wake Forest’s eye-opening 70-56 victory last week at Army.

The statistics were staggering for the program’s third-largest point total in history, a figure that was achieved despite only 17 minutes, 17 seconds of possession time.

“That was about as clean as a performance as I’ve ever seen,” Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said. “And every time we had to make a play, we made a play — 70 points, no turnovers, 638 yards.”

The accolades have been pouring in for Hartman. He has 2,073 passing yards with 19 touchdown tosses this season.

“A lot of people don’t talk about us,” Clawson said. “They don’t talk about him. But he’s 7-0 as our starting QB this year.”

Duke (3-4, 0-3) has lost three consecutive games, hoping to regroup as it comes off an open date.

“We have all run through these times. We have seen them,” Cutcliffe said. “We’re all accountable. Every one of us. We own this. None of us individually have all the answers.”

Most recently, Duke was blanked in a 48-0 loss at Virginia on Oct. 16. The Blue Devils have been outscored by a combined 117-34 margin in three October games.

“When you’re in the middle of a three-game losing streak, I think it’s kind of good to let your mind reset a little bit,” Duke quarterback Gunnar Holmberg said.

Duke doesn’t have to dig too deep to find a ground attack can be disruptive after seeing what Army did to the Demon Deacons. The Blue Devils, who are third in the ACC in rushing with 202.9 yards per game on the ground, are led by running back Mataeo Durant’s 124.3 rushing yards per game.

Yet contending with Wake Forest is a challenge.

“They’ve played some close games, but that tells you they can win in the fourth quarter,” Cutcliffe said. “They’ve blown some people out. An offense and a quarterback that’s playing as good, if not better, than anybody else in the country.”

Wake Forest had some shifting parts on defense last week, largely dictated by injuries. Chase Jones moved from linebacker to safety, a juggling act that the Demon Deacons expect to benefit from if health challenges resurface.

“We were down five or six players on defense,” Clawson said, pointing out uncertainty for the Duke game. “I have some concerns. I’d rather have these concerns (at) 7-0 than 6-1.”

Duke is moving Charlie Ham back to a first-string role as kicker, a spot he lost early in the season.

The teams didn’t meet last season because a scheduled November meeting was wiped off the slate due to COVID-19 protocols involving the Wake Forest team.

The Demon Deacons have won two meetings in a row, though the teams have split the past 10 matchups. They’ve met 100 times, with Duke holding a 58-40-2 series lead.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2021; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils quarterback Gunnar Holmberg (12) runs between Northwestern Wildcats linebacker Chris Bergin (28) and linebacker Bryce Gallagher (32) during the third quarter at Wallace Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

Duke aims for consistency, Kansas some offense in Power Five clash

Consistency is a trait any football coach will emphasize, but Duke’s David Cutcliffe can talk about uneven performances while preparing for a matchup Saturday against Kansas at Durham, N.C.

“If you’re going to do anything and be considered special, you’re going to be consistently good at something,” Cutcliffe said. “We’ve had a major emphasis of working good against good at practice. I think that pays off. Stay healthy and it’ll pay off and continue to pay off.”

The Blue Devils (2-1) overcame a season-opening loss to Charlotte to win back-to-back games against North Carolina A&T and Northwestern.

In Kansas (1-2), Duke faces a moribund Power Five program attempting to gain footing under new coach Lance Leipold, though the Jayhawks are coming off a 45-7 setback in their conference opener against Baylor.

A complete game eluded Duke in each of its wins, including last week when it mounted a 27-0 lead against Northwestern before winning 30-23. The Blue Devils committed three turnovers and drew 10 penalties for 104 yards.

Obviously, better execution must be achieved, though Duke did force five turnovers and can lean on defensive playmakers. DeWayne Carter and Lummie Young were named ACC players of the week after each caused fumbles by Northwestern. Young also grabbed an interception.

“He’s always been an extremely aware and savvy football player,” Cutcliffe said of Young, “but you got to play fast and he’s going to continue, hopefully, to practice that way.”

That could spell trouble for Kansas, which has struggled to click despite seeing encouraging promise from Jason Bean, a North Texas transfer Leipold chose to engineer the offense. In terms of any positives, the Jayhawks have surrendered just one turnover.

The Jayhawks grew thinner in the offensive backfield early this week after Velton Gardner entered his name in the transfer portal. Gardner averaged just 1.9 yards per rush on 29 carries.

Devin Neal, the Jayhawks’ prize 2021 recruit, likely will become the starter after averaging 3.4 yards on 22 rushes. He will run behind a line that will be without starter Colin Grunhard the next two weeks, who is battling through an ankle injury.

The Jayhawks have struggled defensively, allowing 518 yards on average in its defeats after needing a late score to beat an FCS opponent, South Dakota, 17-14 in Leipold’s debut. In losses to No. 17 Coastal Carolina and Baylor, the Jayhawks have been outscored 94-29.

“There’s continued progress,” Leipold said. “It’s not showing up on the scoreboard or on the stat sheet, but we’re still trying to figure out what we can do offensively.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2021; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Northwestern Wildcats running back Evan Hull (26) runs against the Indiana State Sycamores during the second half at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern, Duke meet intent on extending rebounds

After facing off four straight years from 2015-2018, the Duke Blue Devils and Northwestern Wildcats will renew their nonconference rivalry Saturday at Durham, N.C.

Northwestern won the first two meetings during that four-year stretch before Duke won the next two. The two academic powers have faced each other 20 times since 1985 and each team has won 10 times.

“We are playing a Power Five team, a Power Five program that’s a great program, not just a good team,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said. “It’s a huge test as it always is. Two programs that probably mimic each other in a lot of ways.”

Cutcliffe and Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald first faced off at the 1997 Citrus Bowl when Cutcliffe was the offensive coordinator at Tennessee and Fitzgerald was a senior linebacker at Northwestern.

The two coaches have developed a mutual respect over the years.

“He’s one of the best of the best, and he’s got a terrific staff and a very talented team,” Fitzgerald said. “We’re gonna have to play more consistent in all three phases if we want to be able to compete and win a road contest.”

The Blue Devils (1-1) bounced back from a 31-28 Week 1 loss at Charlotte to defeat North Carolina A&T 45-17 last Friday.

After rushing for 255 yards and three touchdowns against Charlotte, Mataeo Durant had a light workload against the Aggies. He rushed for only 41 yards on 15 carries but scored three touchdowns for the second straight week.

The Wildcats (1-1) also picked up a victory last week after losing to Big Ten foe Michigan State in Week 1, defeating FCS Indiana State 24-6 at home.

Evan Hull led the Northwestern offense with 126 rushing yards and two touchdowns Saturday. He rushed for 87 yards on nine carries against Michigan State.

Hull, who stepped into the starting role after Cam Porter suffered a season-ending injury before the season, has impressed the Wildcats coaching staff with his work ethic.

“He’s worked so hard this offseason to be prepared for the year, and it shows,” Fitzgerald said. “He’s stronger, he’s running behind his pads, he’s making people miss, he’s finishing runs. I’m just really proud of the complete back he’s become.”

–Field Level Media