August 31, 2007

Duke vs. UConn Scouting Report

Duke enters the 2007 season with a 20 game losing streak and will look to start the season with a much-needed win against Big East foe Connecticut. While this task will certainly be a difficult one, Duke strongly feels it is obtainable.

The first obstacle they must face is their own confidence level. To make a win a reality, they must truly believe they can leave Wallace Wade Stadium Saturday afternoon with a victory. Judging from the attitude floating around the Yoh Center to the excitement on the practice fields, these young men sincerely believe they can right the ship in Durham.

Duke head coach Ted Roof put it all in perspective on Tuesday by saying, ""When you have a team that hasn't won much, you're like a thirsty man walking through the desert. You're looking for a water. We're certainly looking for that, and the goal for our program is to win the next game. I don't want the outcome of Saturday to affect the outcome of next Saturday. But, at the same time, when you're looking to build confidence and you're looking to build a belief and a certain expectation level, rather than a hope, success is critical."

With that in mind, Devils Illustrated takes a look at the position match-ups for Saturday's game and offers up its prediction for the season opener.

QUARTERBACK

Last season at this time, Roof wasn't sure how his quarterback situation would shake out. This year, he heads into the opener with a lot of confidence in his signal caller, Thad Lewis, and what he can accomplish on the field. On the opposite sideline, UConn head coach Randy Edsall will be will be handing over the reigns to first time starter Tyler Lorenzen. Though the UConn quarterback enters the season with high expectations, the simple fact is he hasn't proven anything yet. Lewis, on the other hand, has shown he is capable of running an offense. With a Lewis no longer being as mistake-prone as he was, Duke wins the edge in the quarterback battle.

EDGE Medium Duke

RUNNING BACK

Donald Brown emerged as one of the top running backs in the Big East after starting the final five games of the season. In that time he averaged over 130 yards a game, making him one of the more dangerous running backs a team could face. He's back, which could spell trouble for Duke. The Blue Devils return some very talented backs in their own right, they just simply must be able to put it all together. With Ronnie Drummer, Re'quan Boyette and Justin Boyle all having a solid preseason, it's hard to give the nod to a one man show…however, he's proven his ability to be a force and thus gives UConn the advantage in this department.

EDGE Slight UConn

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