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GT aka Cut Block U

Discussion in 'Georgia Tech Football' started by ATL1, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. ATL1

    ATL1 Helluva Engineer

    Confident group puts swagger, 'D' back in Duke
    Sep. 11, 2013 @ 10:30 PM
    By STEVE WISEMAN [email protected]; 919-419-6671

    The Herald-Sun | Christine T. Nguyen

    N.C. Central quarterback Jordan Reid is sacked by Duke's Kenny Anunike (84) during the Bull City Gridiron Classic on Saturday, August 31, 2013 at Wallace Wade Stadium.

    DURHAM —
    Once a group that shielded its eyes from statistics, Duke’s defense is able to stand tall so far in this young college football season.

    The Blue Devils, who allowed an ACC-worst 36 points per game last season, have shown dramatic improvement through this season’s first two games.

    In convincing wins over Football Championship Subdivision member N.C. Central, 45-0, and at Memphis of the BCS-level American Athletic Conference, 28-14, Duke’s defense has proven to be a stingy bunch.

    In those eight quarters, Duke’s defense has allowed only one touchdown. Memphis scored one of its touchdowns on an interception return.

    Duke is No. 6 in the country in total defense, allowing 210.5 yards per game, and is No 17 in rushing defense, allowing 85 yards per game.

    The meat of the schedule lies ahead of Duke, with a tough Georgia Tech team coming to Wallace Wade Stadium on Saturday (3:30 p.m., ESPNU). But the Blue Devils have a reason to feel good as they prepare for that game.

    “I think it’s all real,” Duke redshirt junior linebacker Kelby Brown said. “It’s all real. This is a new defense. Every year we’ve built on guys who came in and worked hard. There’s a swagger.”

    Brown, who missed last season with a knee injury, leads Duke with 14 tackles. But he points to his teammates along the front four as a big part of the defense’s improvement. Redshirt seniors Kenny Anunike, Sydney Sarmiento and Justin Foxx are joined by redshirt junior Jamal Bruce as the starters up front.

    “It starts up front,” Brown said. “Those guys are just playing so hard. They are experienced. They are having fun playing. That’s something you can’t teach. It just happens. When you are playing like that you can beat anybody. You can play great defense.”

    As good as the Blue Devils feel now, they know their toughest test so far will be against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets’ triple-option offense allows them to grind up yardage with ease.

    Georgia Tech led the ACC and was fourth in the rushing offense last year at 311.2 yards per game. The Yellow Jackets haven’t lost to Duke since 2003.

    Duke defensive coordinator Jim Knowles senses that his players know there is tough work to be done.

    “I think they are very serious about it,” Knowles said. “There hasn’t been a lot of joking around or a lot of `look what we did the last two weeks’ It’s cold-blooded gentlemen. Cold-blooded gentlemen. Steely-eyed. These guys haven’t beaten Georgia Tech.”

    Brown is able to simplify the task ahead.

    “It’s really about getting your assignment and kicking someone’s butt,” Kelby Brown said. “You have to beat the man across from you. That’s why it’s a challenge because they are such a physical team. Hard-nosed. So we have to do the same thing.”

    Knowles has simplified the attack this season and the results so far have been positive.

    “Everybody knows where to fit and what to do,” Knowles said. “It allows them to play fast. So far it’s worked. You always want to have more defenses and more blitzes. But what we’re finding out with our guys is they play better if they know exactly what to do. Make it simple.”

    Against Georgia Tech, Duke’s players say, they have to be disciplined to watch out for the cut-blocks the Yellow Jackets use to open holes for their runners. While legal when executed correctly, cut-blocking calls for the offensive linemen to hit defenders low.

    “It’s huge,” Anunike said. “That’s what Georgia Tech’s offense is predicated on. They will go after your knees and will go after your legs. You have to do quick work with your hands, keep eyes up and keep feet active. You are going to end up on the ground. It happens to everybody. It’s how fast can you get up and how fast can you chase the ball down.”

    Brown has worked back from two torn ACLs during his Duke career. The thought of being cut-blocked doesn’t make him happy. But he’s ready for it.

    “That’s part of what makes their offense work,” Brown said. “I don’t like cut blocks. No one likes them. But it’s just something you’ve got to be able to overcome.”

    For his part, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said he’s been impressed with Duke’s defense this season.

    “They’re healthy,” Johnson said Wednesday. “The defensive line is a little older, played longer. They seem to run a little better. Mike linebacker is a good player, 59, the Brown kid. (All-ACC cornerback Ross) Cockrell has always been a pretty good player. The transfer from Ohio State (safety Jeremy Cash) is an impressive kid.”

    The Blue Devils’ improvement allows the defense to display swagger on the field, something not present when they allowed 40 or more points in their last five games last season.

    “All great defenses do have an element of swag to them,” Anunike said. “When you have results and have played like we have played the first two games, you earn a little bit of swag. Are we there yet no? We know we have a huge challenge against Georgia Tech.”
  2. AE 87

    AE 87 Helluva Engineer

    "Memphis of the BCS-level American Athletic Conference" is spin at its finest. Memphis, in its first game after being a 500 team in its FCS conference and a losing team overall might be more accurate. Of course, calling the AAC BCS-level also seems to beggar credulity. Last year, Duke beat Memphis 38-14, so maybe moving up to the FBS just really improved their defense.
  3. ATL1

    ATL1 Helluva Engineer

    We'll see how legit their D is tomorrow.
  4. Pj4prez01

    Pj4prez01 Ramblin' Wreck

    Yea I have a feeling they will be shying away from their defensive stats again pretty quickly.
  5. cyptomcat

    cyptomcat Helluva Engineer

    FCS conference? They have been in C-USA for awhile, not FCS. But yeah, BCS only as a label...
  6. GTrob21

    GTrob21 Helluva Engineer

    am I the only one who loves when I read stories like this? Let our opponents complain all day long, I hope our "cut" blocks get in their head and they forget their assignments.

    Bring on the whiney Dukies... I bet Coach K is somewhere secretly loving all the whining.
    JacketTrain and jchens_GT like this.
  7. jchens_GT

    jchens_GT Ramblin' Wreck

    Haha, so true about Coach K.
  8. AE 87

    AE 87 Helluva Engineer

    Oh yeah, cusa is fbs ... my bad,
  9. brian22

    brian22 Helluva Engineer

    They think their D is possibly great after defeating those opponents. That's cute.

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