For the first time since 2008, the Duke Blue Devils will have a football coach other than David Cutcliffe manning the sidelines. Former Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko may have a long rebuild ahead of him after the team finished 0-8 in conference play a year ago.
The offensive line and special teams should be two strengths to lean on, but they return just 11 starters overall and have questions up and down the roster. Will Elko be able to get the Blue Devils back on track and surpass their win total (3) at the online sportsbook?
Here’s a look at Duke’s schedule with dates, times, opponents, and analysis:
Week 1 – vs. Temple Owls
Date: September 2
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
The Blue Devils are 8-1 against the American Athletic Conference and get a winnable matchup against a struggling Temple Owls team to begin the season. As of mid-July, Duke is an 8-point favorite in college football odds.
Week 2 – at Northwestern Wildcats
Date: September 10
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
Duke has won three straight against the Northwestern Wildcats. This is another winnable matchup to start the season, although Pat Fitzgerald and company will put up a fight and look to be improved after a lost season in 2021.
Desperately need Northwestern and Duke to recreate this hilarious attempt at a punt from their 2008 matchup. pic.twitter.com/nowxPrJBjy
— Daniel Olinger (@dan_olinger) September 15, 2021
Week 3 – vs. North Carolina A&T Aggies
Date: September 17
Time: 6:00 p.m. ET
The North Carolina A&T Aggies finished with a 5-6 record a year ago but have knocked off three different FBS teams since 2016.
Week 4 – at Kansas Jayhawks
Date: September 24
Anything is possible, as the Blue Devils have four winnable games to start the year. The home team has won each of the last three meetings, as Duke is 2-1 against the Kansas Jayhawks.
Week 5 – vs. Virginia Cavaliers
Date: October 1
Conference play kicks off in October with a home game against the Virginia Cavaliers. Duke has lost six straight ACC home openers.
Week 6 – at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Date: October 8
Geoff Collins is on the college football hot seat and will need to turn things around in Year 4. The Blue Devils have won five of the last eight meetings.
Week 7 – vs. North Carolina Tar Heels
Date: October 15
It’s been a lopsided rivalry, as Duke has lost 11 straight home games in this matchup. The North Carolina Tar Heels must replace Sam Howell at quarterback but otherwise aim for a bounceback season.
Week 8 – at Miami Hurricanes
Date: October 22
The Miami Hurricanes are 15-4 in this matchup. It’ll be Year 1 of the Mario Cristobal era, but the Hurricanes hope to contend in the Coastal division.
Week 9 – BYE
Week 10 – at Boston College Eagles
Date: November 4
Duke’s second Friday game of the year (with the opener against Temple being the other) comes against the Boston College Eagles. The Blue Devils have won two of the last three meetings.
Week 11 – vs. Virginia Tech Hokies
Date: November 12
Elko will hope to change the fact that Duke has lost nine straight home games against the Virginia Tech Hokies.
Week 12 – at Pittsburgh Panthers
Date: November 19
The first of two difficult matchups to end the season. Duke has lost six straight against the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Week 13 – vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Date: November 25
Duke has lost three straight in this matchup. The Wake Forest Demon Deacons went 11-3 a year ago under head coach Dave Clawson and return Sam Hartman at quarterback.
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