There is a clear area of improvement for the Duke football team entering Week 2.
The Duke football offense scored 30 points, gained 500 yards, and did not turn the ball over in its opening game victory over Temple, but in his weekly press conference head coach Mike Elko sees plenty of room for improvement for his offense,
“I wish we’d have finished better,” Elko said.
“I wish we’d had kind of continued the level of execution that we had in the first half through the second half. Certainly, that gives us something to build on heading into next week.”
After scoring three touchdowns in racing out to a 24-0 lead midway through the second quarter, the Duke offense would not find the end zone again.
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Drives stalled on five consecutive possessions in Temple territory. Three of those ended inside the red zone, while another came to a halt at the Owls’ 21-yard line.
A sack derailed one drive, penalties hurt a couple of others. The Duke offense must improve their ability to finish drives. One way to do that is for the offensive line to be more physical as they get deeper into an opponent’s territory.
Elko said,“I think offensively, up front, we can be more physical than we were in that game. That’s our challenge to our guys this week is to turn that up even a couple more levels.”
Duke football must improve in one specific area
One area of struggle that goes hand-in-hand with drives stalling is converting on third down.
Duke was an abysmal 1-for-9 in this category.
It didn’t matter if it was a short or long yardage situation, Duke offense spent the game unable to convert.
To make the matter worse, veteran kicker Charlie Hamm was successful on just 3-of-6 field goal attempts.
Now, you aren’t going to win consistently when you’re attempting that many field goals in a game, but you still want to see them made.
Hamm missed just six times last season, but the Blue Devil head coach said he’d be naïve to not be concerned, but still believes in his kicker.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in Charlie. I think he knows, and we all know we’ve got to kick the ball better. I fully expect him to do that this week.”
There is a lot to love about the Duke offense coming out of the opener, but starting this week they will be playing much better teams in all but one of their remaining eleven games.