You aren’t dreaming when you read this
After a 2-0 start that includes a thrilling win on the road over Northwestern, people are taking notice of Duke football. The media is beginning to talk about them more and the ACC and a national award even recognized one player (Jaylen Stinson) for his performance last week. But most importantly, Duke Blue Devils fans have noticed in a big way. Wallace Wade Stadium is sold out for today’s game with North Carolina A&T.
You haven’t been hit in the head or had a house land on you and are now in the land of Oz (that place comes next week). The Duke Blue Devils who went 3-9 last year, won only ten games in three seasons, and were predicted to be awful once again in 2022 have sold out a home game for the first time since 2018. And they did it hosting an FCS school. Not a conference rival, but an FCS team. Ya think folks are getting excited about this team?
Giving people a reason to watch
People are paying attention because head coach Mike Elko’s team is giving them good reason. They have a promising young quarterback, a stable of playmaking receivers, and an outstanding offensive line that seemed to come into its own last week against Northwestern. The defense is aggressive and flies to the ball, their defensive tackles have been a disruptive force, and everyone on this defense will HIT you. This team is fun and exciting, and Blue Devils fans are beginning to respond to them.
Hopefully, the sellouts will continue because it will help the Blue Devils on the field. Fill the stadium, create excitement, and allow the players to feed off of that energy. Get loud and then LOUDER, and make communication difficult for opponents. Expanding the student section to allow for more Wade Whackos should help create more noise. In an interview this week, center Jacob Monk says he has not seen this kind of support before from the students, but is loving it, “It’s overwhelming. Coming into my fourth year, the student turnouts have never been like that. We see it all the time in Cameron, and it means the world that they’ve come over all this way to support us. We go to class with them, and it means the world to see them in our stands too.”
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I fully admit I’m a newcomer to following Duke football, but it didn’t take long for me to get excited about them. Mike Elko is beginning to build something here and it is great to see fans get behind this resurgent Blue Devils team.