I worked in tv news for a very long time as a cameraman. Years ago, I was shooting an interview with the founder of a very successful local high school all-star football game. Now, he was an older guy and kind of a character, so when my reporter asked him for a prediction on the upcoming game he said, “It’s gonna be a real humpdinker.” Well, I think it’s gonna be a real humpdinker when the Blue Devils clash with Kansas on Saturday.
Both have struggled in recent years only to come from almost nowhere to be undefeated after three games. Both have exciting quarterbacks who can do it with their arm or legs. Both have receivers who can make things happen after the catch. Both have physical offensive lines and can run the ball. Both have players on defense who can make life miserable for an opposing offense. Both have coaches who are changing the culture of the programs and turning things around.
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Deserving of more attention, but be happy it’s getting some
While this game has gotten some national attention and probably deserves more, let’s not lose sight of the fact a month ago none of us thought this game would be more than a blip on the college football radar screen-the kind of game that is nothing more than a score rolling across the bottom of your screen while watching two Power 5 heavyweights do battle. Sure, Kansas is the one getting the super-sized share of whatever attention is being given, but some attention for the Blue Devils and the job being done by head coach Mike Elko is better than none.
Keep feeling fascination
This is a fascinating matchup between two teams who have risen up from the murky depths of FBS. Their downtrodden fans all of a sudden have something to be excited about. But the matchup is fascinating beyond just romantic reasons. Can the Duke defense slow down Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels and that high-powered offense? How will that high-powered offense react to playing the best and most physical defense they’ve seen yet? How will a Jayhawk defense that has given up over thirty-five points per game against FBS competition handle the balance of Riley Leonard and the Blue Devils? Will the game go totally off-script and one of these teams win in a way nobody expected?
Duke vs. Kansas is the best under-the-radar game of the week. I don’t think another is even close. Those who choose to pass up watching this one are gonna miss a real humpdinker.