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Sep
24
2016

Duke shocks the college football world and wins at Notre Dame.

cutcliffe-dodd

I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t watch it. Duke as a 3 TD underdog waltzed into South Bend and beat Notre Dame 38-35. If you’re a Duke fan just bask in the all glory of it. Nobody gave you chance after losses to Wake Forest and Northwestern. After going down 14-0, it was over and done for Duke. Notre Dame doesn’t blow 14 point leads at home, as a 21 point favorite. A 96 yard TD return by Duke’s Anthony Nash turned the game around.

Duke had nearly 500 yards of offense against the Irish in the program-defining win. Make no mistake this was a program-defining win for Duke too.

For a program that has averaged 9 wins a year for the last 3 years, there still wasn’t a lot of respect for Duke. ACC observers and fans knew how far Duke had come, but nationally they were still under the radar.

What David Cutcliffe has done rebuilding Duke is beyond remarkable. Even in a year that where many thought Duke would be down, Cutcliffe laid the groundwork for this upset. It wasn’t just a 1 week fluke though. It’s been the culmination of years of work by Cutcliffe and the Duke athletic department to make a commitment to get better at football.

Does this mean Duke is ready to challenge the Clemson, Louisville, and Florida State in the ACC? Not quite, but it does mean the Duke program is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Underestimate them at your own risk. Duke has become a good football program, capable of not only competing but now on a given day beating some of the biggest brands in college football.

As far as partial member Notre Dame goes, the Irish are in big trouble. Once considered a darkhorse playoff contender, Brian Kelly and DC Brian Van Gorder may not want to turn on the radio in South Bend this week. Do you realize if Notre Dame was a full ACC member they would be a middle of the pack ACC school. Yes the ACC continues to get better and deeper with each passing year.

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