September 2, 2007

Sunday report card

Each Sunday following gameday Devils Illustrated will offer up its grades for Saturday's game. This week, we take a look at how the Blue Devils graded out against the UConn Huskies in the season opener.

QUARTERBACK

The performance of Thaddeus Lewis might have been the most disappointing aspect of an all-around underwhelming performance by the Duke offense. He looked good on the opening drive and completed four of his first five passes, including a touchdown. It was all down hill from there, however. On the second drive of the game Lewis took a big hit that resulted in the fumble and safety for Connecticut. Lewis sat out the next series, so perhaps he was still feeling the effects of that hit after his return to the game. He certainly did not receive the protection he needed from his offensive line and was hit while throwing several times. In the fourth quarter he seemed to be pressing, trying to force plays and ended up putting the game away for Connecticut by throwing two interceptions.

Grade: D-

RUNNING BACK

Justin Boyle, Ronnie Drummer and Re'quan Boyette combined for 17 carries in the game. Boyle had the best performance with 32 yards on his six carries for 5.3 yards per rush. With Lewis' ineffectiveness it is surprising to realize how little Duke even tried to run the ball. It's hard to really judge Duke's running backs on so few attempts, but they also failed to make the kind of big plays that would have encouraged Duke to run them more. Like Lewis' poor game, the running backs were hampered by the lack of blocking from the offensive line.

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